Brent Hayden, the King of Canadian swimming is living the good life. After winning the bronze in the 100m Freestyle at the London Olympics, Hayden’s quest for an Olympic medal came to a positive end and with it so did his career. Shortly after the games Hayden retired from the sport and since then his life has taken a dramatic change from water to weddings.
Just after ending his career, Hayden married Nadina Zarifeh, with the ceremony taking place in her home country of Lebanon on August 19th. He didn’t get back to his home town of Vancouver until mid-September.
The married life has been treating him well, and the free time he now has after hanging up his goggles has given him the chance to work on his photography. Nadina -a recording artist- has been working on her debut album “In The Now,” which was released on November 13th. Hayden has been busy working with her, shooting some of the footage for her music video of “Shou Baddou Yseer” which will be coming out shortly. Hayden’s retirement gives him a chance to be more involved with photography, which he has been passionate about even through his swimming career.
Swimming still plays an important role in Hayden’s life and he’s been generous enough to give back to the community that gave so much to him. Hayden’s been doing a lot of public speaking and has made multiple appearances for charity events such as KidSport, along with hosting swim clinics for kids. Being a huge inspiration to Canadian swimmers for the past decade (myself included) by dominating in the pool; he continues to inspire a young generation of Canadians.
Hayden has been on top of Canadian swimming since 2002 when he set his first Canadian record in the 100m freestyle at the Pan Pacific Championships in Yokohama, Japan. When people think Canadian swimming, they think Brent Hayden. Now that, that icon is gone, Hayden believes that Olympic silver medalist Ryan Cochrane and Olympic bronze medalist Richard Weinberg are going to be the ones to watch heading into the Rio 2016 Olympics along with the womans 4×200 freestyle relay squad.
Without Canada’s veteran leader, somebody needs to step-up to make sure that the team doesn’t fall apart. When asked who Hayden thinks will fill his shoes he stated, “It’s really hard to say who we will see take that leadership role. I think it will come from the person who puts themselves out into the international arena by choosing to compete at events such as the World cups and Mare Nostrum Tour, not just waiting for the big events at the end of the year.”
Hayden’s impressive resume includes not only an Olympic bronze but a World Championship gold which he won in a dead-heat tie with Italy’s Filippo Magnini at the 2007 World Championships. His favorite medal is his Olympic bronze; an Olympic medal was the one thing that eluded his otherwise medal-filled career. After his third Olympics, Hayden can now retire a happy man.
Brent Hayden will go down as one of the best swimmers that Canada has ever produced and hopefully the team has learned a lot from his leadership that will inspire great results for years to come.