Olympic medalist comments
Aug 4, 2012 / 9:37 am
Olympian Canadian International Swimming Hall of Famer Comments.
As a former five time world record holder, Triple Olympic medalist in swimming 1968 Mexico, and International Swimming Hall of Fame member I think I am reasonably qualified to say “Brent Hayden performance this week winning bronze in the 100M free style just saved swimming Canada's BUTT.
WOW, way to go Brent... What a performance... especially his effort in the last 25 meters in a very difficult event just to get to the final, the field he was up against and to win Bronze was awesome! To add to this accomplishment Ryan Cochrane hopefully I expect will add the second medal in the mens' 1500 meter on Saturday August 4.
These two guys alone saved single handedly saved swimming Canada's BUTT from a dismal performance..Having said that I am troubled about the overall poor results compared to our past medal hauls years/decades ago. Sadly Canada's swimming compared to past generation's medal success to be diplomatic has stalled or to be frank is sinking .
On a positive note getting back to Brent and Ryan's performance, people in Canada have to understand how hard it is to win an Olympic medal in the summer games. Especially swimming.. in my opinion is one of the most difficult medals to win.
If you think about the worldwide sheer number of participants in swimming and other huge participant summer events like track and field, gymnastics etc compared to say rowers or fencing badminton shot put or some of those winter events like luge or speed skating with much less participation. Important for me to explain.. this is not to diminish any medal, as winning a medal in any sport in the Olympics is a huge difficult challenge and I am proud of all our medalists.
But if you look at the stats worldwide in the number of participants in swimming, to get on that Podium has to be one of the hardest and most difficult medals to win. Which makes Brent's/Ryan's podium win this week even more impressive.
Example that's why it took 50 years since we even had a male swimmer in the 100M final should support my point on the degree of difficulty. Brent's/Ryan's performance this week in London 2012 in my humble opinion just saved the swim program in Canada from being a dismal performance.
Although I am still troubled about Canada's swim programs future compared to the growth and success of other country's medal hauls. Despite this to Brent/Ryan you both made me very proud this week not only as an ex Olympic swimmer, but as a Canadian.
Cheers Elaine “Mighty Mouse” Tanner OC
Elaine 'Mighty Mouse'Tanner 1967
Elaine 'Mighty Mouse' Tanner now
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