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Debbie Muir

Synchronized Swimming Builder - Inducted 1994

Debbie Muir began her coaching career with the Calgary Aquabelles in 1973 as an assistant coach. Within two years, she became the head coach. Her coaching abilities propelled her synchronized swimmers to the top of their careers. She guided the Aquabelles to a gold medal at the 1976 Canadian Synchronized Swimming Championships. Under her reign, the Aquabelles became the most successful synchro swim club in Canada sweeping national competitions in team, duet, and solo categories. Leading Helen Vanderburg and Michelle Calkins to claim Canada's first gold medals at the 1978 World Aquatic Championships in solo and duet, her synchro swimmers repeated World Championship placements in 1982, 1986, and 1991. Debbie Muir was exalted when Carolyn Waldo won her second consecutive 1988 Olympic gold medal for the solo event and Carolyn Waldo and Michelle Cameron emerged from the pool with a gold medal in duet.

After Induction

Debbie has been inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the International Swimming Hall of Fame.  She coached the Australian National Synchronized Swimming team heading into and at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.  She worked behind the scenes with Road to Excellence, the Canadian Olympic Committee and Sport Canada, and reviewed and evaluated numerous national sport organizations including, Cycling, Swimming, Triathlon, and Athletics Canada.  She was a member of Own the Podium for Vancouver 2010 and the ‘Coach of the Coaches’ for the 2010 Canadian team.  She is on the 2016 Board of Directors for the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.

Awards & Honours

1995 - Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame - Builder

1998 - Canadian Olympic hall of Fame - Builder

2000 - Sydney Olympic Games – Synchronized Swimming Team coach

2005 - Alberta Centennial Salute for Sport and Recreation Award

2007 - International Swimming Hall of Fame - May 22, 2007

2008 - Canadian Olympic Committee Mentor Coach

Boards & Committees:

2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games Own the Podium member

2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games – ‘Coach of the Coaches’

2016 Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport


  • pre-2000 to 2000 Sydney Olympics - Australia's full-time national coach.

  • post 2000 - applied her coaching skills to the senior managers in the corporate world.

  • created educational programs to help athletes

    • connection between body and mind and its effect on physiology and the ability to achieve goals.

  • developed a youth program that introduced using high performance skills in everyday life.

  • 2007 - Co-authored a book with Mark Tewksbury – The Great Traits of Champions