Pamela Rai

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Pamela Rai
Personal information
Full name Pamela Leila Rai
Nickname(s) "Pam"
National team Canada
Born (1966-03-29) March 29, 1966 (age 51)
New Westminster, British Columbia
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Weight 57 kg (126 lb)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle
Club Hyack Swim Club
College team University of Victoria

Pamela Leila Rai (born March 29, 1966, in New Westminster, BC, Canada) is a former freestyle and butterfly swimmer who represented Canada from 1980 to 1987. Rai competed at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California where she won an Olympic bronze medal in the 4 × 100-metre medley relay, with teammates Anne Ottenbrite, Reema Abdo and Michelle MacPherson. Rai successfully represented Canada at many international meets throughout her career. Other notable accomplishments include University of Victoria Athlete of the Year 1986, City of Victoria Athlete of the Year 1985, 1983 Hapoel Games silver, 1983 Pan American Games silver, and 1986 Commonwealth Games gold medals. From 1984 to 1987 Rai swam for the University of Victoria, where she dominated Canadian university women's swimming. She graduated with a degree in Sociology and went on to attain a degree in Education from the University of British Columbia. She is currently a high school math and social justice teacher. Rai is also a certified yoga instructor trained in India of the Sivananda lineage. Rai owns and operates Silent Motion Yoga in Nanaimo, British Columbia. She is an honored inductee to the BC Sports Hall of Fame, the Swim BC Hall of Fame, the University of Victoria Sports Hall of Fame and the Delta Sports Hall of Fame. Rai is the first woman in the world of Indian ancestry, and the first Indo-Canadian to win an Olympic medal. In 1964, Rai's father, Harinder Jit Singh Rai was the first Indo-Canadian to qualify for an Olympic Games (field hockey). His stellar skills led him to score the only goal at the qualifying match enabling Canada's field hockey team entry to the Olympic games for the first time. Just prior to the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, he was removed from the team by officials who favoured an all-white contingent. Rai dedicated her 1984 Olympic success to her father who died from leukemia 3 months prior to her competing in the games.

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