Boundary Swimmer Represents Canada at Commonwealth Games, plus Mural

Finished Mural

(Image provided by RDKB)

Christina Laker and former Grand Forks Piranha James Dergousoff debuted at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Budapest in June, but he isn't finished there.

Dergousoff represents Canada at England's Commonwealth Games starting today, July 28th, and hopes to reach the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. The Bounce Radio Newsroom caught up with Grand Forks Recreation Supervisor Melina Van Hoogevest for an update on the local swimming legend:

“So his best finish at the world championships held in June was a 23rd place finish in the men’s 200-metre breaststroke. He was also a member of the Canadian four-times 100-metre medley race that finished 11th at the World Championships in Hungary. So he will look to improve upon those results at the Commonwealth Games starting this week in Birmingham England…. The Commonwealth Games run from July 28th to August 8th.”

“James has swam under a minute in the 100-fly, 100-back and the 100-free. So his current best time in the 100-breast is one minute and eighty-eighth one-hundredth of a second. So if he goes under a minute he will be one of a handful of swimmers in the world that has ever gone under a minute in all four disciplines. Not even Michael Phelps has done that….” adds Hoogevest

While the 25-year old continues to represent Canada at world stages, a new mural back home serves to inspire local swimmers. Hoogevest thanks the RDKB and Dr. Mark Szynkaruk for funding the project, as well as artist Paul Archer for completing the piece in just five days:

“He mostly worked in the later afternoons and the evenings. It was pretty cool in the afternoons we had our swimming lessons running at the same time so it was pretty neat to see him creating this amazing mural of this amazing athlete that is a local community member, you know it’s just inspiring....”

“The pool has completely transformed into this brand new place. It’s awesome and to have somebody like Archer who has created over 80 murals in Grand Forks and has completely transformed our community and just made it such a hip place. You can go for walks through the downtown area and see all these incredible murals that all have their own stories….” she adds

The mural captures a moment from the trial heats in-which Dergousoff qualified for the World Championships at the 2022 Bell Canadian Swimming Trials.

Archer's past work includes six and a half years burning images of music icons into Hard Rock Café bar tops in the Caribbean. Archer's career has seen him turn down Disney twice and create stage backdrops for artists including Brittney Spears, Snoop Dog, Lady Gaga and Metallica.