So this is pretty cool… Dylan asked his old Oakville Aquatic Club teammate, Zack Chetrat, to be our celebrity starter… and he said “yes”!
We’ve know Zack (and his mom!) for years. Back when he was just one of those little kids running around on deck. And then he got good. Just “kinda good” on the club, to start. And back then OAK was just “a pretty good” team (they are now ranked #1 in Canada). But he, along with Olympian, Tera van Beilen, were the two biggest stars to come out of the team… so far. But they rode the crest with a ton of other really talented and hard working kids that are now off to university across Canada and the US and took the Oakville Aquatic Club to new heights.
It really is kinda crazy that a town with only 180,000 people and no 50 meter pool is somehow the best team in Canada?! You can only attribute it to a good organization as whole… and good coaching. Depending on when and how you measure it OAK is #1 in the country though. But compare it to some of the other great swim teams in Canada: Pointe Claire (Montreal), Edmonton Keyano, Cascade (Calgary), Island Swimming (Victoria), Etobicoke Swim Club, Toronto Swim Club… and they all are much bigger cities and have good facilities, at least one 50m pool. But no matter how you cut it… OAK hits way above its weight class. And a lot of that has to do with Zack and Tera.
Okay, I have to tell you a little this story about Zack…
He’s a pool swimmer… but he does have some open water racing experience. A little. He made the Canadian Team one year, several years ago, to go to a major swim meet in Guam. Very cool. But I believe he had a crappy race in his main race, 200 fly. Most people find a way to deal with a bad race, it happens to everyone. Some people sulk, some get mad, some people blame themselves, some people blame other people. A few people learn from it and try and get better. Proof shows that Zack is the type that learned from it. But he is also one of the nicest and most modest guys you’d ever want to meet, and he sure wouldn’t blame anyone else. In fact, I guess he blamed himself. So he decided to punish himself. And he entered himself in the 10K Open Water race… at this major international meet. And it worked. He said it was the toughest race he’d ever done and came dead last (among some of the top 10k swimmers in the world, mind you). So let’s just say he knows how to work hard. And I don’t think he has especially good connotations with open water swimming! haha.
A few fun facts on Zack:
- he missed the 2012 London Olympics by… .02 of a second… 2 one thousands.
- he is one of the favorites to make the 2016 Rio Olympics in 200 butterfly
- he is the fastest Canadian to ever swim 200 m Butterfly
- he won the silver medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto (originally bronze but the gold medalist was busted for steroids)
- he swam varsity at U of Toronto
- he is one of the vet’s of the Canadian National Team and was co-captain of the swim team with another OAK alum and Olympian, Tera van Belien.
- you can often find his mom, Sue, sitting in the back of Brett’s coffee shop, Bean There, after her run on a Saturday morning… when all the LOSTies come in and invade the place!
So come on out and meet one of the fastest Canadian swimmers of all time… and with him good luck on the road to the Rio Olympics… at the LOST Race!