Athlete Profile: Amanda Gutzke

Amanda started swimming lessons when she was 3 months old, and competitive swimming at 7 years old. At that time, her mom gave her an ultimatum: swim competitively or figure skate competitively. Afraid of getting injured through skating, Amanda decided to swim. Now, she’s a decorated swimmer, part of both WCI’s swim team and the Region of Waterloo Swim Club (ROW).

Amanda has been swimming for over 8 years now. She loves using swimming as a competitive outlet. Amanda prefers individual events, like the 100m butterfly (also known as ‘fly’), because it’s all on her. While she also swims relay, she likes being able to depend on just herself to get the win.

Swimming is a major commitment, clocking in at over 10 practices a week when you factor in both club and school. Somedays, back to back practices will keep Amanda in the water for up to 3 hours. Amanda luckily has her family to support her, always making sure she’s awake for her morning practices and meets, ready to drive her, and willing to take her to training camps.

In her many years of swimming, Amanda has racked up a ton of awards. From ROW, Amanda received Female Athlete of the Year twice, as well as the Award of Achievement and Award of Merit. At WCI, Amanda was awarded the PRA in grade nine for the swim team, as well as the WCSSAA PRA. She’s excelled at all levels of high school swimming, from WCSSAA to CWOSSA to OFSAA. This year, she did amazingly at WCSSAA and both her events, 100m fly and girls relay, qualified for CWOSSA.

But swimming is not all medals and awards. From grade six to grade nine, Amanda suffered from a problem in her rotator cuff (shoulder). Because of this, she could no longer swim fly, her favourite event, and her general development was stunted. Amanda started swimming fly again last year and clearly made up for lost time.

When she’s not in the pool or in class, which isn’t often, Amanda loves to read, watch YouTube videos, and volunteer as much as she can. As much as she loves swimming, she admits that it’s challenging to make a sport your career. To keep swimming a part of her life, Amanda would love to teach kids how to swim and possibly coach at the high school level.