rowing canada

By RoseAnna Schick, RAS Creative

(ISN) – After the London Olympics, there’s a good chance there will be more hardware and less room for socks in David Calder’s dresser.

He keeps his silver medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics in his sock drawer. Add to that a brand new medal from the World Cup 2012 in Lucerne, Switzerland, where he and partner Scott Frandsen swept their way to silver in the men’s pair. Other wins for Calder include first place at the World Cup in 2008 and the World Championships in 2003.

It was the 1992 Olympics – the year the rowing team dominated the field – that first inspired then 14-­‐year-­‐old David Calder to become a competitive rower. Four years later his rowing talents launched him onto the world stage for the first time, with a first place win at the World Junior Championships. And the world stage kept calling.

This summer, Calder will compete in his fourth Olympic Games. It’s the thought of winning Olympic gold that continues to drive him. “I’ve always wanted to win, and see the maple leaf raised while they play O’ Canada,” says Calder, who has clear goals for London. “I want to race my heart out and make myself proud, to be a positive role model for my two children, and to win.”

Outside of rowing, Calder’s interests reflect what is most important to him. “I want to help create a community that is safe, healthy and active for my kids and the other kids in the neighbourhood. I also like building things for my family, and my next project is an outdoor pizza oven.”

“In terms of the environment, I see the issues arising from multisport events like the Olympics. We need to find a way to minimize our footprint while maximizing the potential to inspire a new generation of athletes.” Calder’s environmental ethics earned him a spot on the Olympic Torch Relay in 2010, taking part on Day 1 in Victoria. “I was chosen because of the environmental work I was doing trying to offset the carbon emissions from the games. It was a huge honour to get to run the torch, and felt amazing to hold the singular symbol of the Olympics.”

No doubt it would be equally meaningful for Calder to finally stand on top of the Olympic podium, and dedicate the moment to his biggest inspiration. “My grandfather is the one who taught me to believe in myself. He suffered from post-­‐polio from the age of 23 and he never complained. He never let it get the better of him. He lived life to the fullest and was amazing at everything.”

As for Calder, he looks forward to one day having more time for parenting, saving the environment, and spending time with the people he cares most about. But first, he has some unfinished Olympic business…. And a little bit of space left to fill in his sock drawer.