30 Under 30: Nicolaas Dekker
High school: R.A. McMath
Nicolaas Dekker is a man of few words. He lets his action speak for him.
A fierce competitor, he doesn’t take losing lightly. And fortunately that’s not often.
Dekker is one of Canada’s emerging pool powers, a young swimmer with tons of potential but already armed with an impressive resume.
Last year, at the North American Challenge Cup in Edmonton, the Richmond Rapids swimmer won three gold medals—100-metre butterfly, 200-metre butterfly and four-by-100-metre medley relay. He added a silver medal at the age-group nationals and also participated in the 2012 Olympic trails. That followed a stellar showing at the short course AAA provincial championships where he won four gold medals, three silver medals and a bronze medal.
While his individual achievements are significant, the fact Dekker is even prouder of helping his relay team win gold at the age-group nationals in 2011, shows how much he appreciates the support of his teammates.
“None of these achievements would have been possible without the support of the Richmond Rapids Swim Club and my amazing teammates,” he said.
Inspiration? “Aside from my coach, my inspiration comes from within. I love to race, but I hate losing. A lot.”
Most proud of? “When our (Richmond Rapids’) relay team (Brandon De Costa, Liam Kell, Michael Jacak-Sinclair and I) won the gold medal at age-group nationals in the four-by-50-metre medley relay in 2011. I was equally proud to get to compete with the Canadian junior national team at the North American Challenge Cup in Edmonton last summer.”
Advice? “The biggest mistake you can make is to fear making a mistake.”
What famous person who would most like to meet? “(Academy Award-winning actress) Jennifer Lawrence. Not only is she super-attractive, she has a great sense of humour and just seems like someone who would be fun to meet.”