Who is Gavin Smellie? Canadian Olympic athlete tried multiple sports before track
For the Canadian relay team, the road to gold has been a long-awaited one. Having made it to the finals, the team is ready and determined to bag a win.
And with the likes of Gavin Smellie, Brendon Rodney, Bolade Ajomale, and Bismark Boateng, Canada definitely has a good shot at taking gold this time around. Curious to know more about these stellar athletes? Here's a look at Gavin Smellie.
Who is Gavin Smellie?
Gavin Ramon Smellie was born on June 26, 1986, in Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica. At the age of 14, he moved to Canada in the hope of a better life and settled in Etobicoke.
Smellie's dream of becoming an Olympic athlete began right since he was a young child. He was inspired after watching Donovan Bailey and Michael Johnson in Atlanta in 1996.
Although an accomplished athlete, Smellie maintains that he got into the track by pure chance, seeing that he initially played soccer instead. Growing up, he switched high schools he went from George Harvey Collegiate to Dante Alighieri Academy. However, due to the transfer rules, he was unable to play for a year. As opposed to waiting for an entire year, Smellie began trying other sports as well.
"I turned out to be a pretty good volleyball player," he said while talking toronto.com. He tried his hand at basketball, badminton and track as well, stating that "track and field was the last one." He was 18 at the time.
Although it wasn't high up on his list, it proved to be a turning point in his life. "I went to the first race, I won it." he stated. Concerning his further education, he studied at Western Kentucky University on an athletic scholarship. During this time presented the WKU Hilltoppers in collegiate track and field competitions. Some of Smellie's notable track achievements are the 2019 Pan American Games, where he placed 10th in 100m and 4th in the 100m relay, the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2009 FISU Universiade where he placed 6th in the 200m category and 8th in the 100m relay.
Smellie was part of the 4x100m relay team that competed at the London 2012 Olympics but was unfortunately disqualified for a lane violation. The team was disqualified again during the 2015 Pan Am Games due to lane violations. However, Smellie has also been aware of dynamic relays and hasn't let past setbacks damper his spirits.
"You never know with the relays," he said. "But we put in the work, we have a lot of chemistry, we know each other very well … We're always going to go out there and do our best and have no excuses. We're excited to perform every time we get on the track." He added while talking to The Province.