Bishop Tonnos graduate hopes to boost Canada’s medal count in Rio de Janeiro
For rower Taylor Perry, it’s all about inches.
“I’ve won by an inch and I’ve lost by an inch,” said the 19-year-old Bishop Tonnos graduate who is currently training with the New Brunswick High Performance Rowing Team.
In the short term, Perry has his sights set on the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que. In the long term, he’s determined to help Canada increase its medal count at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Ranked as the sixth fastest rower in Canada in the under-23 age category, Perry was introduced to the sport during high school.
“….after my first few practices, I was hooked,” he said. “It was the first real sports team that I was ever on, and it felt great being a part of that kind of group.”
Throughout his years at Bishop Tonnos, Perry was a member of the first men’s crew to win gold medals for the school. The dedicated and accomplished team claimed three city championships and went undefeated for an entire season.
While competing as a junior at Leander Boat Club, Perry was also the fastest junior on the squad for two years and at one time held the junior indoor record for two kilometres.
Since his high school years, rowing has continued to have a profound impact on Perry’s life. With Team New Brunswick, he is the fastest in the province and manages to consistently improve his standings. Perry has been a five-time indoor champion, and his latest feat was winning double gold in the 2000-metre and the 1000-metre sprint at the Atlantic Indoor Rowing Championships in Dartmouth, N.S.
Perry was also the first Canadian rower to attempt a gruelling 24-hour row to raise money for Bishop Tonnos.
“I made it to just over 21 and half hours and rowed a total of 213,594 metres,” he said. “I most likely won’t do it again unless someone challenges me to it, then I’d be obliged to defend my title.”
Currently on a one-year sabbatical from his business marketing studies at Mohawk College, Perry trains six hours a day six days a week in Fredericton, N.B.
On most days, he said he keeps the motivation simple.
“If I don’t put in the work, somebody else will,” he said. “If I make sure I can get the absolute most out of myself on any given day, then I know the training will help my rowing improve.
“Rowing is all about inches. If you don’t give 100 per cent when you’re asked to in practice, it can come down to losing by an inch.”