Brent Hayden and the 1965 Ocean Falls Swimming Team were amongst the newest inductees into the BC Sports Hall of Fame. They were amongst a group of 13 who were officially inducted into the hall on Thursday evening at a ceremony held at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Thursday evening.
They join the likes of other historic Canadian swimmers such as Olympic medalists; Elaine Tanner (1968), Ralph Hutton (1968), Leslie Cliff (1972), Bruce Robertson (1972) and Shannon Smith (1976).
Hayden who hails from Mission, BC is one of the greatest sprint freestylers in Canadian history. He made his first national teams in 2002 competing at both the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships where he was a member of the bronze medal winning 4 x 100 freestyle and 4 x 100 medley relay teams at both events.
Hayden made his first of three Olympic teams in 2004 swimming on the 4 x 200 freestyle relay at the games in Athens. He truly broke on to the international scene in 2007 at the World Championships in Melbourne, Australia where he tied Italian Filippo Magnini for the gold in the 100 freestyle with both men finishing in a time of 48.43.
The next year he went on to compete at the 2008 Olympics where he finished a disappointing 12th in the 100 freestyle.
At the 2011 World Championships Hayden once again reached the medal podium winning the silver in the 100 freestyle.
In 2012 at the London Olympics Hayden finally achieved his goal of winning an Olympic medal winning the bronze in the 100 freestyle.
In his career Hayden earned several medals in major international competitions;
- World Championships – one gold, three silver and one bronze
- Commonwealth Games – two gold, one silver and five bronze
- Pan Pacific Championships – one gold, one silver and five bronze
Domestically Hayden was also one of the key members of several UBC Thunderbird teams that dominated Canadian University swimming for close to a decade.
Hayden still holds the Canadian records in the LCM 50 (21.73), 100 (47.27) and 200 freestyle (1:46.40) and the SCM 50 (21.34), 100 (45.56) and 200 freestyle (1:40.80)
Hayden retired from swimming after the 2012 Olympics.
The Ocean Falls Swimming Team is one of the most iconic stories in the history of Canadian Swimming. Ocean Falls was a small and isolated pulp and paper mill town on the north coast of British Columbia with a peak population size of approximately 3500 and is now almost a ghost town with only 50 official residents.
The team placed swimmers on the medal podium at the Canadian National Championships for the first time in 1948 and from that point forward placed athletes on every national team for the next 25 years. The most notable names to have swum on the team include Olympic medalist Ralph Hutton, two time Olympic participant Sandy Gilchrist and Former President of WADA and Vice President of the IOC Richard Pound.
The club won the men’s national championship titles from 1962-65 with only fours men at each competition.
The 1965 team won the combined men’s and women’s national championship with four men and one women which included; Bob Fisher (coach), Sandy Gilchrist, Ralph Hutton, Rudi Ingenhorst, Jack Kelso, Anne McDaniel.