Name: Kevin Lytwyn
CAN Fund Recipient Since: 2015
Sport: Men’s Artistic Gymnastics
2015 Pan Am Games Silver Medalist on the high bars
2014 Commonwealth Games Silver Medalist on rings
Hometown: Stoney Creek, ON
Nickname: My old coach used to call me Kevlar
Horoscope Sign: Taurus
On The National Team Since: 2007
How does being a CAN Fund Recipient make a difference for you?
Being a CAN fund recipient has allowed me to focus more on training and staying healthy. I am able to see my physiotherapist on a regular basis ensuring injuries are healed as quickly as possible when they arise and also for help in preventing injuries. I purchase healthier foods that would have otherwise been beyond my budget. Finally, as I live on my own, receiving CAN Fund helps ease the expenses of everyday life such as travel and rent. Receiving CAN Fund this year has immediately helped reduce distractions and stress in my day to day life and is allowing me to keep on track with my goals and aspirations.
When was the moment you knew you wanted to represent Canada?
For me, it was not so much a specific moment but it is an ongoing sense of pride. Every time I watch fellow Canadian athletes in international competitions doing well, I feel an overwhelming sense of national pride. It’s an adrenalin rush that makes me want to get out on the competition floor and give my all to represent Canada to the very best of my ability.
How did you get involved in your sport?
As with most high level athletes, I was an active child. I loved climbing trees, playing all kinds of sports and of course getting into mischief. Growing up in my family meant that I was a member of the East Hamilton Boys and Girls Club. They had loads of activities for me, my two brothers and sister to participate in. I remember on Saturdays there was always a gymnastics class going on and although I was involved in other things, I was always curious about it. When I was about eight years old, my parents signed me up for that program. I thoroughly enjoyed it and showed some talent for it. I quickly learned how to walk on my hands and do a round off back tuck. My coaches’ daughter was a competitive gymnast at that time and she thought I had some potential. She arranged for a try out at the boy’s gym across from where her daughter trained. I was accepted into that program and have been flipping around ever since. I am very grateful for the early encouragement and ongoing support the East Hamilton Boys and Girls Club has shown me.
What is your proudest moment?
My proudest moment to date happened recently at the 2014 Commonwealth games in Scotland. I had been suffering from a few nagging injuries leading up to the Games and even had to have my thumb lanced by the doctors in the athletes’ village because of an infection. In Gymnastics hands are required for everything, so this made training very difficult and painful. With the help of the doctors, I was able to compete and even made a few finals. My proudest moment occurred in the high bar finals. High bar is one the coolest events in gymnastics to watch, it is my favorite event to train, and in a competition, it is always the last event. I was last up on the last event and even with an injured thumb I completed my routine cleanly earning a bronze medal. I was so happy and proud to be able to achieve this for myself, my team and Canada. Furthermore, I had about 14 family members who traveled all the way from Canada and were in the audience to see this and celebrate my success with me.
What is your pre-game meal?
Before I compete I usually like to eat a peanut butter and jam sandwich and wash it down with a coffee. It tastes good, it’s not too much to have in my stomach and it gives me the energy I need to get through the competition.
What is in your refrigerator right now?
Right now, in my refrigerator I have some fish, a steak, celery, carrots, spinach, yogurt, apples, oranges, grapes, milk, eggnog, eggs, cheese, franks red hot sauce, ketchup, jam, maple syrup, bread, Delissio pizza and some toaster waffles. The makings of a few good meals and a couple of tasty treats!
What is the greatest advice a coach has ever given you?
My current coach is always giving me great advice and keeping me on track in training and at competitions. However, there was one piece of advice my sports psychologist shared with me last year that stuck. It was along the lines of “you have no control over the external: the judges, the venue, and the overall results. What you have control over are your thoughts and your thoughts govern how you will move through your routine. You can only have one thought running through your mind at a time, so, when you’re up on the apparatus, make it concise and positive.”
What advice would you give to young kids or teenagers about following their dreams?
Everyone should have a dream, a goal, something they wish to achieve. In my life, when I have accomplished something that I have dreamed of, I feel amazing. There is nothing quite like it. Everyone should experience that emotion. Once you get a taste for that sense of accomplishment, you have sparked a fire that allows your dreams and goals to keep getting bigger and better. It pushes the limits of what people think is possible, not only in sports, but also in any area of life. Following dreams is not always easy. There is usually a lot of hard work, struggles and failures along the way, but the satisfaction you receive when you accomplish what you have been working so hard for is overwhelmingly good. The best feeling in the world! My recommendation is to follow your dreams!
What are you favourite places in the world you have visited?
Currently, my three favorite places in the world are Australia, Japan and Great Britain. Australia was just a really comfortable place to visit. It was warm, which is always good, it had a very relaxed atmosphere and the people I met there are some of the friendliest people I know. I like Japan because the culture is just so interesting and different than what I am used to and Japanese food is definitely on my list of favorites. Lastly, I have been over to Great Britain so many times. My mom is from Scotland and we still have family and friends who live there. Furthermore, I myself have made lifelong friends there. I enjoy the familiarity of the culture and people and I love the history, the architecture and the social scene.
What three items do you take with you on every road trip?
I always bring candy, my iPod, and Voltaren cream on my road trips. I bring candy just because I love it. My iPod comes with me so that if I’m bored I can just listen to some tunes or play a game on it. Lastly, I bring Voltaren with me and apply it to problem areas on my body so that when I arrive at my destination I am not all achy and I can get right into whatever activities lie ahead.
What are your hobbies?
I like to bike, swim, ski, wakeboard, hike in the mountains and play guitar.
What is the most played song on your ipod?
Kaskade & John Dahlback – A little more feat. Sansa
What is your favourite sports team?
Toronto Maple Leafs
What is your favourite tsv series?
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.