Tammy Cunnington is ready for another chance to prove herself at the Paralympics. (contributed photo)

Tammy Cunnington is ready for another chance to prove herself at the Paralympics. (contributed photo)

Central Albertan Tammy Cunnington named to Canada’s Paralympic swim team

Cunnington will represent Canada in Tokyo at the Paralympics later this summer

Tammy Cunnington has faced her fair share of adversity in life, so the difficult journey to Tokyo has been nothing new.

Thursday, Cunnington was named to Canada’s Paralympic swim team, ahead of the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics, which is set to take place in late August.

“I’m really excited. Despite everything, I’ve had a solid year of training and I got to do some different things. So I feel really strong and I know I can be faster by Tokyo,” Cunnington said.

“It’s always such an honour and it means so much to me to wear the maple leaf on my chest, so I’m really looking forward to that.”


US to play Canada, Venezuela for Olympic baseball berth

The Ponoka native, who trains with the Red Deer Catalina, got the call Thursday that she would get to represent Canada, as she was celebrating her 15th wedding anniversary with her husband Martin.

“It was a good mix of happiness and relief and excitement to finally know,” she said

The 45-year-old, who was paralyzed from the waist down when she was six years old, said the uncertainty of the last few years has been just another incredible challenge she had to overcome.

“I just tried to remain focused on the end goal and not really worry about the steps along the way. Just know that I needed to keep my fitness at a certain level,” she said.

“I had time to work on technique because I wasn’t in the water as much and time to do some base building. I just focused on what I could control and what I could do and tried to ignore the rest until it came to having to look at it.”


Red Deer sports writer receives honourary degree

When the pandemic hit last March, she was left without a pool to train in and the Paralympics had yet to be postponed. After they were postponed, she was able to get back in the pool and train in anticipation of the Games moving to the summer of 2021.

She has been in and out of the pool over the last year, but mostly in it recently, preparing for the Canadian Olympic Trials, which were slated for May.

Earlier this spring they were pushed back to June and still might not happen because of COVID-19 restrictions in Ontario.

So, Cunnington was forced to submit logs of her training to show she’s improved and also race time trial events in Calgary over the last month, to prove she was ready for Tokyo.

“They were choosing the team based on world championships in 2019 but I had declined that meet… Because I didn’t go to that meet I had to go through an extended selection process,” she said.

“Supplying them with documentation of my training logs, my progress to show my improvement over the last few months and to show what I did when I was out of the water to keep water ready.

“I did two time trials last weekend in Calgary where they were videoed with a certified official. Then submitted those to show (the selection committee) where my time was now and that I was race-ready.”

Those times were close to personal bests, but she hopes to do even better in Tokyo.

“They were just a little bit off my best time. But the last month I had to train in Calgary instead of Red Deer because of the last round of restrictions. I was training with a high-performance exempt group. It added more to my training having to drive to Calgary,” said Cunnington, who also represented Canada at the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil.

“I always want to go faster, there’s rarely a time I see on the clock that I’m like ‘oh I couldn’t go faster.’ I always want to go faster.”

The Paralympic Games are slated to take place from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5 in Tokyo, Japan.

Send your news tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

(Photo submitted)
PHOTOS: Ponoka Secondary Campus grad

Ponoka Secondary Campus held a drive-in graduation ceremony for their 2021 graduating… Continue reading

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

Most Read