VICTORIA – Eight was a lucky number for Canada’s swimming star Ryan Cochrane in 2015.
The 27-year-old swimmer won his all-time Canadian best eighth FINA World Championships medal this year, and for his efforts is being recognized with his eighth straight Swimming Canada Male Swimmer of the Year award.
Cochrane took bronze in both the 400-m and 1,500-m freestyle at the worlds in Kazan, Russia. That performance came on the heels of a double gold performance in those distances at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games. He also helped the men’s 4×200-m freestyle relay to bronze at Pan Ams.
Cochrane’s 2015 achievements are even more impressive considering the difficult year he and his teammates faced due to the death of High Performance Centre – Victoria head coach Randy Bennett in April.
“After a year filled with many ups and downs, it’s nice to be recognized for the hard work my team and I have put in to perform on the world stage,” Cochrane said. “Representing Canada at the Pan Am Games as well as the world championships was incredible and I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to stand on the podium multiple times.”
Ryan Mallette, who took over as HPC – Victoria coach and guided the swimmers through the international competition season, will also be honoured as Swimming Canada Coach of the Year (Male Swimmer).
Both receive Inuit sculptures by Canadian artists, certified by the Government of Canada. Cochrane’s sculpture is a seal crafted by George Arragutainaq, while Mallette also receives a seal, by Charlie Eyaituk. The award sculptures were created by artists from the Inuit community of Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, on the Belcher Islands in Hudson Bay.
Swimming Canada will continue announcing its Big Splash Awards throughout the coming days.