UTSC student swims to Pan-Am podium
Paige Schultz thinks it was the cafeteria chicken patty that did it. But whatever caused her food poisoning in Guadalajara, it wasn’t enough to stop the UTSC swimmer from winning a bronze medal at the 2011 Pan American Games in the Mexican city. The third-year humanities major was on the Canadian 4x100 freestyle relay team, and the Canadians placed third with a time of 3:48:37. “Winning a bronze was definitely a very cool feeling,” says Schultz, “especially being able to share it with my team.” Schultz is an Olympic hopeful who will be trying to make the Canadian team next year. A member of the Varsity Blues swim team in 2010–11, she helped lead the women to a silver medal at the Ontario University Athletics championships and a bronze-medal finish at the national event. She is also the defending champion in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport 50-metre butterfly event. Schultz’s performance in the relay at the Pan Am Games was especially impressive, given how she was suffering from that suspected case of food poisoning just two days before. Despite losing three kilograms of body weight during the illness, she maintained a positive attitude when time came for the competition. Schultz recalls telling herself then, “I can’t be negative about this. I don’t want this to affect me.” Varsity Blues swim coach Byron MacDonald says that Schultz, a Toronto resident, has a good shot at making the Olympic team this year, although she faces stiff Canadian competition in her best event, the 200-metre individual medley. She’ll also be vying for a spot in the 200-metre freestyle event. Beyond the Olympics, Schultz is looking forward to competing at the 2016 Pan Am Games, where she will have a distinct home-pool advantage. The aquatics portion of the Games will be held at a new facility being built on UTSC’s north campus.