Richard Weinberger had already started to establish himself as one of the world’s best open water swimmers when he captured bronze in the 10km marathon at London 2012, helping him to be named one of FINA’s top five open water swimmers of the year. He began his international breakthrough with a bronze medal at the 2010 Pan Pacific Championships. In 2011 he won gold at both the Olympic test event in Hyde Park and the Pan American Games in Guadalajara. At the 2013 FINA World Championships, Weinberger placed fifth in the 10km, missing the podium by just seven-tenths of a second. But he showed great determination in coming back from a costly error when he missed a turning buoy just before the halfway mark, forcing him to expend a lot of energy just to catch up to the pack. Weinberger had an even narrower podium miss at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto where he finished fourth in his first race of the summer, just one-tenth of a second out of bronze medal position after having led the race since the midway mark. He went on to post another top-10 finish at the 2015 FINA World Championships.
Family: Parents Tony and Marina Weinberger… Older sister Brittany… Lived in Moose Jaw for four years before moving to Saudi Arabia, Newfoundland and Halifax with his airline pilot father… Getting into the Sport: Started swimming at age 6 to burn off his extra energy that saw him get into trouble in school… Learned to swim at the family compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia… Discovered open water swimming at age 19 when he moved to Victoria and was convinced to try it by coach Ron Jacks… Outside Interests: Enjoys gaming (especially World of Warcraft), reading, hiking… Would like to become a climber and explore southeast Asia… On hiatus from studying economics and math at the University of Victoria to focus on swimming… Odds and Ends: When having trouble maintaining weight during 100km training weeks, Olympic medallist Thomas Lurz of Germany advised him to drink a large McDonald’s milkshake before bed… Nickname: Richie… Jams to his favourite music before competing… Favourite motto: The best pace is a suicide pace… Considers himself an “aerobic beast” with the endurance of Chuck Norris…
NOTABLE INTERNATIONAL RESULTS
Olympic Games: 2012 – BRONZE (10km)
Pan American Games: 2015 – 4th (10km); 2011 – GOLD (10km)
FINA World Championships: 2015 – 8th (10km); 2013 – 5th (10km); 2011 – 17th (10km)
Pan Pacifics: 2010 – BRONZE (10km)