An 18-year-old Victoria swimmer with Greater Trail ties surprised everyone when he earned a spot on the Canadian Olympic Swim Team after and incredible come-from-behind victory at the Olympic Trials in Montreal.
Alec Thomas Page qualified for the 400-metre individual medley, after overtaking Andrew Ford of Guelph, Ont., in the breaststroke portion of the final, winning in four minutes-17.78-seconds to lop three seconds off his personal best.
To qualify for London 2012, swimmers must finish first or second at the trials while posting a time that falls under the Olympic qualifying standard. In the IM, a race that requires all four strokes — butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle, in that order — Page was the only athlete who made the cut.
Page’s uncle, Scott Page, lives in Trail and explained his nephew’s meteoric rise.
“He grew up on isolated Cortes Island between Campbell River and Powell River (where) he learned to swim in all the lakes . . . He and his brother Finn swam almost daily in the lake as kids, from May to September.”
Alec was a natural, and made the provincial swim team in his first year of competition.
He has since moved to Victoria where he trains with the Island Swim Club/Victoria Academy and the national team and recently set the new Canadian benchmark for the 400 IM by beating Olympic champion Alex Baumann’s 30-year-old record.
Alec is named after his great uncle Alec Page of Rossland and his great grandfather Thomas Page of Trail. His father Brian grew up in Trail along with brothers Scott and Barry who still live in the area. Alec’s Grandmother Irene Page is a long time Trail resident and one of Alec’s biggest supporters.
The family came together recently to help raise funds so Alec’s parents can join him in London.