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Canadian Profile: Greg Hamm

Backstroke Medal Winner In Kuala Lumpur


Tyler Lewall

It took seven years for Greg Hamm to make his first national team after his first 200 backstroke national standard at age 15. Hamm did not waste any time making the best of his selection to the 1998 Commonwealth Games team by winning the bronze medal in his specialty, the 200 backstroke, in Kuala Lumpur. The fourth-year Arts student at UBC is the menŐs captain of a very strong UBC team and is looking to continue his improvement on the international scene under the guidance of his coach Tom Johnson.

Hamm began his swimming career at the age of 11 with the Delta Sungod Swim Club. It was here that he obtained his first national standard, preparing him for his upcoming university swimming career. He chose to attend UBC and has spent the last four years competing for the UBC varsity team. Currently he is studying Archeology and Geology, as well as training full time.

His training at UBC consists of 20 to 24 hours a week of training, swimming 6000 to 7000 metres per practice. "I enjoy swimming descending heart rate sets of 100 or 200 metre backstroke where I finish at maximum effort," says Hamm. An example of one of his best sets is a set of 12 x 200 backstroke: The first four are on 2:35 and he holds an average of 2:25 for each. The next four are on 2:30 and he holds a 2:20 average. The final four 200s are on 2:25 and he is able to descend them from 2:17 to 2:13.

"I think what I enjoy most are the social aspects of swimming and the racing," says Hamm. His personality and great attitude is also brought out when asked what sort of activities he likes to do before races. Besides listening to music and loosening up, Hamm says, "I like to smile." With a Commonwealth Games medal around his neck, he can smile all he wants.

Progression 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990
100 M BACK 57.70 57.91 58.54 59.25 59.67 1:00.61 1:03.29 1:08.60
200 M BACK 2:00.89 2:02.40 2:02.43 2:04.92 2:05.37 2:07.82 2:13.88 2:23.35 2:34.04
Born 10 June 1976, Pacific Dolphin Swim Association, coach Tom Johnson

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