SSHoF logoLaurie Wachs

Builder (2004)

Synchronized Swimming

Laurie WachsLaurie Wachs moved from the competitive side of synchronized swimming to coaching where she has coached medal winners at the Canadian championships, been honored as the 3M of Canada coaching award in development sport and hailed for innovative high performance programs.

Laurie was born in Saskatoon. She enjoyed her first competition in the provincial championships in April 1979, when she won the figure and solo champion class. She and Kim Grieves were duet partners during the 1980 season.

Laurie turned to coaching and one of her remarkable achievements came while coaching Liane Teplitsky and Lesley Wright in 1991 when the two became only Saskatchewan women ever to win a Canadian duet championship. Lesley became a member of the Canadian Olympic team at the 2002 Summer Olympics in Australia.

Laurie coached Saskatchewan teams at the Jeux Canada Winter Games on three occasions and this team, formed in 1999, placed fifth. Her team was fourth in 1991, Saskatchewan's best performance ever, and her team in 1995 finished fifth. Laurie also coached Sherry Vanin, another standout Saskatoon swimmer at the world aquatic championships in Perth, Australia.

In November, 2000, Laurie was honored with the 3M of Canada coaching award in developmental sport, female category, special among her awards which also include four coach of the year awards in Saskatchewan and two other 3M awards from Saskatchewan Synchro. During the same year, 2000, she was the key to a new Saskatchewan First and high performance-training program, which she initiated and developed, and Synchro Saskatchewan received the Synchro Canada Millennium award as a result.

Laurie also coached the Cargill sisters; Lindsay and Nicole, in the Saskatchewan First program and Nicole qualified for Canada at the 2004 Olympic Games. Her work at the grassroots level has always been foremost. Members of her Saskatoon Aqualenes celebrate their medals and trophies from the 2003 championships, fitting for Laurie because that's the club where she started when she was 11 years old and where she first coached when she was 16.

Her other pastime in athletics is marathon racing and she reached the finish line of the first marathon she ever ran, the 1996 Saskatoon Marathon.