Winning and Wikipedia

Kelsey Wog talks training, success and her online presence

Kelsey Wog during her multiple gold medal winning performance at nationals in Vancouver. (Rich Lam/UBC Athletics Photo)

Someone might need to update Kelsey Wog’s Wikipedia page very soon.

With four more gold medals at the U Sports national swimming championships, the Winnipeg-born swimmer continues to cement herself as one of the U of M’s most storied athletes.

Now Wog is turning her attention to the biggest stage in her sport: the Olympics.

“It’s honestly all dependent on how trials goes,” she said.

“You have to be on that day and you have to finish top two in your event and under the FINA A standard.”

The A standard is a time set by the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) for each event athletes must finish under to qualify for the Olympics.

If Wog wants to qualify for her specialty — the 200 metre breaststroke — she must finish faster than 2:25.52 at the upcoming Canadian swimming trials.

She certainly has the pedigree to make the team, after competing for Canada at the Pan-Pacific Championships in 2018.

“We were in Japan and we did the exact same staging camp and rehearsal for what they’re going to do for the Olympics in 2020,” Wog said.

“It was a good prep and yeah, for sure, I really want to make the Olympics in 2020.”

If she makes the Olympic team, Wog would join the upper pantheon of Bisons greats. Women’s hockey’s Venla Hovi was a two-time bronze medalist with Finland during her time with Manitoba, and Desiree Scott won two bronze medals for Canada in women’s soccer.

“It’s now a dream of mine to do that and go to the Olympics,” Wog said.

While Wog has been a consistent winner in her three years as a Bison, the improvement over the past year shows strong growth for the swimmer.

At last year’s national championship in Toronto, Wog won three gold medals and one silver medal, turning this result into four gold medals and a U Sports record just a year later.

This improvement she credits to a more intense training regimen.

“We do a lot of drills, a lot of race-pace work and just a lot of volume,” Wog said.

“So I swim two hours every day and I do one to one and a half hours of dryland or weights every day.”

Wog has also been seeing a sports psychologist to help her manage stress levels and remain calm during competition.

It is “more about being composed when racing and being able to be confident and know that you can do it,” she said.

Whatever happens in the next few months, as Wog chases a spot in the 2020 Olympic Games, she has the interesting distinction of being one of the few Bisons to have a Wikipedia page.

“I think it has something to do with that I went to FINA World Short Course Championships,” Wog said.

“They have a Wikipedia page of all the results and I guess I made the results page and then it’s like a link. I think that’s how it got created.”

“My brother told me a couple years ago,” Wog said.

“He was like ‘You’ve got a Wikipedia page, you’re so cool.’”