TORONTO — When Gordie Michie touched the wall at the end of his race, he had no idea how fast he just swam.
The para-swimmer, racing in the S14 classification, set a new Canadian record and won gold in the 200m men’s individual medley at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.
When the St. Thomas, Ont., native looked up at the time clocks this time around – it read 2:17.80 beside his lane number five.
“Once my eyes looked at the time I went, ‘No way!’ I just had to close them again,” Michie said. “I started to get little tears in my eyes because I was so happy. I just pushed it to the limit so yeah, I’m pretty happy.”
Standing on the podium was nothing new for Michie. At the Parapan Games in Toronto last summer, he also raced and won gold in the 100m backstroke, bronze in the 100m breaststroke, and another bronze in the 200m freestyle.
With the gold medal victory at the Canadian Para-swim trials, he has put himself in strong consideration to crack the Team Canada team travelling to Rio for the 2016 Paralympic Games. That will be announced on Sunday.
“If I make the Rio team, then I would be honoured to represent Canada once again,” Michie said. “It’s something you have to work hard for. It’s a dream come true.”
After the medal ceremony, Michie was thrilled with what he had just accomplished. With a gold medal draped around his neck, and in a moment where he owned the spotlight, he took the time to reflect on everyone who has helped him along the way.
“It’s for everyone, for Team Canada, Team Ontario, people from St. Thomas, which is where I’m from, my friends and family, and my coach.”