Videos: Carolyn Waldo, Synchronized Swimming

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Being chosen as a flag bearer really was a dream come true. I went from a kid all I wanted in life was a Canada jacket, that’s all I wanted. So then you know fast forward, you know 12 years from that moment and then I was named as the Canadian Team flag bearer to carry my flag, to carry the flag. It was, it gave me goose bumps and I, definitely one of the proudest moments. Of course winning two Gold medals was great, but there’s something about the patriotism of carrying and  being named as the flag bearer in the Coliseum was pretty spectacular.

I think ’84 definitely helped me with ’88 because it’s very intimidating when you go to an Olympic Games. You, you aren’t used to that kind of coverage that, the journalists, the big huge wide lens cameras and the click-click-click-click-click, everything and it’s like paparazzi kind of, I don’t know what that’s like but I can imagine. I mean it was just something that you really aren’t used to. The hoards of people in the stands watching you, cheering you on. Being in the Athletes Village with you know thousands of athletes as well. So it was easy to get distracted at an Olympic Games. So ’88 I really knew what to expect so there really were no surprises.

I never really thought of myself as being unbeatable. I was really doing it, it sounds corny but I was really doing it for myself. I wasn’t doing it to, to beat anyone. I always wanted to set the bar as high as I could in trying to do the impossible that I thought would be impossible in the water and seeing where that would take me. Um, but I, I never really went in thinking that I’m unbeatable, because anyone can be beaten at their game. You always have to stay one step above everyone else and when you’re, when you’re on top everyone wants to beat you. So it was hard though, it was really hard. I was always looking over my shoulder and you know I was definitely ready, ready to call it quits after, after ’88 because it was, it was getting harder and harder to stay motivated, to stay in that kind of shape. And so my time had definitely come.

When I won the second Gold medal I remember being told, “You’re the first Canadian Female to ever have done that.” And I was like wow, hey that’s a pretty good feather in  my cap. [chuckle] It was such a thrill ... all the accolades that I won. If anything I wish that I received them more now because I don’t know how much I appreciate it, because it’s like a kid in a candy store or on Christmas Day for a young child. They have so many presents that they’re opening up that they don’t really appreciate them that much. And when I was, you know I was 23 when I retired and I had all of these awards that were coming my way and two Olympic Gold medals and travelling across the country, and dropping pucks at NHL hockey games. And it was great and I appreciated it all, but I think I appreciate it more now, now that I’m wiser and more mature, realizing wow that was pretty awesome and what an accomplishment to be able to be named as Canada’s Female Athlete of the Year when I look at the athletes that have won this award, and to be in the company of athletes like that, is pretty impressive.

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