Monday, May 5, 2008

Whitfield relentless in pursuit of another Olympic gold

Whitfield relentless in pursuit of another Olympic gold

May 04, 2008 04:30 AM

VICTORIA–Simon Whitfield strolls on to the pool deck, cradling his pride and joy, baby daughter Pippa Katherine.

He puts the 10-month-old on a gym mat and coach Joel Filliol hands her a stopwatch, which she immediately starts gnawing, as Whitfield jumps into the water wearing a Speedo and a look that shows it's time for Daddy to get down to work.

No rest for the wickedly ambitious. This guy flew home the day before from Japan, where he kicked off the Olympic triathlon season with a win achieved in ruthlessly efficient fashion. His coach was prepared to let him rest, but he wanted no part of it.

After all, there's another Olympic gold up for grabs this summer in Beijing.

He's already been for a morning run in the dark, pushing Pippa Katherine, or P.K. as she's known, in a jogging stroller. Now, a 7:30 a.m. swim with his training partners at an aging but funky Crystal Pool. They have to get their laps in before the lane buoys are rolled in for a seniors aquafitness course led by a long-maned Fabio impersonator.

For good measure, Whitfield trains on his bike in the afternoon.

The image of Whitfield in most Canadians' memories is of the wide-eyed athlete who shot out of nowhere, his racing suit unzipped to the waist, to snatch a surprise victory at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. His easy smile, exuberance and deprecating sense of humour endeared him to Canadians. But underneath is a guy with an edge.

"I've been relentless," said Whitfield. "I think that's been my key, is I'm obsessed and relentless."

Read the full article at

Randy and Rene from the Toronto Star were great to have out here checking out our squad, and the Olympic hopefuls from Victoria in other sports, like rowing and swimming . Look for more excellent Olympic content from Randy and as we roll toward Beijing.

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