Gordie Michie set a Canadian record at the 2016 swim trials, and earned a spot on the national Paralympic swim team.
When Gordie Michie touched the wall at the end of his race, he had no idea how fast he just swam.
Back in April, racing in the para-swim S14 classification, Michie set a new Canadian record and won gold in the 200 metre men’s individual medley at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.
When the St. Thomas, Ont., native looked up at the time clock after his race, it read 2:17.80 beside his lane number five.
“Once my eyes looked at the time I went, ‘No way!’ I just had to close them again,” Michie said. “I started to get little tears in my eyes because I was so happy. I just pushed it to the limit. So yeah, I’m pretty happy.”
Standing on the podium was nothing new for Michie. At the Parapan Games in Toronto last summer, he also raced and won gold in the 100 metre backstroke, bronze in the 100 metre breaststroke, and another bronze in the 200 metre freestyle.
His track record at the Parapan Games and the spring swim trials made him a lock to crack Team Canada. He will be a part of a deep Canadian team travelling to Rio for the 2016 Paralympic Games. Before the announcement was made official, Michie could not help but relish in the thought of representing his country on the biggest stage.
“If I make the Rio team, then I would be honoured to represent Canada once again,” he said. “It’s something you have to work hard for. It’s a dream come true.”
Michie looked comfortable with a gold medal draped around his neck. He knows the pressure and expectations in September will be high and the next few months will be tough, but he made sure to give a reminder of why it is all worth it in the end.
“This is for everyone — for Team Canada, Team Ontario, people from St. Thomas, my friends and family, and my coach.”