Get to know some Torontonians who are competing in the Rio Olympics

Get to know some Torontonians who are competing in the Rio Olympics

On August 4, a swaggering posse of Toronto’s finest athletes head to the Olympic Games in Brazil, with one objective: bring back gold. Here, the GTA’s best bets

Crispin Duenas. Crispin Duenas.
 Photograph by Sandy Nicholson
Crispin Duenas, 30
Archery

Hometown: Scarborough
Favourite thing to do on a day off: Bike around Scarborough, then go for sushi at Ni Ji near Ellesmere Road and Midland Avenue.
Good luck charm: I don’t have one. I just work my ass off.
Favourite pump-up song: Any song with an inspirational message. Or anything by Eminem.
Favourite Olympic moment growing up: Watching the opening ceremonies at the Sydney Games in 2000 on TV. I thought one day it might be me.

Erica Scarff. Erica Scarff.
 Courtesy of Erica Scarff
Erica Scarff, 19
Paralympic Kayak

Hometown: Mississauga
Favourite thing to do on a day off: Stay home and hang out with family and friends.
Good luck charm: My shorts. I always wear the same pair.
Favourite pump-up song: I like slow stuff to help me calm down. Late-era Neil Young usually works.
Favourite Olympic moment growing up: Watching Alexandre Bilodeau win moguls gold in 2010 and seeing him celebrate with his brother.

Tamara Tatham. Tamara Tatham.
 Courtesy of Tamara Tatham
Tamara Tatham, 30
Basketball

Hometown: Brampton
Favourite thing to do on a day off: When I am home I like to eat at Scaddabush in Mississauga.
Good luck charm: My Bible.
Favourite pump-up song: Whatever the song of the summer is! This year I think it might be “Work” by Rihanna and Drake.
Favourite Olympic moment growing up: The Olympics was a big thing in my house. I loved watching track and field. I still remember watching Donovan Bailey run for Canada.

Emily Batty. Emily Batty.
 Photograph by Michael Cerveny
Emily Batty, 27
Cross-Country Mountain Biking

Hometown: Brooklin, Ont.
Favourite thing to do on a day off: My husband and I just bought an old house in Brooklin that used to belong to my great-great-grandparents. On a day off my favourite thing to do is plan our renos.
Good luck charm: A pearl necklace my mom gave me when I was 11. It reminds me of home.
Favourite pump-up song: Anything with a good beat! I just put my playlist on shuffle.
Favourite Olympic moment growing up: Watching Clara Hughes win medals at the Winter and Summer Games, in speed skating and cycling.

Aaron Brown. Aaron Brown.
 Photograph by Claus Andersen, courtesy of Athletics Canada
Aaron Brown, 24
Sprinter

Hometown: Coxwell and Gerrard
Favourite thing to do on a day off: When I’m home, I like to visit my old high school, Birchmount Park. And I always have to go to Tim Hortons.
Favourite pump-up song: “Earth Song” by Michael Jackson or Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.
Favourite Olympic moment growing up: Watching Donovan Bailey run the 1996 Olympics. I was so young at the time—I don’t even think I watched it live. But I remember first seeing it and thinking, “Canada is fast!” That gave me encouragement. I know Canada can win, because I’ve seen it.

Rosie MacLennan. Rosie MacLennan.
 Photograph by Sandy Nicholson
Rosie MacLennan, 27
Trampoline

Hometown: Richmond and Spadina
Favourite thing to do on a day off: My day off is Saturday. I always start with coffee from Jimmy’s. Then I’ll either spend time with friends and family or catch up on schoolwork. I’m doing my masters in exercise science at U of T.
Good luck charm: I don’t believe in good luck charms.
Favourite pump-up song: “Let the Drummer Kick” by Citizen Cope for my first routine; for my second, it’s “Stronger” by Kanye West.
Favourite Olympic moment growing up: I was really inspired by Karen Cockburn, who won a bronze medal for Canada in 2000, the first time trampoline was an Olympic event.