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Lori Melien


  • Inducted in 2005
  • Athlete

Lori was born in Calgary, Alberta before moving to Ontario as an infant and eventually settling in Whitby. She is a graduate of Anderson Collegiate and the University of Calgary.

She began her outstanding swimming career at the age of 9 and quickly established herself as a force, both within her age groups and at the National level, winning multiple championships and establishing several provincial and national records which still stand today.

Provincially, Lori broke records in 3 different age categories. She set new standards in 50-metre, 100-metre and 200-metre Freestyle short course events and the 100-metre Freestyle long course for the 11-12 year-old group. In the 13-14 year age bracket, Lori broke short course records in the 50-metre Freestyle and the 100-metre Backstroke, as well as the 100-metre Backstroke in long course. Her times in the 200-metre Backstroke became benchmarks for the 15-16 year age group.

In 1982, at age 10, she qualified for her first Youth Nationals. Two years later, she swam with the Youth National Tour Team in Scotland. At the Youth National Championships in 1986, while still only 13, Lori won 3 individual championships in 3 different strokes. Lori was 11 when she swam at her first Senior Nationals in 1983.

She competed at the Olympic Trials in 1984, 1988, and 1992 and, through to her final Senior Nationals in 1994, Lori would win many Individual National Championships – no fewer than 11 from 1987 through 1990 while still in her mid-teens.

Lori’s first international experience as a senior national swimmer came as a member of a Tour Team that swam at 3 European Meets in 1985. The same year, she placed 5th in the 4 x 100-metre Freestyle Relay at the Pan Pacific Games in Tokyo, a result that she duplicated at the 1986 World Championships in Madrid. Lori won silver in the 100-metre Medley Relay at the 1987 Pan Pacific games in Brisbane, earned her Olympic Bronze Medal at the 1988 Games in Seoul in the 4×100-metre Medley Relay. She repeated this result 2 years later at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in New Zealand.

While attending the University of Calgary from 1992 to 1997, Lori continued her success both in and out of the pool. At the University Games in Buffalo, NY, she captured a silver medal in the 4 x 100-metre Freestyle Relay. During her 5 years with the Calgary Dinos, she was team captain for 4 years and a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council for 3 years. She received the Women’s Dinosaur Athletic Award of Merit 3 times and, in 1993, was named Female Scholar Athlete of the Year.

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