LaSalle, Ont. swimmer Kylie Masse scores second silver medal

It was another big night in the pool for LaSalle’s Kylie Masse.

The 25-year-old swimmer collected her second silver medal of the Olympics Friday night, getting edged out by Australian Kaylee McKeown with a new national record of two minutes 5.42 seconds.

“We’re excited for her. It’s really pretty unbelievable,” Kylie’s mother Cindy tells CTV News. “I’m not sure we can really process it.”

Fresh off a silver medal in the 100 metre backstroke earlier in the week, Masse made a strong run for gold Friday night, jumping out to an early lead.

“She started so fast. She put out everything that she had and a little more,” says her former coach at the Windsor-Essex Swim Team, Andrei Semenov.

Masse held that lead nearly the whole race, hanging on for all but the final few metres.

“She held it together really well and coming down that last 50 metres I had to get out of my seat, you know, I couldn’t sit still,” says former WEST teammate, Andrew Binder.

“She wanted it so badly,” says Semenov, who coached Kylie for a decade before she went to school at the University of Toronto.

Semenov says in his 42-year coaching career, Masse is the most coachable swimmer he’s ever worked with — and she deserves the accolades.

“Not too many people in the world have two silver medals from the Olympic Games,” he says.

It’s the fifth medal from Canada’s women in the pool this Olympics.

“We’re really excited and pleased to see everyone doing so well,” Cindy Masse says. “So it’s just really nice to see everyone have such a good meet, especially after the kind of year they’ve had.”

Masse didn’t even qualify for the 200 backstroke in Rio in 2016, but teammates say she put in the time at the pool, consistent training that paid off.

“And now to come back five years later and a very unique situation with COVID and the Olympic Games and win two silver medals, to improve on her placement on her best event, is amazing,” says Binder.

He hopes the three-time medalist will give it another shot in Paris in 2024.

“That Olympic gold medal is still the one thing not on the resume,” says Binder. “It’s only three more years until Paris, so it’ll be interesting to see what she does in the future.”