Name: Stefan Daniel
CAN Fund Recipient Since: 2015
2nd at the 2015 Para Triathlon World Championships
Hometown: Calgary, AB
Horoscope Sign: Pisces
On The National Team Since: 2013
How does being a CAN Fund Recipient make a difference for you?
The CAN Fund funding will allow me to travel to all of my competitions throughout the year. I will be able to attend training camps without worrying about the financial aspect. This will help me grow as an athlete as I will be able to compete against greater competition throughout the year and learn from each race.
Think of someone who has impacted your life. Share 3 words on who they are to you.
Mike Van Tighem – Supportive, Knowledgeable, Patient
Mike has been a huge supporter of my athletic journey. He has developed my running to a level I never thought I could reach. Mike is always helpful to talk to when training isn’t going well or when I am becoming frustrated.
What is the biggest hurdle you have overcome to get to where you are today?
My biggest hurdle I have overcome is dealing with being at a disadvantage in the water with my disability. I always used to see it as a negative and always wondered how much faster I could be without it. I have been able to ignore it and see myself as an able bodied athlete. I have had coaches that have progressed my swimming so I am able to compete with the top juniors. Overcoming my negative view towards my disability has allowed me to improve substantially.
When was the moment you knew you wanted to represent Canada?
After watching Michael Phelps’ gold medal performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, I realized my goal of representing my country at a Paralympic Games. Seeing the atmosphere of the Games was something I want to be a part of. This was before I started competing in triathlon.
What is the best part about representing Canada?
By representing your country you are racing for more than just yourself. You are racing for all Canadians which makes it extra special. Having an opportunity to do your country proud is a unbelievable feeling.
How did you get involved in your sport?
I started out as a swimmer when I was 8 years old. The group I trained with was a lot of fun and I kept with the sport. My passion since a young age had always been running and I loved to compete in local road races with my parents. I continued to progress in these sports until I was influenced by my dad to try out a triathlon. I had never thought of competing in it before but being able to put the two sports I did into one race was exciting for me. After competing in a couple triathlons each year, I decided in 2013 I wanted to commit to it and become more competitive.
Best advice you have received?
In triathlon, things are bound to go wrong. Mistakes will happen. If you are able to block it out immediately, you will be successful.
What advice would you give to young kids or teenagers about following their dreams?
Don’t listen to others about what you should and shouldn’t do. If you have a dream, pursue it. Realize that there will be challenges along the way and be prepared for them.
What is your favourite thing about being on the road with your teammates?
Every time I’m on the road with teammates, there are always hysterical moments and great experiences. Being able to train and compete with my peers on the road is always a blast. It makes the lead up to the race way easier, as you are not spending each day overthinking the race.
What are you favourite places in the world you have visited?
London, England and Chicago,
What are your hobbies?
Watching movies and hanging out with friends.
What is your favourite movie?
What is your favourite tv series?
My favourite TV series was Breaking Bad
What is your favourite song to work out to?
Pyramids by DVBBS and Dropgun.
For easy sets, I listen to alternative.
Do you have any pets?
I have a cat named Simba and a dog named Miikka.
Do you have any pre-competition superstitions or routines?
I always crouch on the start line and look down at the ground. When I am standing up, I stare straight at the first buoy.
What is a healthy snack you eat before or after training sessions?
A Kashi bar or a banana is usually a good pre training session snack. After, I usually eat a piece of fruit with some almonds.