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Why EY Olympian Martha McCabe is taking the long way home

Martha McCabe & Matt Bortolussi ready to drive -COURTESY

Martha McCabe & Matt Bortolussi ready to drive –COURTESY

Although her “heart is always in East York”, Olympic swimmer and Pan Am silver medallist Martha McCabe didn’t catch a plane back to Toronto after wrapping up her participation at the Rio Olympics in August.

Instead, she flew directly to Vancouver, where she had been training, to prepare for an odyssey across Canada aimed at encouraging the next generation of athletes to go for their dreams.

Ms. McCabe, a swim team co-captain at the Rio Olympics and finalist at the London Olympics in 2012, said in a phone interview that she was disappointed with her showing at this Olympics, where she finished 23rd in her 200-metre breaststroke event. But at 27 years of age she had already started to look beyond her life as a competitive swimmer, she said, and has been developing what may turn out to be a new potential career path: public speaking, for which she also has a talent.

A family ethic of service that “is something I was just raised with” while a student at Cosburn Middle School and Leaside High School, also motivates her to “want to give something back” by helping encourage young athletes.

The result is “Martha’s Canadian Drive,” a cross-country expedition with long-time EY friend Matt Bortolussi manning the wheel, during which she is holding motivational sessions and/or in-pool clinics in 26 cities in five provinces, returning to Toronto, Sept. 21. All sessions include a motivational talk, a Q&A and autographs, and participants even get to touch her medals!

For more information visit: -Gary Webb-Proctor

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