Victoria Poon happy to swim for Canada on the International stage.

Victoria Poon proud to be a Canadian Swimmer

Looking to end her career after the 2016 Olympics in Rio

Victoria Poon’s dedication as a Canadian was influenced by her mother’s move.

Poon, 30, was born in Hong Kong and moved to Canada with her parents and sister when she was 11 years old.

The family resides in Montreal because her mother, Wendy, wanted her girls to experience a new culture and new language.

“I came to Canada because my mom wanted to move and wanted me and my sister to have a different environment growing up,” said Poon, during a recent interview. “She wanted us to learn more besides just being Chinese, so we came to Canada to learn French.”

She previously represented Canada at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and says it never crossed her mind to represent China on the international stage.

“I started to swim well at the age of 20 and at the time I was in Canada for 10 years,” she said. There was not much of a decision between representing China or Canada because I consider myself Canadian.”

The Canadian swims out of the Club de Natation des Piscines du Parc Olympique in Montreal and is coached by Benoit Lebrun. She competes in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle and also on the 4 x 100m free relay team.

Most recently, Poon was in Toronto last week for the National Trials and failed to qualify for the Pan American Games, with a sixth place finish in the 50 and a fourth place finish in the 100.

That last result qualified her for the World Aquatic Championships in Russia this summer with a spot on the 4 x 100m relay team.

Poon enjoys the short race because of the technique aspect.

“My races are short, less than a minute and it’s really technical, I am a technical person,” she said. “I love to swim fast and be precise — every time I swim, I want to swim with a purpose.”

Chantal van Landeghem, one of Poon’s competitors, qualified for the Canadian team and will be at the Pan American Games. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native had a strong performance and finished first in the 50 and second in the 100.

She was very happy swimming at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre and is looking forward to compete against the world’s best.

“I loved the pool, it was so fast,” said van Landeghem, who finished with a time of 24.98 in the 50m. “I am super excited to swim here this summer for the Pan Am Games, its going to be an amazing meet.”

Poon knows her time in the pool is coming to an end, with competition being younger and faster. She plans on attempting to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil and fulfill a dream to compete in another Olympics.

“Age of 30 is pretty old in the swimming world and I think 2016 would be my last goal to compete in another Olympics”, said the two-time Olympian. “I would retire and move on and pursue something else in life.”

Follow Matthew Malandruccolo @mally_matt