LONDON, Ont. – The lure of potentially competing at a major Games near his hometown and concluding his career in style has Adam Purdy back on the Canadian Para-swimming team after a seven-year hiatus.
The three-time Paralympian reached the first step in his goal by making the national team for the Para Pan Pacific Swimming Championships set for Wednesday to Sunday in Pasadena, Calif.
Over the past seven years, the 33-year-old has solidified his family life with wife Korin and two children Olivia (9) and Simon (4). He lived on Prince Edward Island where he did his Masters in Applied Health Services Research at UPEI and worked as the schedule coordinator with the Canada Games organizing committee.
In 2010 he returned to London, Ont., and now has a growing career with a Danish IT company called KIMIK iT, which provides a web-based hosting platform for sporting events including the Canada Games.
Purdy made a well thought out decision to return to competition last year after talking with his employers, family and his Masters coach Ken Fitzpatrick.
‘’The return to high performance athletics is a real lifestyle change,’’ Purdy said. ‘’It’s more than hitting the pool and going to the gym. You have to eat well, sleep well, it’s mental game and you have to on the ball. The family is supportive and I’m in a very good position right now.
‘’The big attraction was the potential to compete at the Parapan Am Games in Toronto next year and have my kids see me swim at those Games.‘’
At the Para Pan Pacs, Purdy is scheduled to swim in the 50-m butterfly and 100-m backstroke in the S6 disability category. He has a disorder called arthrogryposis, which has left him with a club foot and some muscles that did not develop.
‘’I hope I can help out the team with my performances as well as with my experience,’’ said Purdy. ‘’For me, the whole thing is about having fun and having respect performing for your country. I think a mix of youth and veterans helps build a strong team dynamics.’’
From 1994 to 2006, Purdy was a Team Canada regular competing at all the major events. This included the IPC World Championships in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006 and the Paralympic Games in 1996, 2000 and 2004.
At the 1996 Games, he competed in five events and his best result was a fourth place finish in the 100-m backstroke. His most memorable moments came four years later in Sydney where he won gold in the 100-m backstroke in world record time and 4x100-m medley relay. In Athens in 2004 he was fourth in the 100-m backstroke.
In regards to his participation at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, Purdy says his performances over the next two seasons will be the measuring stick.
‘’I didn’t wrap up my career the way I wanted,’’ said Purdy. ‘’I still feel there’s something I need to achieve.’’