Young athlete Kaibrie Lumbard from Lloydminster with Team Rivers West was all smiles after winning gold in the solo synchronized swimming finals Tuesday.
"I'm really happy. I'm so excited," said the 12-year-old after hearing the results on the second day of the Saskatchewan Winter Games in North Battleford.
Lumbard beat 14 other athletes overall in total, competing in the solo competition with youth ages 11 to 16 taking part. She also competed with six of the 14 athletes who were in the "A flight" standing group competition in the solo finals.
The youth said she has had a practice every week on solo synchronized swimming since September. Lumbard has been in competitive synchronized swimming for the past five years.
She said she enjoys the feeling of competing. Her parents and grandparents were at the Aquatic Centre in North Battelford to cheer her on.
Lynn Kvill, Rivers West coach for synchronized swimming at the games, said she is very proud of Lumbard, who was competing in the Saskatchewan Games for the first time.
From Prince Albert, athletes Chloe Lysitza and Nicole Penner, both 14-years-old, with the Lakeland District team, performed in the synchronized swimming duet competition.
"They're great duet partners," said Lakeland District team coach Brianne Jubenvill.
Jubenvill said the two girls would be performing their routine to the Beyoncé song called "Daddy Lessons," and were looking forward to it.
"Their routine will have a lot of attitude and sass," said Jubenvill, with a laugh.
Penner said the biggest challenge for her was completing all the routine movements in exactly the same time as her duet partner Lysitza, to make sure they are in synch.
Taya Amundson, Synchro Sask technical director, said on Monday the solo synchronized swimmers took part in preliminary competitions to qualify for the solo finals held Tuesday.
"The routines are very difficult," she said. "They have to swim different elements to impress the judges. It's very technical. It's a great sport to watch. It's a lot of fun."
Amundson said the more difficult an athlete's routine is, the higher their score can be to reflect that.
Amundson added the Aquatic Centre has been an ideal venue to hold the games.
"Synchro (Sask) was so grateful to be part of this," she said.
Amundson added the natural light coming into the facility also provided an ideal atmosphere for the competition.
"The facility is beautiful," she said. "There is so much space for our athletes. The pool is gorgeous, and the sun comes in in the morning. It's a great facility."
Results from the duet competition will be posted later.
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