Mission’s Brent Hayden missed advancing to the finals in the Men’s 50 Metre Freestyle finals in Tokyo by just 0.04 seconds on July 30.
Despite being seven years away from the sports, and spending two years training in the pandemic, the four-time Olympian posted his fastest time post bodysuit, and his best-ever time in the event.
“It is such a weird state of confusion when you are torn between the pure competitor in you who realizes you missed the finals by 0.04 seconds and the human who realizes that … at 37 years of age, I came within only 0.04 seconds from the Olympic final,” Hayden said via social media.
Hayden and the Canadian Men’s 4×100 Metre Freestyle also narrowly missed a bronze medal on July 25, being edged out by the Australian team by just 0.3 seconds.
The Canadian team broke the country’s previous record time, and Hayden became the oldest swimmer to go 100 metres below 48 seconds. He was, in fact, the oldest swimmer at the Tokyo games, and the oldest swimmer to ever compete for Canada on the Olympic stage.
“That’s the performance side of things. On the other side I genuinely just loved the whole journey,” Hayden said. “That’s not to say every day was fun. There were a lot of bad training days, a lot of frustration and tears. But they were all worth it for the good moments.”
Although he said he’s going to take it one step at a time, Hayden does not discount a fifth run at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
“The big question is, Paris? That’s a big unknown right now. But I have the love and support of an amazing wife back home who already supports me to keep going.”
Stay tuned for a follow up story later this week.