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Athletes

Richard
Weinberger
CanadaCanada, CAN
Open water

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
07 June 1990
Height
184 cm
Languages
English
Higher education
Computer Science - University of Victoria: Canada

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He learnt to swim at age five at a family pool in a housing compound in Saudi Arabia, where his father was working. He began open water swimming at age 19.
Why this sport?
Coach Ron Jacks introduced him to open water swimming. "I got into open water swimming because I was tired of swimming in the pool for eight hours a day. Instead, I was able to focus on one race and get to travel all over the world. I fell in love with the sport right away."

General Interest

Nicknames
Richie, James (olympic.ca, 15 Aug 2016)
Hobbies
Hiking, playing video games, driving, golf, water skiing, downhill skiing. (thestar.com, 15 Aug 2016; olympic.ca, 15 Aug 2016; swimming.ca, 08 Aug 2015)
Hero / Idol
German swimmer Thomas Lurz. (swimming.ca, 08 Aug 2015)
Awards and honours
In 2019 he was honoured with Vikes Platinum Circle of Excellence banners by the University of Victoria in Canada. (govikesgo.com, 09 Feb 2019)

He was named Open Water Swimmer of the Year at the 2017 Swimming Canada Big Splash Awards. He was also named Swimming Canada's 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016 Open Water Swimmer of the Year. (openwaterswimming.com, 2011; swimswam.com, 30 Sep 2016; swimming.ca, 11 Dec 2015; timescolonist.com, 27 Nov 2013; pacificcoastswimming.com, 24 Jan 2018)

He was named the 2016/17 Open Water Swimmer of the Year by Swim BC in Canada. (pacificcoastswimming.com, 25 Sep 2017)

He received the Open Water Swimmer of the Year award at the 2015 Olympic Excellence Series and Media Summit in Toronto, ON, Canada. (ca.news.yahoo.com, 11 Dec 2015)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (nationalpost.com, 16 Aug 2016)
Other information
TOUGH SPORT
He says open water swimming is a tough sport. In 2010 he swam a 16km Grand Prix event in the Sumidero Canyon in Chiapas, Mexico, which is home to crocodiles. He stuck to coach Ron Jacks instructions to swim in the middle of the pack because crocodiles gravitate towards the back to kill the weakest prey. He finished sixth. "Open water swimming is pretty hardcore. We race, rain or shine. Whether there is sea life there that wants to kill us and if there is thunder and lightning. It doesn't matter. The show still goes on. The hardest thing is trying to hammer out 100-kilometre weeks and being consistent. It's every week, doing the best week of your life, then come Monday morning—you have to do it all over again. It's just an onslaught of consistency and constant focus." (vice.com, 12 Aug 2015)