When is an athlete from Clearwater not from Clearwater?
When she’s from Clearwater, Florida.
Several people approached the Times last week and wondered if the newspaper was going to do a story about Sydney Pickrem, a 20-year-old who won a bronze medal in 400-metre individual medley at the FINA World Championships in Budapest on July 30.
According to numerous news media outlets, including Canadian Press, National Post, Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Province, TSN, CBC, and Montreal’s La Presse, Pickrem is from Clearwater, B.C.
The Swimming Canada website for the national team even listed her hometown as Clearwater, B.C.
Unfortunately, it’s not true.
Pickrem’s bio on the Swimming Canada website gives Dunedin, Florida as her place of birth.
The entry about her in Wikipedia, on the other hand, lists as her birthplace Oldsmar, Florida.
Dunedin and Oldsmar are both suburbs of Clearwater, Florida.
This newspaper quite often gets emails, telephone calls and online calendar postings from people who have confused Clearwater, B.C. with Clearwater, Florida.
A fact-checking email to Swimming Canada confirmed that a mistake had been made.
The Swimming Canada website now lists Clearwater, Florida as Pickrem’s hometown, not Clearwater, B.C.
Even though she was born in the U.S., according to Wikipedia she has dual citizenship as both her parents are Canadians. They are from Halifax.
As far as is known, Pickrem has never visited Clearwater, B.C.