Canadian Swimmers You Should Know About

Water sports are undoubtedly one of the most popular activities throughout the country. In a recent study by StatsCan, it was proven that this is the third most popular sport, right after golf and hockey, for people aged fifteen years and up. As a result, many different people have made a significant impact on the sport.

George Hodgson: First Gold Medalist

George Ritchie Hodgson was born in Montreal in 1893. In 1912, he competed for Canada in the Olympic Games held in Stockholm. Hodgson was the only Canadian on the team for this category in that year. This was also the year that he would go onto to become a national treasure by winning two gold medals for the country.

At only eighteen years of age, Hodgson would break the world record for the 1500 m event. In just 22 minutes, he would bring home the first ever Olympic gold medal for this sport. After that astounding win, he competed in the 400 m freestyle event, which earned him his second gold medal.

What makes Hodgson’s achievements even more impressive, is that he would hold the record for being the only gold medalist in this category until 1984. Hodgson would also gain worldwide attention for his invention of the trudgen stroke. This is a style that combines elements of the front crawl and sidestroke.

Ryan Cochrane: Freestyle Distance

Another talented athlete who everyone with an interest in water sports should know is Ryan Cochrane. He specialized in endurance events using the freestyle stroke. Cochrane is most commonly known for his brilliant performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

During the 2004 Olympic Games, the water sports team did not win any medals for their category. This was a devastating blow to the country as there had been a forty-year streak of winning medals before this. Cochrane would go to the 2008 games and restore the good name of the entire watersports team.

On the final day of the games, Cochrane competed in the 1500 m freestyle event. During this race, he came in second place. This was cause for great joy for everyone in the nation. This was because there had been no athlete able to win a medal for this event in 88 years. On that same day, Cochrane competed in several other events and won another two bronze medals for his team.

After his great success at the Olympic Games, Cochrane would continue a successful career in water sports. He went on to be a four-time world champion at the Commonwealth games bringing home the first gold medal in his category, in 72 years. After spending many years as a professional athlete, Cochrane announced his retirement in 2017.