Toronto, ON – Open Water World Champion Greg Streppel of Cambridge was inducted into Swimming Canada’s Circle of Excellence tonight at the Canada Cup in Toronto.
The Circle of Excellence provides Swimming Canada with the opportunity to recognize swimming heroes of the past. Canada has very big alumni of swimming champions who, as mentors, inspire current and future national team members.
“I feel very honored tonight but this recognition also goes to my coaches who have contributed so much in giving me the tools to become a world champion,” said Streppel. “Ron Jacks was a true pioneer in the Open water event for Canada. His dedication has inspired me beyond the sport of swimming.”
Name: Greg Streppel
Club: Cambridge Aquajets, Brantford Aquatic Club, Island Swimming
Coach(es): John Campbell, Mark Fellner. Ron Jacks/Peter Vizsolyi
1994 World Championships, Rome, Italy, Gold 25km Open Water
Called “the greatest marathon swimmer of all time,” by Australian coach Laurie Laurence, Cambridge’s Greg Streppel made a strong case for himself by dominating marathon swimming in the mid 90’s, most notably winning the World Championship in 1994 at Rome, Italy.
A year later he was recognized in his hometown by being presented with the Tim Turow Cambridge athlete of the year award. Streppel was also recognized as Athlete of the Year in Victoria, BC in 1994.
Streppel was the Canadian marathon champion from 1990 to 1995. It is a mark of his prowess in the world of distance swimming that no one from Canada ever beat him in a long distance race.
In 1993 and again in 1995 he was the Pan-Pacific marathon champion, winning the former in Rome, and the latter at Lake Lanier, Georgia. “Tough as nails,” was how one coach described him.
Through his distinguished swimming career he won 11 World Series marathon races in countries like Argentina, Mexico, Canada, the US and Italy.
Between 1992 and 1995, he won every FINA open-water race he entered and won 13 of the last 16 races of his career.
But Streppel was versatile, too. Between 1988 and 1995 he was a member of the national team, excelling in both and marathon and pool events. Streppel also competed at the World University Games in 1987 in Zagreb and the Pan Pacific Games in Kobe in 1993.
Streppel began swimming with the Cambridge Aquajets at the age of 10, quickly winning five provincial titles. He made it to his first Summer Nationals at the age of 15 and was the youngest male competitor in the meet.
Greg was inducted into the Swim BC Hall of Fame in 2007. He graduated from UBC with a degree in pharmacy in 1996 and currently lives in his hometown of Cambridge with his wife and three children.