Canada Swimming will send 36 swimmers to Santiago 2023 ©Canadian Olympic Committee

Swimming Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee has announced a team of 36 swimmers for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, as they became the first Canadian team to confirm their competitors for the event.

The 18 men and 18 women secured their spots following their performances at the 2023 Bell Canadian Swimming Trials, which took place from March 28 to April 2.

The swimmers will use Santiago 2023 as a step in the process of reaching the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The team includes 11 Olympians who are looking for glory, including Mary-Sophie Harvey, Katerine Savard, Javier Acevedo and Margaret MacNeil.

MacNeil won a gold, silver and bronze at Tokyo 2020.

At the Lima 2019 Pan American Games, Canada won one gold, eight silvers and six bronzes in swimming.

"I’m really excited to be able to represent Canada at my first Pan Am Games," said MacNeil.

"I remember when Toronto hosted it in 2015 it was such a big deal.

"I’m really excited to be going to Chile because they’re going to host such an amazing Games.

"The Pan American Games are such important stepping stones with the Olympic Games usually happening the following year. 

"It will be great for our team to get that village experience and practice in a major Games environment. 

"Things may go wrong or not go according to plan in that environment and that’s just practicing for the big show the next year."

John Atkinson, who will serve as the team leader for Team Canada, expressed how crucial Santiago 2023 is for the Olympics next year.

"This is an important year building into 2024 from World Aquatics Championships to Pan Am Games, with Olympic qualification at another World Championships early next year and into our trials,” said Atkinson. 

"This year we’ve tried to take a common-sense, individual approach with our swimmers, having different athletes race at different events. 

Margaret MacNeil secured three medals at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images
Margaret MacNeil secured three medals at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

"This will be a very experienced group, along with first-time team members going to the Games. 

"Thanks to the support of the Canadian Olympic Committee, we look forward to a fantastic Games environment on the pathway to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”

Iain McDonald will be the assistant team leader while Janice Hanan will be the team manager.

The head coach will be Scott Talbot, who is a two-time Olympian for New Zealand, while also serving roles for his country's national team and Australia as well.

The swimming events at Santiago 2023 will take place from October 21 to 25.