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Canada's top synchro swimmers calling it a career

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The Canadian Press
9/25/2012 1:45:47 PM
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OTTAWA -- Two-time Olympians Marie-Pier Boudreau-Gagnon and Elise Marcotte are among eight synchronized swimmers who are leaving the competitive pool.

Boudreau-Gagnon, from Riviere-du-Loup, Que., and Marcotte, from L'Ancienne-Lorette, Que., capped their careers with fourth-place finishes in both the duet and team events at the London Olympics.

Tracy Little of Pointe-Claire, Que., a two-time Olympian and member of the London team, is also retiring, along with Stephanie Durocher of Repentigny, Que., Jo-Annie Fortin of Montreal, and Valerie Welsh of Saint-Nicolas, Que., who all made their Olympic debuts in London.

Boudreau-Gagnon has been a member of Canada's senior team since 2002, capturing three world championship bronze medals, including one in the technical solo event in 2009.

"Marie-Pier gave so much for her sport in the country," said Canada's senior team coach Julie Sauve. "She was the best technically and artistically in Canada. She was an athlete passionate about her sport. During training, she was never looking at the clock. She had a really good work ethic."

The 29-year-old is in PhD studies in pharmacy at Laval University.

"Synchronized swimming is what brings me to who I am now," Boudreau-Gagnon said.

Marcotte, 23, made her senior team debut in 2006, and was Boudreau-Gagnon's duet partner at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. She won bronze medals in combo at the 2009 and 2011 world championships -- the most recent of which she called the best memory of her career.

She's completing her degree in administration and marketing at the University of Quebec in Montreal.

"Elise was a model because she was able to manage her athlete and school life to continue her university studies. . .," Sauve said.

Little has swam for Canada's senior squad since 2004, winning bronze medals in the combo events at the 2009 and 2011 world championships.

The 26-year-old plans to work in communications.

"My best memory is the 2008 Olympic Games, my first ones, when we climbed two spots in the world ranking by placing fourth," Little said.

Rachel Kowalski of Kitchener, Ont., and Marie Rondeau of Quebec City, members of the Canadian B team, also announced their retirements.

Marie-Pier Gagnon Elise Marcotte (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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