27, the Annex
“My girlfriend lives in New York City, and because of my crazy schedule—I’m in the pool 10 times a week and in the gym four—sometimes I won’t see her for six weeks at a time. When I’m not swimming, I eat. A typical meal for me is two steaks, four giant potatoes and a full head of broccoli, plus I have a protein smoothie before bed. I also go for all-you-can-eat sushi on Bloor and just go nuts.
“I’ve been swimming since I was six, and over the years I’ve won more than 400 medals. Every door in my apartment and my parents’ place jingles when you open it because there are medals hanging on the doorknobs.
“After the 2008 Olympics, I took a break and completed a master’s in urban planning at the Harvard School of Design. But then I got the itch to swim again and started training. Swimming can be mentally isolating. Your face is in the water and you’re alone with your thoughts. During practice, my sports psychologist hooks electrodes to my scalp to measure when I’m in an ideal focused state.
“I’m now ranked first in Canada in the 200-metre backstroke. Internationally, I’m 25th. London will be my last try. I’m excited to give it all I’ve got, then move on to the next stage in my life.”