Interview with Ryan Cochrane


Champion Canadian swimmer talks medal incentives and everyone’s favourite topic, food

Text by Theresa Rogers

On the other side of the world, in western Russia, Team Canada has left its mark. The nation welcomed home its medalists from the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia, in August. As part of a recently launched incentive program, Chicken Farmers of Canada gave each medal-winning athlete $1,000, as well as donated $1,000 to a food bank of each athlete’s choice.

Ryan Cochrane, winner of two of Canada’s medals, said the number one goal as an athlete is to make it to the international podium. “Everything we do, all those difficult choices we are faced with, relate back to that objective. In the end, it is very humbling to be rewarded for those efforts. Also significant is our ability to share those types of rewards with our local communities. We would not be able to do what we do without supportive people, great facilities, and a whole lot of unwavering support.”

Food is a major part of life for elite athletes like Cochrane, so the sponsorship makes sense. “Athletes are responsible for the safety of everything that they consume and we have to take that job very seriously,” he says. “Trusting what you eat is something I believe everyone should be afforded and I do my best to eat locally as much as possible.”

Do you like to cook?
I’m not the best cook out there. That being said, my favourite pastime would have to be trying out new restaurants. I’m drawn to many different ethnic cuisines. I really enjoy the creativity in cooking and appreciate how much time and effort can go into a single meal.

What’s your favourite place to travel and favourite type of cuisine?
Marrakesh and sampling the different authentic dishes in the insanely hectic central night market.

What’s your favourite way to relax?
Adventuring through new cities. I love to travel and try to make the most of any chance I get to see an unfamiliar place.

My favourite kitchen tool is…
the hand juicer. It’s amazing how often that thing comes in handy.

My guilty pleasures are…
coffee and chocolate. On a recent trip to Portland I brought back over six types of each.

If you weren’t a swimmer, what would you be doing?
Definitely a lawyer. Not only do I love a good argument, I love the idea of law and the extended preparation that goes into each case. It reminds me a lot of how we prepare for big races.

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