Skip to content

Olympics unforgettable experience for Kenora’s Mastromatteo

Swimmer satisfied with results after making finals in men's medley relay at Tokyo Olympics.
Gabe Mastromatteo Swim Canada
Making the finals in the men's 4x100m medley relay was an Olympic highlight for swimmer Gabe Mastromatteo. (Swim Canada)

The chance to join Team Canada in Tokyo for the Olympic Games was an intense, unforgettable experience for 19-year-old swimmer Gabe Mastromatteo, who hails from Kenora.

Mastromatteo participated in the men’s 100-metre breaststroke, men’s 4x100-metre medley relay, and mixed 4x100-metre relay in his first Games.

His Tokyo experience was entirely focused around those events, thanks to pandemic restrictions, robbing the Olympic village of its usual international bustle.

“It was great, obviously, being in that environment with all of those really amazing athletes," he said. "We were pretty locked down, so outside of the swimming part, it wasn’t everything I guess people imagine an Olympics to be. But it was still an amazing experience.”

Athletes were tested each morning, and couldn’t leave the village. The swim team left the day after their competitions, whereas athletes would usually would stay to watch other sports and socialize.

“Granted, it was needed," Mastromatteo said. "With an event this big happening, you wouldn’t want to have any leaks… It was worth it, because ultimately it ran really smoothly, in my opinion.”

Even with those COVID caveats, he said he came away from the competition with memories from a historic Games that will last a lifetime.

“I won’t forget any of it,” he said. “Your brain’s on fire when you’re there... like, whoa – this has been my dream. Now you’re here and all you want to do is take it in.”

Canada’s swim team as a whole had an “amazing meet,” he said, winning numerous medals on the women's side and posting encouraging results in several events on the men's side.

The men’s 4x100-metre medley relay was Mastromatteo's main focus, he said, and it was where he wound up posting his best results. 

The swimmer recorded a personal best time of 59.67 seconds in the 100-metre breaststroke segment after Canada made the final in the event, with the team placing seventh.

It marked a significant improvement from Mastromatteo's previous best time of 1:00:11, recorded at Canada’s Olympic trials earlier this year.

He did not make the finals in the other two events in which he competed.

“Obviously, you always want to be doing better, but I feel like I did my job – I did what I had to do,” he said of his Tokyo performance. “The first [race], the individual, it wasn’t the result I wanted. But I was there for the relays more or less, in my mind.”

Even as he prepares to resume studies and varsity swimming at the University of Toronto, Mastromatteo has his eyes on the next Summer Olympics in Paris in 2024, saying Tokyo offered valuable experience on how to mentally approach big races.

With several young swimmers, he believes the men’s team is set to improve its performance at the 2024 Games.


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks