By Andrew Ross
Carrie Burgoyne doesn’t speak like a typical Dino swimmer; rather, this Winnipeg native speaks in a manner which would lead one to the conclusion that she is a normal human being rather than just an ego with legs. (I am able to say this only because former Dino firebrand Megan Kinsella, having relocated to Florida in true Pablo fashion, is no longer around to kick my ass, as she once threatened to do.) In fact, Burgoyne’s ego is thoroughly under control–so much so that she could even be described as modest, a rare quality in a high-calibre athlete these days.
Calling Burgoyne high-calibre is certainly no overstatement: world-class is perhaps a more accurate description of this swimmer’s talent. Starting Aug. 22, Burgoyne will be behind the Iron Curtain to compete in the Federation Inter-nationale du Sport Univeresitaire games in Beijing. FISU is the ruling body for international university-level competition, so only varsity swimmers will attend.
"It’s just going to be students, so it’s not going to be the same as the usual international scene," explained Burgoyne. "But I’m sure they’ll put on a good show in Beijing because they have the Olympics in 2008, so they’ll really hype it up."
Burgoyne is currently in Etobicoke, Ontario, competing in the Summer National Championships, which wrap up Aug. 9. Before leaving for the meet, she said, "I just want to go for best time, if I get it or I’m pretty close to it, then it will give me a lot more confidence going into Beijing.
"The two meets will be very different, because in Toronto I’ll have the whole team with me and we’ll be trying to get the title," Burgoyne elaborated. "But in Beijing, it will just be me and another swimmer."
This will not be Burgoyne’s first foray into international competition; as a member of the Canadian National Team, she has extensive experience in this area. However, she admitted to mixed emotions heading into Beijing.
"I’m a bit nervous, but I’m also really excited. It’s the last event of the season, so I’ll have to put in my best effort."
The competition, Burgoyne knows, will be difficult in Beijing. Yet the "Windy City Wonder" could still give them a run for their money. Of course, those are my own boastful words. Burgoyne remains moderate.
"I’m swimming more than one event at this competition, and I want all my events to be solid, not some good and some bad. The goal is consistency."