Editor’s note: For those who missed our 2016 Youth Excellence publication, we will be publishing each of the 25 features of our local youth in the coming months in our newspaper, and online, as well. This is the second on swimmer Taylor Fitzgerald sponsored by Central Builders Home Hardware. The publication is still available at the Tribune for those who would like a magazine.
At just 12 years old, Taylor Fitzgerald is making a splash as a force to be reckoned with in the provincial swimming world.
No stranger to the water, Taylor has been a member of the Williams Lake Blue Fins since she was five and started taking swimming lessons as a baby.
“I’ve always loved being in the water,” Taylor said.
Taylor posted outstanding times and achievements during the 2016 season including a bronze medal in the 200-metre backstroke at the March AAA provincial championships in Victoria.
Later in June, Taylor swam in Kamloops at the AA championships and won gold in the 200-metre backstroke and a silver in the 50-metre backstroke.
She also earned the Williams Lake Blue Fins’ top swimmer of the year award during the 2015/16 season.
On her future goals in the sport, Taylor has set the bar high.
“It would be cool to go to the Olympics,” she said. “I’d also like to swim in university.”
Outside of swimming, she said she enjoys playing guitar, singing, soccer and other school sports like volleyball and basketball.
Taylor’s goals for the upcoming season include posting national times, which she said will be the start of her Olympic dream.
She looks up to 28-time Olympic swimming medalist Michael Phelps as one of her inspirations to keep improving in the sport.
“[He’s] been my all-time favourite swimmer because I look up to his strength, and he’s the greatest swimmer in the world,” she said.
Taylor’s Blue Fins head coach Chad Webb added it was well-deserved when she won the club’s top swimmer of the year award for 2015/16.
“Her work ethic and positive energy won her the top award,” Webb said.
“She works hard every day and betters herself every chance she gets. Taylor is becoming a great competitor and one of the top swimmers on the team. She is such a pleasure to coach.”