Bailey Andison Honored to be Part of Canada’s Stellar Olympic Team For Tokyo

Bailey Andison
Photo Courtesy: MIKE LEWIS/ISL

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Bailey Andison Honored to be Part of Canada’s Stellar Olympic Team For Tokyo

As an 18-year-old at the Olympic Trials in 2016, Canadian Bailey Andison finished sixth in the 400 individual medley and ninth in the 200 IM. Having just finished her freshman year at the University of Denver in the United States, Andison was rapidly improving in the American college system under coach Brian Schrader.

In her sophomore season, Andison broke out in yards to reach the A-Final of the 400 IM at the 2017 NCAAs, and qualified to represent Canada for the first time in senior waters at the World University Games in Taiwan. There, she made the semifinals of the 200 IM, placing 10th, and she was 14th in the heats of the 400 IM.

Andison was quickly becoming one of the top IMers in Canada, and as she got to the end of her junior year at Denver, postgrad swimming was in the forefront of her mind. Andison was due to graduate in 2019, and she felt she needed to train with a group of like-minded postgrads, something Denver did not possess. With less than two years until the original Olympic Trials, Andison transferred to Indiana for her senior year.


Bailey Andison in her first year at Denver. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

“A big part of my decision to transfer to IU was to pursue an Olympic dream,” Bailey Andison said. “Denver, as a program, built me. I was not fast enough to be recruited by Indiana out of high school, so my first three years, with the help at the University of Denver, I was able to get to a place in my athletic career where I could be at Indiana and have a place on that team. I owe a lot of thank you to my former program.”

Pursuing a Dream

Getting to Indiana in 2018 was a catalyst, as Andison put it, in her Olympic action plan. In her senior year with the Hoosiers, Andison won the Big Ten title in the 400 IM and scored a lifetime best in the 200 IM, en route to helping Indiana capture its first women’s Big Ten title in eight years. That year, she finished third in the 200 IM at Canada’s World Trials, but secured her spot on the team for the Pan American Games, where she picked up her first international medal – a bronze in the 200 IM.

With Andison hitting the right strides in her career, this year she was able to break 2:10 for the first time in the 200 IM at Speedo Sectionals in Indianapolis. Even though she finished third at the Canadian Olympic Trials at 2:10.48, her 2:09.9 from March was still faster than what Kelsey Wog swam in the Trials final (2:10.21). As a result, she was named to Canada’s Olympic team, while Wog qualified to race the 100 and 200 breast in Tokyo.

“When I got to IU, I knew it was going to be difficult and it was going to take a lot of hard work,” Andison said. “Even if I put in all the hard work and did everything right, (a spot on the Olympic team) was still going to be up in the air. Nothing was ever 100% sure so getting to this point and having put in all the work and have it work out has been really great and I definitely would attest a lot of that to transfer.”

Bailey Andison also attributed her Olympic spot to an extra year of preparation because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This past year has been a rollercoaster and honestly if the Trials had happened in 2020 when they were supposed to, then I wouldn’t have made the team,” Andison said. “I wasn’t mentally prepared. Physically, my body was ready but I think I was just questioning myself too much and this year has given me an opportunity to mature and grow as an athlete. With the help of my coaches and my teammates at IU, I got to the place I needed to for the Trials. I am really excited to go to Tokyo. I think I have a lot more in me than what I did at Trials.”

Surrounded by Excellence

Bailey Andison

Bailey Andison racing for the DC Trident in the ISL; Photo Courtesy: MIKE LEWIS / ISL

Andison is a part of an Indiana group sending a multitude of athletes to the Olympic Game, including Zach Apple, Michael BrinegarLilly KingAnnie Lazor and Blake Pieroni for the United States, Tomer Frankel for Israel, Marwan El Kamash for Egypt, and Vini Lanza for Brazil. It is this level of excellence that has allowed Andison to get to that next level in her career.

“A huge asset that Indiana has that unfortunately Denver didn’t have was a postgrad group that was pursuing athletic careers as their main focus,” Andison said. “The University of Denver was really great for my undergrad experience but when I got to Indiana there was a heightened training environment because there were already Olympians and professionals there who were solely there for the swimming experience. Having those people to push me and also have that Olympic mindset around me is what helped me get to this point that I got to (at Trials).”

Swimming Canada is sending, perhaps, its strongest women’s team to the Olympics in quite some time. In Rio five years ago, the Canadian women won six medals, including Penny Oleksiak’s 100 free gold medal, the country’s first in swimming since 1992, as well as two bronze medals in relays, which the country had not done on the women’s side since 1988. Looking ahead to this year, Canada has gold medal contenders Maggie MacNeilKylie MassePenny Oleksiak and Sydney Pickrem on their team, as well as rising star Summer McIntosh.

Andison is used to being in an environment where excellence is an expectation, and is ready to rep the red and white come Tokyo.

“I’m really excited and I feel honored to be a part of this team,” Andison said. “To just be competing with these girls – I think our Trials showed how strong we are. My time in the 200 IM was around two seconds under the A cut and I still was third. I think that shows how strong we are and how competitive we are going to be heading into these summer Games. I am really excited for what we can do as a group.”

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George Hanna
George Hanna
2 years ago

Congratulations Bailey on your swim today.We were all rooting for you.All the best. Hanna/Andison family

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