Brent Matthew Hayden is a former Canadian swimmer. Hayden was a bronze medal winner in the 100 m freestyle at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He was co-World Champion in the same event in 2007 with Filippo Magnini of Italy. By winning the 100 m, Hayden became the first Canadian in 21 years to win a gold medal at the World Aquatics Championships, he was also the first Canadian to appear in the 100 m final at the Olympics since Dick Pound at the 1960 Summer Olympics and the first Canadian to win an Olympic medal in the 100 m. Hayden adds a further three silver and one bronze medal to his World Championship totals. He is the current reigning Commonwealth Games champion in both the 50 m and 100 m freestyle events. In addition, Hayden is currently the Canadian record holder in the 200 m, 100 m and 50 m freestyle in both the short-course and long-course. He has also held the world record in the 4×100 m medley relay, and the 4×200 m freestyle relay.
"Strangely enough I was being bullied because I was a swimmer," said Hayden, who was born in Maple Ridge, grew up in Mission, and swam for the UBC Thunderbirds. "It was the Speedos. Kids wanted to make fun of the Speedos, he said.The verbal and physiological torment Hayden faced almost caused him to quit swimming.
"There was a point that the bullying got so bad that I begged my parents not to sign me up for the [swim] team anymore," he said. "I couldn't stand going to school and having these kids make fun of me for wearing Speedos and call me all sorts of homosexual slurs."
Hayden credits his parents for giving him the strength to continue.
"My parents signed me up anyway," he said. "I was grateful because I truly loved to swim. I learned for myself that I wasn't going to let these individuals take something away from me that I loved to do.
Hayden now helps at training camps for young swimmers. When speaking, he delivers a strong anti-bullying message.
"I have a really positive message," he said. "I was once a little kid sitting in an assembly. Somewhere along the way I got inspired. I'm hoping if I can get out there and pass my message on to as many kinds as possible, I will inspire a kid."
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Posted By: EUroWeeble8 |
2/20/14 1:54 PM
So silly to bully for clothing and say homo and things like this to kids.Good parents staying strong