Think swimming. Dinos varsity swim team member Chad Murray does. A native of Lethbridge, Murray is currently clocking his 15th year in the pool, his third season with the University of Calgary, and his first year at the National Training Centre. To date, this 21 year old has enjoyed half a lifetime of swimming successes.
In the last couple of years, Murray participated in some of the world's major swimming competitions; The 2000 Fina World Cup in Edmonton, the Spring and Summer Nationals in 2001, and the 2002 Commonwealth Games Trails in Winnipeg.
Most notably, this rising star earned himself a trip to Japan. Fukuoka hosted the Pan Pacific Games in 2002, and Murray was among the elite Canucks to make the cut.
"That was probably the highlight of my swimming career," reflects Murray.
The future should prove to be even more exciting. This season, Murray is preparing for the World Aquatic Championships in Barcelona, set for July 2003. There, he hopes to attain Fina A times, which would qualify him for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
"Greece is definitely where I'd like to be," the Olympic hopeful notes. But only two swimmers per event make the national cut, and only if they attain the qualifying times.
Murray seems ready for the challenge.
The middle-distance specialist excells at the 200m Butterfly and 400m Individual Medley, two events few attempt, and even fewer master. How does this specialist rank among other Canadian swimming stars? In 2002, Murray packed away a silver medal in the 200m Butterfly in Winnipeg, and a bronze in the 400m Individual Medley at the 2001 Summer Nationals.
Murray credits his team with giving him the support all great athletes need.
"We have a strong group of swimmers," he insists, pointing out that a few others will also come close to fulfilling their Olympic dreams.
Members of the varsity team already train with the National
Sports Centre, where Canadian stars like Curtis Myden and Morgan Knobe do their swimming. "Everyone is great," Murray says of his fellow teammates. "They're a lot of fun."
The world-class swimming hopeful will have to shave off two seconds off his 200m Fly, and four seconds off the 400m Individual Medley to make the Olympic team.
"It shouldn't be too hard," jokes Murray. It sure wouldn't take much hardship to jump into blue Mediterranean waters to cool off from the sweltering Athenian heat.