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Young Richmond athlete making a splash

There are ‘big things ahead’ for Richmond’s Nancy Liu

MARK BOOTH / RICHMOND NEWS

JULY 19, 2017 01:01 PM

Nancy Liu’s background in gymnastics and figure skating has served her well as she pursues her next challenge with the Pacific Wave Synchronized Swim Club. Photo submitted

Nancy Liu has taken her background in gymnastics and figure skating to make a significant splash so far in her promising association with the Pacific Wave Synchronized Swim Club (PWS).

The soon-to-be Grade 7 student at Richmond Christian’s middle campus is more than ready for her next challenge after placing fifth nationally in 11- and 12-year-old solos at last month’s Canadian Espoir Championships in London, ON.

Liu will be spending plenty of time in the water over the summer to prepare for next season at the 13- to 15-year-old level. She will be attending a camp at Stanford University in California  choreography camp to build her new programs.

“She will get a solo (routine) that is created and specialized for exactly what she needs next year to win,” explained PWSSC coach Kandace Kalin, who joined Rosilyn Tegart to work with Liu this past season.

“Some athletes take some time off (over the summer) and their bodies need that. Nancy has been brought up in a way that her body can take training all year round and she is excited to be doing it.

“We still make sure she has her rest time and nutrition is very important. But there are big things ahead for Nancy. She does well and thrives on competition so I’m really excited to have the opportunity to work with her again. It’ always enjoyable to work with an athlete who has such hunger and drive for success.”

Before her family moved from China to Richmond, Liu got her start in synchronized swimming.

She was already doing competitive dancing and gymnastics and has put some of those skills to use in the water.

“I saw these people dancing on water and thought it was pretty cool,” said Liu, beaming. “Being flexible helped with synchronized swimming and so did my dance skills. The difference is you have the ground to support you in gymnastics where you are using your legs (underwater) to do it in synchro. There are just so many multiple things going on in the water.”

Liu made her debut at nationals a year earlier and placed ninth in solos. This time, she returned with much more confidence to end up fifth out of 80 entries from across the country.

“It was way better. Last year I was kind of nervous, where this time I felt ready and confident,” said Liu.

Her transition to the 13-to-15 age category should be a smooth one.

Liu was already performing with the club’s 13-to-15 team on top of her solo routine. A jump up to junior isn’t that far off on the horizon either.

“There are bigger goals and bigger focus ahead,” added Kalin. “We have a plan of action with additional and different types of training that we are going to be incorporating into her program in order to achieve those goals.

“Nancy is a quick learner and a good all-around athlete. It was easy to identify her skill set at a young age. She will have a chance to win at 13-to-15 and it’s the best level for her to be for one more year.”

© 2017 Richmond News