At 22, Curtis Myden from Calgary has a wealth of experience under his belt. He is the Canadian and Commonwealth record holder in both his specialty events, the 200 and 400 individual medley. He earned a pair of silver medals at the recent Short Course World Championships in Rio de Janeiro and was a world champion in 1993. He's now headed to his second Olympic Games and is one of Canada's strongest medal hopes.

"My first Olympic experience was good because I got to see what it was all about. This time I am more focussed in terms of my performance. I'm thinking more about what I want to do there instead of just getting there. There is a difference being just a member of the team and being one of the top athletes on the team-they're expecting you to do well and you're much more in the public eye."

1996 Olympic Team Member Curtis Myden
For larger 64k photo click on image. Photo © Marco Chiesa

Speedo has accompanied Curtis along the road to notoriety. One of Canada's most consistent international performers, he was the only Canadian man to prequalify for the 1996 Olympic team. That meant he had less pressure on him than usual at the recent Olympic Trials, but he says there will be pressure on him in Atlanta.

"There definitely is pressure to perform but I try to use it as a confidence builder and take advantage of the fact that I get so much exposure. I feel like if people want to know what I'm doing, I must be doing something well. At a major competition I try to turn the hype around and use it to help me instead of letting it be a stress builder."

And what of his leadership role on the Canadian men's swim team?

"I try to lead by setting a positive example and showing confidence in myself." Both are qualities that he and Speedo have in common.

"I'm focussing on the Olympic Games. That was the major goal this year and the Trials were just a step along the way. With a little work on my technique between now and the Games, I know I can be a lot faster."

And what will it feel like to walk onto the deck at the Olympics?

"In Atlanta there will be over 14,000 people at the pool. That kind of crowd can really work you up and that's how I get myself pumped."

Curtis Myden
For larger 64k photo click on image. Photo © Marco Chiesa

Speedo will be with Curtis in Atlanta to help him realize his dream, proud to be setting an example and standing out alongside a winner.

Deryk Snelling, Head Coach of the National High Performance Swim Centre in Calgary

What things will you be working on with Curtis in preparation for Atlanta?

Curtis has some things that can easily improve, such as his turns; just looking statistically we know he has room to improve there. His strokes have been pretty solid this year and we've spent a lot of time getting the freestyle to where we would like it. It looked good at the World Championships in Brazil. A little more speed in the 200-we've concentrated on that race this year and I think we're going to find that he's got a much better speed base to go into the 400 this summer. Right now it's just a matter of building confidence.

What are Curtis' special qualities as an athlete?

Curtis is very consistent. He's reliable and he's a really good fighter. I think that in the 400 IM it comes down to being very fit and being a good fighter. In the 200 he's somewhat untested, but he's got some good strength now that he didn't have a few years ago. Curtis has never had the up and down career that a lot of athletes can get into-his confidence is solid and he's extremely realistic. He doesn't get hurt when he doesn't reach a goal that everybody else maybe thinks he should. He has his own standards.

What will his competitive program be from now to Atlanta?

Curtis has raced a lot these last months but I think the Canada Cup in Vancouver will be an important race for him. He'll also be swimming at the US Grand Prix in Phoenix. I doubt there will be any more competitions. It's a short season to go back to some heavy training and then come back down for a second taper.

PLACE Calgary
HEIGHT 6 ft. 3 in. / 188 cm
WEIGHT 185 lbs / 84 kg
HOME Calgary, Alberta
COACH Deryk Snelling
95 SC Worlds 2nd 200 IM 1:58.56, 2nd 400 IM 4:09.39
95 Pan Pacs 3rd 200 IM 2:01.80, 4th 400 IM 4:19.78
95 Pan Ams 1st 200 IM 2:01.70, 1st 400 IM 4:18.55
94 Worlds 4th 400 IM 4:17.93
94 Commonwealths 2nd 200 IM 2:03.47, 2nd 400 IM 4:17.73
93 SC Worlds 3rd 200 IM 1:59.27, 1st 400 IM 4:10.41
92 Olympics 10th 400 IM 4:21.91

Current Canadian and Commonwealth records for 200 IM 2:01.24 and 400 IM 4:16.90

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