Quinn Matteis Finds Open Water At Lake Morningstar

Lake Morningstar
Quinn Matteis, followed by his father in Chatham-Kent’s Lake Morningstar

Pools are closed, which has stopped many elite swimmers from training across Canada, but it hasn’t stopped Quinn Matteis thanks to the Lake Morningstar community.

Matteis, who specializes in long distance and open water competition, is training for the 2021 Junior Worlds.

“With no pool to train in, I had to look at alternative and creative ways to continue to train,” Matteis said of the closures that impacted pools across the Province due to COVID-19, including his home pool, the Chatham YMCA.

Prior to finding Lake Morningstar, Matteis also utilized Bluewater Pools infinity pool to begin swimming again, and was following dry land training routines provided by the Ontario Swim Academy, the same elite training facility used by Chatham’s Genevieve Sasseville.

It wasn’t until he connected with the Lake Morningstar community however, that Matteis was able to kick his training into high gear.

Quinn Matteis at Lake Morningstar

“As the weather began to warm up, I approached the Lake Morningstar community to ask if I could train in the lake. When I explained the situation that I was in, they were more than happy to let me train there.”

The feeling between the Lake Morningstar residents and Matteis was mutual.

“We’re proud to be able to support a local athlete, and understand the challenge he’s faced with while public pools are closed due to the pandemic,” said Leanne McNaughton, a member of the Lake Morningstar board.

“It’s the community’s pleasure to cheer him on as he trains here in Lake Morningstar.”

Thousands of competitive swimmers have been left on dry land, literally, across Ontario, so Matteis was very thankful for the opportunity to return to the water.

“I can’t say enough and how grateful I am for the support both Bluewater Pools and the gated community of Lake Morningstar during these unprecedented times.”

Matteis won gold in the 2km Ontario open water championships, and Provincial gold in the 400m, 800m, and 1500m freestyle events at the Ontario Swimming Championships, as well as a National Gold in the 400m freestyle at the Canadian Junior National Championships last year.

When competition returns, he wants to be ready for his long distance events.

“Lake Morningstar provides the ideal setting for this type of training. It is my hope that by the fall and start of the new swim season, our local YMCA is reopened so we can all get back in the pool. “

For now, instead of focusing on the obstacles that COVID-19 continues to present for amateur athletes, Matteis is focusing on the positive community support, and the opportunity to train.

“I am very fortunate to live in the community I do and have the support of so many locals.”

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