Olympian Rachel Nicol was in town yesterday to mentor members of the Cochrane Piranhas in preparation for their season ahead.

Nicol shared her experience and insights as well as her swimming journey that landed her on the Canadian National Swim Team. In-pool instruction followed to provide valuable training and skill-building opportunities.

NicolRachel Nichol with some of the Piranhas she mentored yesterday. She brought along her many medals she earned while representing the nation, and is wearing one of the gold medals she won at the Pan American Games in 2023.

"It's really nice to come here to kind of ignite a little bit of flames, some passion, some motivation. I hope to offer that to them as well as some technical skills and some teachings in life that they can carry with them as well," said Nicols.

Nicol competed in the 2016 Olympic Games and was a two-time finalist. She competed and earned medals in the 2016 and 2022 FINA World Championships. At the 2023 Pan American Games, she brought home two gold medals.

It's the second year the club has recruited a national swim team member to visit the club through the organization Head to Head. Since inception in 2016, Head to Head has connected more than 45 Olympians with over 19,000 youth across Canada through over 300 mentorship sessions.

READ MORE: WATCH: Olympian Yuri Kisil mentors Piranhas swimmers

"It's awesome," says Piranhas club president Ryan Holly. "It gets the kids motivated and excited to get in the pool and work on their skills."

The club began training about a week and a half ago and their first meet is in Didsbury soon. Their home meet is on July 6. 

"It's a busy summer, so it's a lot of dedication, but the kids are there at every meet ready to go. Every week we're pretty much swimming somewhere different."