Mission-born and -bred Olympian Brent Hayden will look to make a splash of a different sort this fall.
Hayden, who retired from swimming in 2012 following a bronze-medal win in the London Olympic Games, announced this week that he will run for a seat on Vancouver’s Park Board.
— Brent Hayden (@BHayden2012) September 1, 2014
He told the Record that he had been considering a return to the pool to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“I was at a bit of a crossroad point where I was deciding whether or not I would go to the Olympics.”
But he said he came to the conclusion that “going to another Olympics would be more self-serving.
“Maybe it’s time for me to really leave it behind.”
Instead, he has turned his attention to issues surrounding community centres in Vancouver, where he has lived since 2001. Hayden is critical of how the centres – one of which boasts a banner with his name on it – have been run, and hopes to bring his own experience to the board.
He said growing up in Mission has influenced his perspective on how communities can support young athletes.
“Growing up in Mission there really was a strong sense of community for me,” he said. “I had the opportunity to be active in a lot of different sports and it was that love of sport and being healthy and getting active and meeting new friends that really set me up in the sport of swimming.”
While he is inexperienced in politics, Hayden hopes his passion for the issues will help him earn a seat.
“I didn’t become an Olympic medallist by avoiding the pool. Sometimes you have to get right into it. “