Frechette, Sylvie

Sylvie Frechette, synchronized swimmer (b at Montreal 27 June 1967). Frechette began swimming early and took up synchronized swimming at Julie Sauvé's Synchro Montreal. A recognized talent in her teens, Sauvé began grooming the young Sylvie Frechette to replace Carolyn Waldo as Canada's top synchro swimmer.

It was not until after Waldo's retirement, however, that Sylvie Frechette blossomed. She exploded onto the world stage by winning the 1991 world solo championship and was the early favourite to capture gold at the 1992 Olympic Games. Despite personal tragedy in the weeks before the Games, Frechette swam her best performance but a judging error placed her a close second. Had the error been corrected Sylvie Frechette would have been the easy winner.

The controversy became the ugliest incident at the 1992 Games and raised several issues in the sporting community, primarily the quality of judging, but also the credibility of synchronized swimming itself. The Canadian Olympic Committee appealed the results on Frechette's behalf and a year later Frechette was recognized as the gold-medal winner. Sylvie Frechette had retired following the Games to work for the National Bank, but returned to competition for the team event at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.