'I was on my feet screaming': Supporters proud of Kylie Masse after silver medal win
LASALLE, ONT. -- It was an intense 100-metre backstroke final for LaSalle’s Kylie Masse.
Her parents, Cindy and Louie were unable to attend due to COVID-19, but watched from their home as Masse chased the dream finish.
“She obviously went for it, went out hard and fast, we were just jumping and screaming,” Cindy told CTV News Windsor.
Friends and former teammates scattered around the continent also cheered Masse along through their TV sets, among them, former club and University of Toronto swim teammate Rachel Rodé.
“I was on my feet screaming, because it’s just so close and you really cannot tell, even at the touch, you can’t tell until it comes up on the screen,” she said.
Masse fought to the end, and touched the wall in 57.72 seconds, just a quarter second behind Australian Kaylee McKeown who broke the Olympic record.
Her medal was the third for the Canadian women's swim team following Maggie Mac Neil's gold in the 100-metre butterfly Monday and a freestyle relay silver Sunday.
Former Swim Club teammate Amber Lefler says Masse left it all in the pool.
“She wanted that so bad and she went out for it and in the end, she still did so well,” she said. “You can still say you were at the Olympics and on the podium.”
Masse’s 57.72 time is the second fastest she has ever recorded.
“I feel great. I’m really happy, I upgraded from 2016 which is wonderful and it’s an hour to be on the podium amongst incredibly talented women,” Masse reflected after the race.
This is her second Olympic medal, having taken home a bronze in Rio de Janiero in 2016.
“In Rio there were no expectations, but I have to admit there was some expectations this time. I didn’t want to verbalize anything,” father Louis Masse said. “And so it turned out great. As long as she’s happy, we’re happy.”
Masse’s home pool is at the University of Toronto, but with that pool closing due to the COVID-19 she relocated to Toronto’s Pan Am Sport’s Centre to join a training group.
When all pools were shuttered during the first wave of the pandemic, Masse’s family got creative.
Her father converted the family’s backyard swimming pool into an Olympic training centre this past April for Masse to train.
Work, that paid off for the athlete.
“Where we are now, two Olympic medals, and she’s just killing it like I knew she would,” Lefler said.
Instilling pride in her hometown at her alma maters Sandwich Secondary, WEST Swim Club and all of Canada.
- With files from The Canadian Press