Name: Ben Russell
CAN Fund Recipient Since: 2007
4th place in the C2-1000m at the 2013 and 2014 World Championships
2015 Pan Am Games Gold Medalist
Hometown: Dartmouth, NS
Horoscope Sign: Virgo
On The National Team Since: 2004
How does being a CAN Fund Recipient make a difference for you?
Being a CAN Fund Recipient allows me to focus 100% on my training and the pursuit of 2016 Olympic gold. CAN Fund helps eliminate the other stresses and distractions that can negatively impact my training and preparation.
How did you get involved in your sport?
I grew up around the canoe club. My father was a family member growing up and it was only natural that we would join up as well. I have three older brothers and they all paddled before me so it was something I always wanted to do.
Who is your hero and why?
I don’t have any one hero, but I’ve been fortunate to have great local role models to look up to when I was starting out in the sport. Olympians like Steve Giles, Mike Scarola, and Richard Dalton were a huge source of inspiration to me when I was younger and eventually became training partners and teammates that I learned a great deal from.
What does sport mean to you?
Sport to me is a great way to learn fitness and how to be healthy for life. It’s a way to meet new people, make friends and memories and learn important life skills. It all amounts to a great way to have fun and feel good about yourself.
Do you have any pre-competition superstitions or routines?
Gabriel and I follow the same warm up for every race. We like to get out on the water about an hour and a half before our race, go through a few drills and routines, and then practice the first half of our race exactly how we’d like to paddle it in our race. It’s a good way to get that first burn out of our systems and get the blood and adrenalin flowing. We then come off the water and relax and get mentally ready for the race. We head back on the water about 25 minutes before the start of the race on our way to the start line.
What is in your refrigerator right now?
In my fridge right now you’ll find an assortment of fresh fruits and veggies, milk, chocolate milk, orange juice, gatorade, soda water, a bunch of cheese, yogurt, bagels, and several bowls with leftovers.
What do you value most in your friends?
The thing I value most in my friends is their sense of humour.
Greatest advice a coach has ever given you?
There’s no silver bullet. Meaning there is no one small thing that is going to change everything. Things don’t happen overnight, you need to put in the time and the hard work to improve and excel.
What advice would you give to young kids or teenagers about following their dreams?
I would encourage them not to back down to anything, and to make sure they’re as proud of their effort as they are of the result.
If you weren’t a Canadian athlete you would be…?
If I weren’t a Canadian athlete I would be a weekend warrior.
What is your favourite thing about being on the road with your teammates?
Playing cards and killing time.
What are you favourite places in the world you have visited?
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Nice, France.
What are your hobbies?
Fantasy Football, golf, cooking, taking advantage of a nice day.
What is your favourite quote?
My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.
What is your favourite sports team?
Buffalo Bills and Montreal Canadiens
Who is your favourite athlete?
What is your favourite tv series?