Kylie Masse

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Kylie Masse
Kylie Masse CBC.jpg
Personal information
National teamCanada
Born (1996-01-18) January 18, 1996 (age 25)[1]
Windsor, Ontario,[2] Canada
Height172 cm (5 ft 8 in)[3][2]
Weight61 kg (134 lb)[3]
ClubWindsor Essex Swim Team Toronto Titans (ISL)
College teamUniversity of Toronto
CoachBen Titley

Kylie Jacqueline Masse (born January 18, 1996) is a Canadian competition swimmer who specializes in the backstroke.[3] She is a four-time Olympic medalist, having tied for the bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in 100 m backstroke and then won silver medals at the 2020 Summer Olympics in both the 100 m and 200 m backstroke and a bronze medal in the 4x100 m medley. Masse is the current world champion in the 100 m backstroke, breaking the eight year old world record in the process, which she held until July 2018. While winning her title in Budapest at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships she became the first Canadian woman to become a world champion in a swimming event.[4] She subsequently became the first Canadian woman to defend her world title at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships.[5] She is currently the captain for the Toronto Titans of the International Swimming League.

Masse won two gold medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the 100 m and 200 m backstroke, setting a games record in both events, and finished the games with a silver in the 50 m backstroke.[6] She is also the Canadian record holder in the 100 m back.[7] Masse won gold in the 100 m backstroke at the 2015 Summer Universiade and was the 2015-16 CIS swimmer of the year while swimming at the University of Toronto.[8]


Masse started swimming at a young age for the Windsor Essex Swim team and was coached by Andrei Semenov. She was then recruited to swim with the University of Toronto swim team where her performances earned her the award of the 2015-16 CIS swimmer of the year.

She competed for Canada's Olympic team at the 2016 Summer Olympics.[9] Masse was Canada's lead competitor in the 100 m backstroke at the games. She set and improved the national record in the 100 backstroke in both the heats and semi-finals. In the final she swam to a bronze medal tie with Fu Yuanhui while again bettering the national record, setting it at 58.76.[10]

2017 season[edit]

Canadian Swimming Championships[edit]

At the 2017 Canadian Swimming Championships she broke the Americas record in the 100 m backstroke in a time of 58.21, which was also the fastest time ever in a textile suit and the third-fastest time in history at that time.[11] Masse was assigned to compete at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest. There she broke a world record that had stood for eight years, en route to winning her first world championship title in 58.10 seconds.[4] With the title, she became the first Canadian woman to become a world champion and first Canadian to win a title since Brent Hayden.[4] An elated Masse said after the race that "I don't think it's really sunk in yet. I touched the wall, I looked back and I had to make sure I as looking at the right name and the right time. I was just super excited in the moment. After the Olympics I just gained a lot more confidence in myself and experience. I gained a lot from just doing that routine for a week, doing prelims, semis and finals. All that experience really helps and makes you feel more confident."[4]

World Championships[edit]

Masse followed up her world record by participating in the final of the mixed 4 × 100 m medley with the lead-off backstroke leg of the race. Yuri Kisil anchored the team in the final freestyle leg, pulling the team into a tie for bronze with the Chinese team.[12] She competed in the women's 200 m backstroke setting the Canadian record at 2:05.97 in the semis and qualifying for the final second overall, but was unable to duplicate her time and placed fifth at 2:07.04 ahead of teammate Hilary Caldwell.[13] Following the championships the town of LaSalle, Ontario dedicated an August 18 day to fest her accomplishments and celebrated with her and a town barbecue.[14]

2018 Commonwealth Games[edit]

Masse was named as part of Canada's team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.[15][16] She began her part of the competition in her preferred event, the 100 m. Masse set two Commonwealth Games records en route to the final. In the final she again set the record, just out-touching Emily Seebohm for the gold medal. After seeing she had won the event she told reports how she felt about the win and coming in to the event as the favourite, saying, "Relief, happiness. Just coming into another big meet with kind of a target on your back is something relatively new to me. So I’m still trying to kind of focus on my stroke and what I can control and not worry too much about outside pressures or anything like that."[17] Masse followed up her victory in the 100 m back with a gold in the 200 m backstroke the next day. She again set a Commonwealth Games record, finishing ahead of 17 year old teammate Taylor Ruck.[18] Masse ended her games with a silver medal and a Canadian record in the 50 m backstroke and another silver medal in 4 × 100 m medley relay event.

2019 World Championships[edit]

At the 2019 World Aquatics Championships Masse entered the competition to defend her title in the 100 m backstroke. In the final she found in herself in fourth place through the first 50 m but passed Minna Atherton on her way to her second consecutive world title in the 100.[19] With the victory Masse became the first Canadian swimmer to defend a world title and only the second to win two golds at the event.[19] She then competed in the 200 m backstroke where she finished in third place. Masse concluded her world championships with a third medal when she won bronze as part of the 4x100 medley relay and her fifth medal over her career at the event. Her three individual medals at worlds in total equaled the number achieved by fellow Canadian Sydney Pickrem and her five world medals in total now tied Penny Oleksiak.[20][21]

2019–20 International Swimming League[edit]

On March 18, 2020, Masse was signed to the Toronto Titans of the International Swimming League as the team captain.[22] This was to be Masse's first time in the ISL. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic upended the planned swimming calendar, including delaying the 2020 Summer Olympics by a year. With training facilities closed in Canada starting in March, Masse was unable to train in a competitive environment for several months, resorting to out-of-water training at home and making use of her parents' pool. In June, she opted to leave the University of Toronto's swimming program to join the Canadian national team, as its facility was reopening.[23]

After seven months away from competition, Masse traveled to Budapest to join the ISL. October 25, 2020, in her ISL debut during Match 3, she finished 8th in the match MVP standings with 30.5 points. She won the 100m backstroke with a time of 56.38 seconds.[24] On November 1, 2020, during Match 6 of the ISL, Masse won the 50m backstroke and helped her team win the 4x100 medley relay. As a result for the medley win, her team got to pick which skin they wanted to race in. On November 2, Masse won the 100m backstroke, and the skin for the 50m backstroke. [25] On November 5, 2020, during Match 7, Masse won the 50m backstroke again.[26]

2020 Tokyo Olympics[edit]

Despite having already been named to the Canadian Olympic team, Masse competed at the national swimming trials, going below the 58-second mark for the first time to win the 100 m backstroke event with a time of 57.70 seconds. Competing first in the 100 m backstroke event, Masse was identified as one of the three medal favourites, alongside Australia's Kaylee McKeown and American Regan Smith. Masse set an Olympic record in her first heat, which was broken minutes later by McKeown, and then in turn by Smith. Masse won her semi-final over McKeown, while Smith won the other with a fourth Olympic record.[23] In the event final, she came second behind McKeown, taking the silver medal in 57.72 seconds.[27]

Masse's second event was the 200 m backstroke, which she had not contested at the Rio Olympics. She was again cited as one of the medal favourites, alongside McKeown and American Rhyan White, and placed second behind McKeown in both the heats and the semifinals, tying with White in the latter.[28] In the final, Masse lead McKeown through the first three lengths of the race, ultimately being overtaken in the final stretch, and won her second silver medal of the Games. In the process she set a new national record.[29]

For her final event, Masse was again the backstroke leg of Canada's team in the 4×100 m medley relay, facing off again against McKeown and Smith. Masse won her segment of the competition with a 57.90 time, while the Canadians took the bronze medal, Masse's fourth.[30]

Personal bests[edit]

Long course (50 m pool)[edit]

Event Time[3] Venue Date Notes
50 m backstroke 27.64 World Championships, Budapest 26 July 2017 NR
100 m backstroke 57.70 2020 Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials 19 June 2021 NR
200 m backstroke 2:05.42 2020 Summer Olympics, Tokyo 31 July 2021 NR

Short course (25 m pool)[edit]

Event Time[3] Venue Date Notes
50 m backstroke 26.15 Varsity Pool, Toronto 22 February 2018 NR
100 m backstroke 56.02 WFCU Centre, Windsor 6 December 2016 NR

International Swimming League (25 m pool)[edit]

Event Time[3] Venue Date
50 m backstroke 26.19 Danube Arena 2 November 2020
100 m backstroke 56.06 Danube Arena 6 November 2020
200 m backstroke 2:01.76 Danube Arena 5 November 2020

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ Lohn, John (April 7, 2016). "Kylie Masse Drops Canadian Mark in 100 Back (59.06); USA's Ryan Murphy Pops 52.57". Swimvortex. Archived from the original on August 12, 2016. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Kylie Masse COC profile". Canadian Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Kylie Masse". Swim Canada. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d "Canada's Kylie Masse breaks world record in historic performance". CBC Sports. July 25, 2017.
  5. ^ "Champion again: Kylie Masse repeats as 100m backstroke gold medallist at swimming worlds". CBC Sports. July 23, 2019.
  6. ^ "Official Results 2018 Commonwealth Games Women's 100m Backstroke Final". April 7, 2018.
  7. ^ Gregory Strong (April 6, 2016). "Canadian swimming trials: Kylie Masse breaks 2 national marks, qualifies for Rio". CBC Sports.
  8. ^ Paula Nichols (April 7, 2016). "Masse sets national record as five more swimmers qualify for Rio 2016". Canadian Olympic Committee.
  9. ^ "Olympic Team Nominated for Rio 2016". Swimming Canada. Swimming Canada. 10 April 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Swimmer Kylie Masse wins Canada's 4th medal in Rio". CBC Sports. August 10, 2016.
  11. ^ Sutherland, James (April 6, 2017). "Kylie Masse Posts Fastest Textile, 3rd Fastest Ever 100 BK In 58.21". Swim Swam. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  12. ^ "World record-breaking swimmer Masse adds bronze in mixed relay". CBC Sports. July 26, 2017.
  13. ^ "Canadian mixed relay team swims to bronze at aquatics worlds". CBC Sports. July 29, 2017.
  14. ^ "Town of LaSalle dedicates special day to Olympic swimmer Kylie Masse". CBC Sports. August 19, 2017.
  15. ^ "Swimming Canada Nominates 26 Athletes to Canada's 2018 Commonwealth Games Team". Swimming Canada. 26 September 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  16. ^ "Oleksiak, Masse headline Canadian swim team for Commonwealth Games". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). 26 September 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  17. ^ "Kylie Masse maintains domination of backstroke with gold at Commonwealth Games". National Post. April 7, 2018.
  18. ^ "Kylie Masse, Taylor Ruck headline huge day for Canada at Commonwealth Games". CBC Sports. April 8, 2018.
  19. ^ a b Doug Harrison (July 23, 2019). "Champion again: Kylie Masse repeats as 100m backstroke gold medallist at swimming worlds". CBC Sports. Retrieved 2021-07-31.
  20. ^ "Kylie Masse rewrites Canadian record books with bronze in 200m backstroke". CBC Sports. July 27, 2019. Retrieved 2021-07-31.
  21. ^ Agnes Wong (July 28, 2019). "Canada wraps up FINA Worlds with bronze in women's 4x100m medley". Canadian Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2021-07-31.
  23. ^ a b Grant Robertson (July 25, 2021). "Tokyo Olympics: Kylie Masse prepares to compete for gold in women's backstroke final". Globe & Mail.
  24. ^ "ISL Match 3 Results" (PDF). ISL. October 25, 2020.
  25. ^ "ISL Match 6 Results" (PDF). ISL. November 2, 2020.
  26. ^ "ISL Match 7 Results" (PDF). ISL. November 6, 2020.
  27. ^ Jamie Strashin (July 26, 2021). "Canada's Kylie Masse surges to silver in Olympic 100m backstroke". CBC Sports.
  28. ^ Doug Harrison (July 29, 2021). "Masse, Ruck qualify for 200m backstroke semis after battling Aussie star McKeown". CBC Sports.
  29. ^ Jamie Strashin (July 30, 2021). "Canada's Kylie Masse wins silver in women's 200m backstroke". CBC Sports.
  30. ^ Devin Heroux (July 31, 2021). "Oleksiak earns historic medal No. 7 as Canadian women win bronze in 4x100m medley relay". CBC Sports.
  31. ^ "24th Annual BLG Awards: Toronto's Masse, Calgary's Buckley named CIS athletes of the year". 2016-03-02. Retrieved 2021-07-12.
  32. ^ Braden Keith (2017-04-01). "KYLIE MASSE NAMED UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO ATHLETE OF THE YEAR". Retrieved 2021-07-12.
  33. ^ "February 2018 — Kylie Masse". 2018-04-02. Retrieved 2021-07-12.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Gemma Spofforth
Women's 100 metre backstroke
world record holder (long course)

25 July 2017 – 28 July 2018
Succeeded by
Kathleen Baker