'I like pain': Canadian skater Graeme Fish is 'happy' to vomit after races

·2 min read
Graeme Fish of Team Canada loves to push himself to the limit in his races. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Graeme Fish of Team Canada loves to push himself to the limit in his races. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Every Olympic athlete has a different way of measuring their success. Some prefer to gauge their performance based strictly on results, while others are more focused on the process.

But out of the more than 2,800 athletes attending the 2022 Beijing Games, Canadian speed skater Graeme Fish may have the most unique measuring stick of them all.

"If I don't throw up after a race, it means I didn't go all out,” Fish told reporters after his sixth-place finish in the 10,000 metres Friday. “So I’m happy I threw up.”

Clean up at the race track.

Fish, like many elite endurance athletes, seems to be a glutton for physical punishment.

“I like pain,” he continued. “I love skating. And for me, the longer the better. The longer you get to skate the better. It kind of drives me.”

Unfortunately for Fish, he was not coming into these Olympics in top form as he contracted COVID just two months prior that cost him a pivotal month of training leading up to the Games. Who knows what could’ve been if he didn’t lose that time, but Fish is trying to look on the bright side and make the most of his Olympic experience.

"It was the best I could have done today. Two months ago, I had COVID," said Fish. "And yeah, it was kind of tough to kind of come back from there. (But) it was fun out there. I'm here at the Olympics, and it's a dream come true."

Fish put the speed skating world on notice in 2020, taking home gold at the world single distance championships in the 10K, breaking Canadian Ted-Jan Bloeman’s world record in the process.

Bloeman, the defending Olympic gold medalist in the 10K, finished eighth as he was also handicapped by a flu spell prior to the Games. And while he didn’t throw up track-side like his teammate, Canadian speed-skating coach Bart Schouten knows his athletes didn’t get a fair shot because of their illnesses.

"They just didn't have enough after being sick," Schouten said. "And that's very unfortunate, because we know two years ago they were one and two in this distance. It's very frustrating. But you kind of have to accept it’s just what happens. People get sick, especially we all know about in the last two years, right? It's been bad timing."

The Canadian men’s long-track team is still looking for its first medal of the Beijing Games, and will have a great chance in the team pursuit, which begins Sunday.

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