Red Deer’s Rebecca Smith returned to the community last week with some new hardware after winning medals in swim competitions at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The 22-year-old earned her first bronze medal on July 29 during the mixed 4X100 metre freestyle relay final with her team in 3:24.86. Smith finished her relay race with an individual time of 54.41 seconds.
The next day she earned another bronze medal in the women’s 4X100m freestyle relay in 3:37.25. Smith swam in 55.08 seconds to help her teammates claim third place in the final.
She was at it again on Aug. 2, as her team captured silver in the mixed 4X100m medley relay in heat three in 3:51.43. Smith, who was Canada’s fourth swimmer, finished in 55.32.
“I thought it was great,” she said. “I mean I had so much fun. I also had individual races. I was in the 300 butterfly but relays are just so much fun. I feel like I just have so much more excitement going to the relays just because you’re swimming with your team and your friends. I just feel like It’s super motivating too because you want to swim fast not just for yourself but also for your team.”
This was Smith’s second time competing at the Commonwealth Games, her first in 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. While there she won silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
“I just love the Commonwealth Games because we stay in an athletes’ village with all the other sports and all of the different countries. It’s just so cool to walk around and eat in the cafeteria with different people and just meet them and watch them,” she said.
The competition is also not as intense as the world championships or the Olympics but Smith added It’s great to just have fun and swim fast.
She loves to compete in both individual and relay team events, however, most of the competitions she has won came from relay events. It makes it extra special to earn those medals with teammates because she couldn’t do it without them.
“I was just so excited to walk out with my teammates and I think just knowing we had a medal on the line made me swim even faster,” she added.
Her favourite moment from the games was winning bronze on opening night in the mixed freestyle relay, which was her first time standing on the podium in a mixed event.
“It was so fun to be a part of that, something different just because It’s such a fun race with guys and girls,” she said.
Currently, Smith is getting ready for another year of nursing school at the University of Calgary and competing on the varsity swim team. There is also an upcoming world cup event in Toronto she may qualify for.