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Thunder Bay official heading to the Olympics

Daryle Martin will be involved in the swimming events in Paris this summer.
Thunder Bay's Daryle Martin will be an official for the swimming events at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

THUNDER BAY – Daryle Martin will have one of the best seats in the house at the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The Thunder Bay product will be one of the major technical officials in Paris and will be on the pool deck during the swimming events.

“It’s an experience that you only get once every four years. It’s an honour and a privilege to be representing Canada,” Martin said.

“I think what I’m looking forward to the most is just being on the deck with the athletes and the other officials who have all worked so hard to be there.”

Martin is used to officiating at big events. She attended the 2017 world junior swimming championships in Indianapolis, Ind. and the 2021 world short course championships in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

There are only three referees and two starters in all of Canada that are on the World Aquatics officials list, which Martin has been on for eight years.

“This was my last opportunity to go to the Olympics before I’m off that list,” Martin said.

She and her fellow officials sent in their resumes and biographies last year to Swimming Canada for the chance to officiate at the Olympics.

After she was nominated, Martin then had to go through a similar process with World Aquatics and the International Olympic Committee before finding out that she was being selected to go to Paris.

“They told me in October that I was being selected, but I couldn’t tell anyone until the start of this year,” Martin said.

“It was pretty exciting when I finally got to share the news with my parents, my friends and my family, and to also get that official letter telling me that I was going to Paris.”

Martin said she would be doing a variety of tasks at the Olympics.

“I will be behind the lanes and judging the turns, but I may also be on the sides judging the strokes in each race,” Martin said.

“They also have a video room at the Olympics so I might be doing some judging with the video cameras, which would be a new experience for me.”

The journey to the Olympics has been a long one for Martin.

She originally started volunteering two decades ago and has had the chance to officiate at major national events like the Canada Games and the Olympic Trials.

Martin was busy helping out once again last weekend as the competition coordinator for the Everlast Thunderbolts Grand Prix.

“I’m helping the junior officials learn the ropes,” Martin said. “This is where I started over 20 years ago . . . as a mom with two swimmers in the pool, and then I just stayed involved with it.”

Martin will arrive in Paris on July 24. The Olympic swimming competition runs from July 27-Aug. 4.

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