February 19, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 78  

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Jock Talk with Brad Vanderkam

Gazette File Photo
WHILE SWIMFAN MAY HAVE BEEN A BAD MOVIE, IT’S THE BEST JESSE BRADFORD CAN DO. Brad Vanderkam, this week’s Purple Pipe winner, elected to have Bradford and Erika Christensen take the honour for him. What a guy, that Vanderkam.

How did you first become involved in swimming?
When I was eight, I broke my arm. My parents put me into swimming to strengthen my arm.

What’s your biggest swimming accomplishment?
Winning a gold medal at the 2001 Canada Summer Games in London.

What events do you compete in?
The butterfly: 50, 100 and 200 metres.

So, you’re the butterfly man?
Yeah, that’s me.

What was the best part of this season?
Probably training camp in Florida. It was lots of work, but I got a nice tan and got to do a little surfing.

How many times a week do you practice?
Eight times a week. Some mornings it’s from 5:30 to 7:30, and then some evenings from 3:30 to 5:30.

Now that the season is almost over, what are your off-season plans?
I’m going to train for the Athens Olympic trials and the nationals — after the [Canadian Interuniversity Sport] Championships, of course.

Who is the most influential person in your career?
That’s a tough one — there’s no one person in particular, but I guess my parents were my biggest influences.

What’s your favourite way to relax after a meet?
Take a few days off from school and swimming. I like to just chill and hang out with some friends.

Have you ever peed in the pool?
Umm, no... (laughs). I’m not one to urinate in the pool. I know a lot of people who do, but I’m not one to do it. I don’t like swimming in my own urine — it’s just not nice.

Wearing Speedos, do some swimmers find a need to “stuff?”
We don’t really wear them anymore —we have full leg and body suits now (for competitions) and trunks for practice. But to answer your question, no.

What’s your favourite sports movie or swimming movie if you can think of one?
Tough one. There aren’t many swimming movies, but Swimfan is a terrible movie. Rocky is pretty good.

Which Rocky? The one with Tommy “The Machine” Gunn or the one with Ivan “I must break you” Drago?
Rocky IV

Why’s that?
Because we watched it on the bus.

—Ryan Bradshaw



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