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Thunderbolts swimmers Kaitlyn Luu and Roxy Ramirez compete on world stage

Two Thunderbolt swimmers competed in the FINA World Cup event held recently in Toronto
(Submitted by Thunder Bay Thunderbolts)

Late last month, two of our very own Thunderbolt athletes hit the deck with top swimmers from around the world. Kaitlyn Luu and Roxy Ramirez jumped into the water with more than 750 other swimmers from 40 countries. For the first time since the pandemic, FINA Swimming World Cup 2022 enabled elite athletes from around the world to compete together with an opportunity to claim prize money.

Kaitlyn and Roxy made the trip to Toronto over the weekend with Thunderbolt head coach Roman Ramirez. Toronto is the first Canadian city to host FINA in more than 20 years, allowing Canadians the chance to see high-level swimmers compete from around the world in an exciting short-course format. Our two local swimmers had the privilege of being chosen to attend this event, which is the second of a three-stop tour for this fall, and race against the best from around the world including Olympic champions and world record holders. 

Kaitlyn Luu, who is only 15 and competing against swimmers up to 29 years old, came 12th in her 200m fly and 17th in her 400m IM. 

“I can’t believe I just competed at the World Cup!” said an exuberant Kaitlyn Luu. “It’s early in the season and to get two personal best times felt really good. It was amazing to be swimming with such high-level athletes like Summer McIntosh and Katie Ledecky. I was pretty star struck the whole weekend.”

Roxy Ramirez came 6th in the 1500m freestyle where she swam against Katie Ledecky, who broke a world record by almost 10 seconds. 

“Being invited to swim at the FINA World Cup was an amazing opportunity. We got to see what racing on the world stage was like with some of the biggest names in the swimming world. It was so special and surreal that it happened here at home,” beamed Roxy.

“The FINA World Cup was the most wonderful experience for the Thunderbolts swimmers,” said head coach, Roman Ramirez. “They had the opportunity to compete with the highest caliber world swimmers. This experience will help to motivate them throughout their entire swimming career. As a coach, it was a privilege to be on deck with the Thunderbolts swimmers and watch them perform so well.  I am very proud of them.”  

With their heads held high, their drive and motivation further fueled, the two girls are ready to hop back into the water, continuing to inspire their fellow Thunderbolt teammates training hard alongside them.  Well done girls!

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