Renowned for his steely determination and tremendous work ethic, Curtis Myden is one of Canada’s greatest swimmers. The three-time Olympian and triple Olympic medallist has set records and shone for Canada in a sport with a very high level of global competition.
Born in Calgary, Myden lived for a while with his family in the Caribbean. There, in the warm water of the Bahamas, Myden discovered that which would guide him through the next three decades. At age seven, he and his family returned to Canada where Myden promptly joined Calgary’s Cascade Swim Club. Fast forward to age 16, and Myden entered the University of Calgary Swim Club, under the coaching guidance of Deryk Snelling.
Three years later, Myden qualified for his first Olympic Games. In 1992, Myden finished 25th in the 100-metre breaststroke and 10th in the 400-metre individual medley. There in Barcelona he watched teammate Mark Tewksbury win gold – a performance that served as motivation. At the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, Myden made his biggest splash. He captured two bronze medals in the 200- and 400-metre individual medley.
Four years later the national team leader won his third bronze medal, this one in the 400-metre individual medley. This medal came amid a deep pool of swimmers. With that third-place finish in Sydney in 2000, Myden became the first Canadian swimmer to win medals at consecutive Olympic Games. He also set a Commonwealth record in the 400-metre event at the Sydney Games. Leading up to this moment, he had broken his own Canadian record at the 1999 Pan American Games, winning all individual medley gold medals, as well as winning two silver medals at the Pan Pacific Championships.
Myden is a 30-time national champion and Canadian record holder in both short and long course 200- and 400-metre individual medleys. He was Swimming Canada’s Male Athlete of the Year from 1994-1997 and 1999-2000. From 1994-2000, he was Alberta’s Male Swimmer of the Year. In 2002, Myden was the first person to be inducted in the newly created Swimming Canada Circle of Excellence. In 2006 the University of Calgary selected him as the “Graduate of the Last Decade” and the following year he was inducted in the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.
Myden said that his career in swimming and the lessons he learned in the pool prepared him for his career in medicine, where he specializes in orthopedics. A 2006 graduate from the University of Calgary, Myden is nearing the end of his five-year orthopedic surgeon residency training program.