Name: Jillian Tyler
Hometown: Calgary, AB
Nickname: Jill, Bean
Favorite Sports Memory: Making my second Olympic team in March 2012.
How you got involved in your sport: I had been playing T-ball for a few summers and when I was eight, my mom mentioned maybe joining the local swim club in Didsbury, Alberta (where I grew up) to try something different. I ended up taking a leap of faith and loved swimming so much I stuck with it!
The moment you knew you wanted to represent Canada: When I was 10. I remember watching Ian Thorpe (AUS) swimming on TV at the 2000 Olympics and realized I wanted to do what he was doing by representing my country on an international stage.
Favorite Quote: “Go like snot.” (My first-ever swim coach, Lynn Chernow, said that to me before every race as a kid)
CAN Fund Testimonial: Being a full-time student and athlete leaves very little time to pursue other interests outside the sporting arena – with CAN Fund, I am able to commit myself to my training and academics 100% without having to worry about external stressors. With the help of CAN Fund, I feel more confident focusing solely on achieving my dream of competing in the Olympics this summer.
Best Result: 7th place at the 2011 Swimming World Championships in Shanghai, China.
Share one valuable tool that you use on a daily basis that helps you to be the best athlete you can be. I think knowing that every day, there is someone else out there working as hard as they can to beat me helps keep things in perspective and motivates me to dig down deep, even when it hurts.
Who is one person in your life that has impacted your career and what was it that they taught you? My family. It may be cliché, but they have been there every step of the way throughout my career and continue to support me unwaveringly. They have taught me to always be there for the people you love and that there is nothing stronger than family.
Have you read any articles or books or watched any videos or movies recently that really inspired you? One of my favorite books is “Once a Runner.” My father gave it to me as a gift after my first Olympics in 2008 when I was going through a difficult time dealing with the aftermath of accomplishing a life goal. It gives a profound look at the athletic experience, what it means to achieve the ultimate sports dream, and life beyond sport. It really helped me to remember that I am a person, not just a swimmer.
Fun Facts: I have several tattoos – the Olympic rings and maple leaf, stars that turn into snowflakes, a Chinese bat that represents “happiness” (inspired by a painting that was given to me in Beijing), three roses (to represent my father, mother, and sister), and a robin with maple leafs (to represent Didsbury and my childhood).