Special Episode: Cole Pratt - Post Olympic Trials Interview. We spoke with Cole on his experience through COVID and his nomination to the 2021 Toyko Olympic Swim Team
The text that follows is an unedited excerpt from our hour long conversation. The full video interview can be found on our youtube channel and by the link here. The full audio can be found by vis the Spotify link below
All right. Good morning folks. And welcome to the on-deck show, a show that takes a look at people and organizations working every day to make things better for you and I. In this special episode, we check in with Cole Pratt, a recent nominee to the 2021 Tokyo Olympic team. We are not talking about one of those people doing things to make things better for you and me, although he impacts young swimmers and many communities around the country.
But we're talking to somebody who's benefited from one of those people. Who's working hard every day to make things better. Folks like you and me, and that's Dave Johnson in Calgary. We welcome Cole. Cole will talk to us about his journey, what he's looking forward to at the Olympics, and so much more. Stay tuned.
Good morning Cole. Thanks for joining us here. And congratulations on your recent nomination to the Tokyo Olympics. Yeah. So you know, I wanted to get into a few things, but first I want to, I like to start with, drawing a picture of who you are, where you've come from?
You're still a relatively young guy. You're a rookie on the Olympic team this year. Where did swimming start for you, and where do you see it going later on?
Well, swimming for me. I started with the Cascade Swim Club since I was probably four, I want to say, in the middle of the swim school program. And I did that for maybe a little while, and then I just moved up from group to group up until the senior performance group.
And from there, I went on to provincial teams and national teams, and now I'm on the Olympic team, which is why this is my first year. So I'm just happy to get off and get off the blocks a couple of times and see where I'm at. And then we'll see what the next couple of years have in store.
I'm hoping they just push it from here.
Sounds good. Do you do draw some inspiration from those closest to you? For example, do you have a sister that's traveling to Tokyo this year? Your older siblings were all accomplished athletes and so on.
So what is it like being in that environment? What's it like in the household?
The last couple of years have been I won't say nobody is that we're home. We always have to come back. Off doing something in the road, like my split there and I are gone for a week or a month time.
And that, that's, that comes with the, with what we do. And I don't know, I was asked that question a while ago and. I can't tell you anything more about what we got going on, but that's just that's with my family.
Yeah. Fair enough. Fair enough. And I know your dad and your mom as well.
So you know, like I know that they bring a lot of passion to the sport and so on. A bigger picture question in the next few days, you're about to leave for Vancouver for the staging camp to get over to Tokyo. What's it going to be like to represent Canada in Swimming as an Olympian?
Well, I've represented Canada before swimming at international meets. I went to The World Swimming Championships; I didn't have quite the performance I wanted there, but it was a good starting point. And ever since then, I've been really hungry to get back in the water and represent my country and, this year, I think I'll be a bit more comfortable in the environment. I'll be a bit more ready to perform. I believe representing your country is the biggest and the highest point you can even get to in your sports. So. I'm always honored to do that.
Fantastic. And you're certainly surrounded by a good cohort of young swimmers, both male and female.
And what's it like to be part of this emerging class of young talent coming up from across the country?
Well, it, it always makes me happy. Because the last like year or two. Many people like treating us like the younger and junior swimmers of the group, but what a couple of my friends and I showed everyone at college was like, we're not 16-year-old boys anymore where we're here mean business.
So we're, we're going to be up here. You guys better match us. So I think those performances at trials got us a lot more fired up, and I think it's going to carry myself and all the juniors, the younger boys. So we're going to clear that attitude now and throughout the summer, and in the future.
Yeah. You know, certainly very exciting to watch.
And tell me a bit about that 100 backstroke swim. Were you expecting that out of that first swim?
Yeah. I don't know, I swam the morning swim and tried to do something. I couldn't quite get to it, but it was still all right. And then at night, I wanted to be, better and I wanted to get my hand on the wall first, but I was, I was happy to make the team, and it was the best time, but I feel like I still have a lot more in me. And swimming at the Olympics. So hopefully, doing that back a few more times, maybe get a little better each time.
Absolutely. A great answer and great attitude. I want to go back just quickly to what you mentioned when we were just talking about the younger cohort of swimmers.
You seem to take pride and not a disrespectful pride, but pride in the fact that you could respond to the challenge in front of you. The way you described it was almost as though as a junior on the team, somebody told you to wait your turn and instead of waiting your turn, you said, okay, I'm not waiting for it; this is my turn. And here we go. So you know, how much of that attitude comes by you naturally?
Well, it's been, it's been a lot of like build up a lot of when you're the young guy on the team with a bunch of the seniors, and you're, you're beating them a couple of times. So they'll, they'll be a little intimidated. They say things like, oh, I miss being your age because I could do anything when I was your age.
You earned the right.