Postcard from Beijing: Keith Beavers

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The last twenty years of my life has revolved around the sport of swimming; in fact I find it very difficult to recall anything before it. Now that I’ve reached the pinnacle of my sport not once, but twice, it’s easy for me to say that every year, every practice, and every meter was worth it. This is particularly true after my performances in Beijing.

I left Athens bitterly disappointed and unsure of how much I wanted to continue and it took an entire year and a coaching change to bring back the drive and passion I’d had while trying to make it to those Games. Coming to Beijing, reclaiming my Canadian Record, making a final, and proving to others and to myself that I was truly “world class” has shown me that the decision to keep going was the right one.

The coming months will hold many important decisions for me – deciding in what capacity I’d like to continue to swim (most likely swimming for the University of Waterloo, perhaps going to the FISU Games), and figuring out what to do with the rest of my life outside of the pool. In Beijing I achieved all the goals I set this year and though I fell short of the Olympic medal I dreamt about as a 10 year old, my performances in the pool here will allow me to slowly leave swimming satisfied, and knowing that I’ve done my very best.

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