Red Deer’s Rebecca Smith, 21, will compete later this week at the six-day FINA World Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi. (Advocate file photo)

Red Deer’s Rebecca Smith, 21, will compete later this week at the six-day FINA World Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi. (Advocate file photo)

Red Deer swimmer Rebecca Smith returns to international stage

Smith will swim in the world short-course championships starting Thursday

Red Deer’s Rebecca Smith has had a year to remember in 2021 and is showing no signs of slowing down.

The 21-year-old swimmer captured a silver medal of the Toyko Olympics in the summer, before joining the University of Calgary Dinos swim team this fall.

Smith, in her first season, was crowned USports Canada West Swimmer of the Year in November, as she helped the Dinos to their first title in nine years.

At the conference championships, she broke Canada West records in all four of her individual events, picking up wins in the 50 and 100 metre butterfly, as well as the 100m and 200m freestyle.

“It was my first Canada West, and it was super exciting,” said Smith in a news release last month. “I am super happy with how I swam … my times were right around my best and I owe it all to the team for being super encouraging and it was a great atmosphere to be part of.

Starting Thursday, Smith and several teammates for the Toyko Olympics will compete in the six-day FINA World Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi.

She’ll race in the 100 and 200 freestyle.

“It’s great to have the national team come together to close out 2021. We are looking forward to some fast racing in Abu Dhabi on the back end of an Olympic year that was very successful for the team,” said High Performance director and national coach John Atkinson, the team leader in a release.

“We want to take advantage of this experience and race fast to spring forward into our Trials in April 2022 and on into the long-course worlds in May and Commonwealth Games in July and August.”

Smith will rejoin the Dinos during a busy 2022 season, which will feature the U Sports National Championships in February, as well as Commonwealth Games next summer.