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, 30
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, 19
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, 30
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, 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, 24
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, 27
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.