Living the Olympic dream

- January 26, 2005

Kiera Aitken
Introducing computer science student, and varsity swimmer, Kiera Aitken.

Ever since she was a little girl, Kiera Aitken has dreamed about swimming at the Olympics, and this past summer, her wish became reality. For the past year, a grueling practice schedule, combining land, water and mental skill preparation that would have her ready for the Olympic Games in Athens, was Aitken's world. Even with all this preparation, the experience of Kiera's first Olympics was greater than she could have ever imagined.

A native of Devonshire, Bermuda, Kiera dove into the sport when she was seven and began training with the local swim club. International travel and the team atmosphere attracted the young swimmer to the world of competitive swimming and has lead to her successful career that has included 2002 Commonwealth Games and this year's Olympic Games.

This fourth year Tiger and last season's MVP is leading the this year's Tigers Êand is looking to defend her AUS titles in the 50 and 100 backstrokes as well as her CIS finals swims in those events. She has proven herself to be a strong competitor and relishes on the support she receives from being part of such a large team.

Out of the pool, Aitken is completing her computer science degree and hopes to graduate this coming September. Still contemplating her future, Aitken is interested in pursuing her masters in Computer Science but is focusing on finishing out this year before added anything else on her plate.

Aitken Êwas drawn to Dalhousie for its highly recognizable computer science program and of course, the varsity program. "In Bermuda, Dalhousie is very well known," says Aitken, "It has great programs and is close (in proximity). I head about the swimming program through a Dalhousie swim team member that was from home." Aitken's sister Ashley is also attending Dal, in her second year with the Kinesiology program, and is also hitting the waves for the tigers.

With her own cheering section including her mom, grandmother, friend and sister, Aitken Ênot only set a new personal record but set a new record for Bermuda. It was a surreal experience, the atmosphere "was like nothing I've ever experienced before, it was very exciting. To be surrounded by the best athletes in the world is really inspiring and the excitement of the village is contagious." Watch this Tiger as she continues to heat up the pool during her final year at Dal and works towards her next dream - the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2008 Olympic Games. For a complete list of upcoming events and results go to


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