Fil-Canadian Olympic medalist to swim for PH
Filipino Canadian Olympic medalist Kayla Sanchez, 21, will be swimming for the Philippines in international competitions.
Swimming Canada granted Sanchez her release after the world championship in Budapest, Hungary.
“I’ve always been really proud of my Filipino heritage,” Sanchez said Thursday in a statement from Swimming Canada.
“Kayla has been a great team member, center member and swimmer for Canada and we will miss her,” Swimming Canada’s high-performance director and national coach John Atkinson said in the statement.
Sanchez swam the leadoff leg for Canada in a silver-medal effort last summer in Tokyo in the 4 x 100 freestyle relay.
She also helped Canada take bronze in the medley relay by swimming the heats.
She earned freestyle relay silver and bronze at last month’s world championship in Budapest, Hungary.
“Aside from how much I’ve grown and how good everything has been in Canada, I needed to make this really difficult decision for myself and my family to take this opportunity to represent the Philippines. I want to help inspire people that are like me to swim and get into the sport.”
Sanchez was born in Singapore but grew up in Toronto. She became a member of the Canadian team in 2017. She thanked Canada for her swimming career. “I wouldn’t be the athlete I am today without the support and how much I grew and learned,” she said.
“It’s just a point in my life where it’s time for a change. I am stepping into a new point in my swim career where I can start to focus on myself and at the same time I’m hoping to help people in the Philippines.”