Former staff member and Christina Lake native James Dergousoff is coming home from the Commonwealth Games with a silver medal.
Dergousoff, 25, swam the breast stroke leg for the Canadian entry in the 4 x 100 meter mixed medley relay that finished in second place.
The team of Dergousoff, Kylie Masse, Maggie Mac Neil and Ruslan Gaziev finished with a collective time of 3:43.98 to earn Canada the silver medal.
The former Christina Lake resident, who now lives in Quebec City, has a deep connection with the pool at the Grand Forks Aquatic Centre as well as the people who use it and run it.
“As a toddler, I would take him to the aquatics centre to burn off all that excess energy," says mom Theresa whose family still use their place at Christina Lake despite having to leave the Boundary area in James’ teenage years due to work.
"He was diving off the deep end before his third birthday and had enrolled himself in the local Piranhas speed swim club by Kindergarten.”
In the years since, the former RDKB fitness instructor and lifeguard has also used the vast expanse of water at Christina Lake, as well as his ‘local’ pool at Grand Forks, for training.
During the pandemic (May 2020), when public pools across the world closed, JDergousoff moved back to the lake, bought a wetsuit and swam there to continue his preparations for that year’s Olympic trials.
The Grand Forks Recreation team recently commissioned renowned mural artist Paul Archer to paint a giant image of the Olympic hopeful swimming on the north end interior wall of the Aquatic Centre after the RDKB match funded the sponsorship received from local supporter, Dr. Mark Szynkaruk.
The replay of the race can be watched at this link: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2057999427743
Kylie Masse, James Dergousoff, Maggie Mac Neil and Ruslan Gaziev receive silver medals following the medal presentation for the mixed 4 X 100 meters medley relay. — Submitted photo