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Spotlight on author Vallery Hyduk

October 4th, 2011 by Carrie Gleason

Writing a book about a teenage swimmer came naturally for first-time author Vallery Hyduk.

Vallery Hyduk image

Vallery Hyduk knows a thing or two about swimming. For twelve years Vallery swam competitively, practicing some 30 hours a week year-round — that’s pushing twenty thousand hours of training in her lifetime! She spent nine of the twelve years competing at the national level and always ranking in the top 10 in the country. At the age of 16, Vallery narrowly missed making the 1988 Canadian Olympic Team. Her performance earned her a 16th place world ranking. 

Upon graduating high school, Vallery was considered the ‘number two most sought after breaststroke recruit’ by American universities. She accepted an athletic scholarship offered at the University of Michigan. Their varsity team was Big Ten Champions for the whole four years of Vallery’s tenure. Scoring well both athletically and academically in college, Vallery earned the title of All-American – though she actually is Canadian.

Today, Vallery no longer swims, but she has brought some of her experience training at the top level of her sport to her first novel, Swim to Win. Like Vallery, the book's main character, Lasha, has the skill to be one of the best swimmers in the country. Vallery draws from her firsthand knowledge of the dedication, hard work, and sacrifice it takes to be the best to realistically portray her character's struggles.

Today, Vallery is co-owner of a Canadian television production company. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two young children.


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