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Introducing Melanie Mackay


Born "across the creek" in Burlington, Melanie, a product of Nelson High School, started swimming at age 10.

She trained in all three strokes, but her favourite was the breast stroke. At age 14, she joined the very competitive Oakville Aquatic Club to take advantage of the coaching of Tom Arusoo, a highly respected producer of swimming champions. Melanie credits Arusoo for convincing her that, with hard work, she too could become an Olympian.

To read the Oakville newspaper headline "Melanie makes it to the Olympics" was the culmination of a lifetime dream for Melanie Mackay.

Melanie trained hard at her specialty, the 200 metre breast stroke, achieving great results:
1975 bronze medal .... Canadian nationals
1975 bronze medal .... World championship trials
1976 qualified to swim at British nationals
1976 qualified to swim at U.S.A. nationals
1976 5th .... World championships, Holland

In 1976, Melanie qualified for the Canadian Olympic Swim Team and competed in Olympic games in Montreal. That same year she achieved a world rank of 19th.

After the Olympics, Melanie continued to swim competitively, and in 1978, competed for the University of Alabama in the NCAA, Division 1 University championships.

She also competed in Canada while attending the University of Western Ontario and was honoured by induction to the "Mustang Swimming Hall of Fame".

After retiring from competitive swimming, Melanie turned her attention to coaching, and in 1986, she joined her old mentor, Arusoo, at the Windsor Aquatic Club, as assistant coach.

She has also coached in Peterborough, Hamilton and Burlington. In 2003, Melanie returned to the Oakville Aquatic Club as an assistant coach in the club's Olympic Way program.


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