A P.E.I. swimming official is set to receive her second Sport PEI award in recognition of her officiating work in major competitions over the last year.
Marguerite Middleton is one of 10 officials from Canada that worked at international events in 2016, including Olympic trials and world championships.
She is receiving the Official of the Year award for her work in swimming, a sport she became involved with 20 years ago.
“My children started in swim and obviously like any other parent you get involved when they start swimming and you keep going.”
Middleton said she worked through her levels as an official, adding she stuck with it because of her work at the Canada Games when it was held on the Island in 2009.
“There are various levels, lots of levels and it takes a long time to be a senior official in Canada.”
After working her way up to the top levels, Middleton can now officiate at international events.
“That’s where you get to see the really cool stuff, that’s where you get to officiate the Olympians and that’s pretty cool.”
Middleton told Matt Rainnie of CBC’s Island Morning she had officiated Canada’s Olympic hopefuls before August’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro where she was a starter. In that role, she makes sure the swimmers are all set and gives the starting beep to get them in the water.
“This year I also did FINA in Windsor in December, which is the first time that championship meet has been in Canada,” she said. “It was awesome – I was one of two starters for the entire week.”
At the event, Middleton started all the women’s races.
“So it’s 12 sessions, mornings and evenings, six days straight. But it was incredible.”
When asked about officiating an event in which Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, was competing, Middleton admits she was nervous.
“You sure don’t want to mess up his start,” she laughed. “When they get up on the blocks, as a starter you usually don’t know who they are but at the larger events they all get introduced. Then the pressure is really on because you know who is on the blocks.”