Jul 7, 2022
Mike West is a former backstroke swimmer from Canada, who competed for his native country at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. There he won the silver medal in the men's 4x100-metre medley relay and the bronze medal in the 100-metre backstroke. Mike’s many qualities as both a swimmer and a person were recognized when he was named captain of the Men’s Team. In 1995, he became part of the Ontario Aquatic Hall of Fame. When Mike’s swimming career came to an end, he earned a medical degree from Queen’s University. He now works as a physician in Ontario.
In this episode, Mike starts by talking about his formative years and what inspired him to become a world-class swimmer. He then speaks about the coaches who helped him along the way to reach a high-performance level in swimming. Mike was pretty thin and had long arms which made him tailor-made to be a backstroker. He explains how this gave him a competitive edge over other swimmers. He then shares memorable highlights and stories from competing at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games.
Mike competed with and against some of the best swimmers in the world. He swam with Victor Davis. He then discusses the qualities that are needed to become an Olympic champion. In relation to long-term athlete development, Mike shares stories about how his legendary swim coach, Clifford Barry, approached training in a way that enhanced sports performance while also keeping the sport fun and engaging. Mike also talks about what made Clifford’s coaching so unique and special. So much, so that he decided to be involved with the Clifford Barry Follow Your Heart Excellence Project. Mike then speaks about one important lesson that he learned from his time as an Olympic athlete. Lastly, he provides his definition of greatness and what it means to him.
Host: Ben Mumme
Guest: Mike West
1984 Olympic Games - Men's 4x100 M Medley Relay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEriNFeEJjQ
1984 Olympic Games - Men's 100 M Backstroke: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YztTqel5-Y8
Clifford Barry Follow your Heart Excellence Project: https://www.swimming.ca/en/resources/history-awards/clifford-barry-follow-your-heart-excellence-project/
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