Jennifer Button is one of Canada's hottest swimmers and fastest rising
stars this year. She won three gold medals at spring nationals and twice
broke the Canadian 200 butterfly short course record to place first in the
event's standings on the World Cup.
When she eclipsed the mark for the first time in career this past February
in Sheffield, England it was a turning point in her career. She beat her
previous best by a whopping three seconds.
"I'm really surprised," recalled Button, 22, who wasn't even tapered and
rested for that meet. "When I touched the wall and looked at the time I
just thought 'Oh my God,' It was the most satisfying race of my career.
It was a personal victory and capped something I've been working on a long time."
Now she's hoping those times translate into more success in the long course
pool. At the Olympic trials she certainly swam fast enough to make the
Olympic team in the 100 and 200 butterfly and the 4X200 freestyle and 4X100
medley relays. When she qualified in the 200 fly, she received a giant
bear hug from her brother Shawn, a former national team swimmer. Both just
missed making the team in 1996. Shawn however didn't receive a second
chance when an injury put an end to his career. "It meant something to both
of us when I made the Olympic team," she said. "He was there to support
me. We did it together."
Button took the year off from her studies at the University of Toronto and
returned to her home training ground in Waterloo. It proved to be a
brilliant decision as her success continues in 2000.
Women's 400-metre medley relay: Kelly Stefanyshyn, Winnipeg; Christin Petelski, Victoria; Jen Button, Waterloo, Ont., and Marianne Limpert, Fredericton, placed sixth in final.
Women's 400-metre individual medley: Michelle Lischinsky, Winnipeg; Christin Petelski, Victoria; Jen Button, Waterloo, Ont., and Laura Nicholls, Waterloo, finished fourth in heat, advanced to final.
Women's 200-metre butterfly: Jen Button, Waterloo, Ont., was sixth in heat, eliminated
Jen Button, Waterloo, finished second in heat, eliminated
Jen Button & Shannon Shakespeare laugh
2000 Games Swimming Coverage