Paris Olympics Toronto athlete guide: Artistic swimmer Scarlett Finn

At the end of the month, Scarlett Finn will be in Paris, swimming in an Olympic pool, ready to compete for gold with her team. But the 22-year-old’s path to her first Olympics started in a very different swimming pool — one in her home city of Toronto, where her mom held her at three months old while she kicked.

“I started to really love swimming underwater when I was about two years old. My mom said I never really used floaties,” she says. “And she would have to pull me out of the water because I wasn’t coming up for air enough.”

So it’s perhaps no surprise that, at nine years old, Finn made the jump from racing to artistic swimming, a synchronized form of swimming that requires athletes to put together complex figures almost entirely underwater. “I’ve always felt that working toward something and achieving it as a group is always more rewarding than doing something alone,” Finn says of the team aspect of the sport. 

Hometown: Toronto

Sport: Artistic swimming

Career highlights: Finn helped Canada win the team bronze medal at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. She won team bronze with Team Ontario at the Canada Games in 2019. She also competed at the World Aquatic Championships in 2022, 2023 and 2024 (where she helped Canada qualify for a full team for the Paris Olympics. 

Olympic Event Date: Team Technical Routine, Aug. 5, Team Acrobatic Routine, Aug. 7

Social feeds: Instagram

Fast facts

High school: Havergal College

Top T.O. memory: Going to the CNE

Fave place in the city: Evergreen Brick Works

Fave local athlete: Summer McIntosh

Now, she and the rest of the artistic swimming team, a group of seven women, including fellow Ontarian Claire Scheffel, will work toward the ultimate reward — a potential medal at the Olympics. They’ve had plenty of success so far this year, snagging one gold, five silver and one bronze medal at the Markham World Cup and a silver and two bronze medals at the Paris World Cup. 

But it’s not been without its challenges. Finn shares that the place they’ve been centralized at for training the past few years, the Montreal Olympic Stadium, had to close due to a fire, forcing the team to adapt to new training environments. 

“But we’re a very united team. We’re still taking big steps every day at practice and every competition leading up to the games. We actually just recently achieved the highest difficulty score on all three team routines for the Olympics,” she says. 

Finn says it was watching the 2010 Vancouver Olympics at eight years old that inspired her to really pursue this path in swimming. “It was this incredible feeling all over the country when we were hosting, and I just knew I wanted to go to the Olympics,” she says.

It’s been with support all around her that she’s been able to get there, especially during her time at Havergal College: “I was always missing exams at the end of the year for national competitions, and they always let me write my exams whenever I was back at school,” she says. 

“It’s so important to have a good support system around you,” Finn says of getting this far in the sport. “It’ll help keep everything balanced in life.” 

We’ll be profiling more athletes ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics; refer here for future coverage

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO