Ryan Cochrane’s memories of Christmas past

Swimming goggles under the tree, it’s a Cochrane Christmas

Olympic medalist Ryan Cochrane (left) with twin brother Devon

Ryan Cochrane was four years old when he moved to the Sunnymede subdivision with his parents and his twin brother Devon.

Cochrane is now 28, and the two-time Olympic medalist swimmer can’t remember the last time it snowed in Saanich, as he’s travelled to warm places to train for most of the winter over the past 10 years. But he remembers the holiday season.

“We were always fortunate because our entire extended family lives here, so while I didn’t appreciate it at the time, as a kid we’d have 20 people at the dinner table at our home,” Cochrane said.

Christmases haven’t really changed, he added, except that as a retired competitive swimmer, he’ll actually be around before the holidays, and not just flying in the day before.

“I have a niece now, so there’s an addition to the family, but the thing for me was I always appreciated Christmas as an excuse to come home,” he said. “You can confirm your friends, and actually see your friends when you get back.”

Twenty-four years later, Cochrane’s parents still live in the same house, while he lives downtown.

“It was a great place to grow up,” Cochrane recalled. “My parents were thinking of having another kid when we moved there [and they did, little brother Liam].”

On a recent tour across dozens of Canadian cities, Cochrane couldn’t help but appreciate Saanich’s various community and recreation centres.

“There’s a lot of small towns, and they don’t have what Saanich has. Their idea of a rec centre is the hockey rink.”

Before Ryan committed fully to swimming, he and Devon spent nearly every weekend at Layritz Park playing soccer in the winter and baseball in the spring.

Whatever Cochrane got for Christmas at a young age, he can’t remember, because by 12 years old it was shadowed by swimming associated gifts.

 

“It was always a lot of swim trips, which in retrospect I have an appreciation for,” Cochrane said. “Swimming ended up being expensive, but I think my parents thought it was going to be cheap, just a pair of goggles and some lessons. Instead, we travelled a lot, and I got new racing swimsuits, which were up to $500 and worn a handful of times, and under the tree was always new goggles or a cap.”

 

 

Just Posted

B.C. mom, kids on bike turned away from Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

Saanich mom on a bike turned away in Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

Saanich residents asked for input on Tripp Station Youth Park

Staff are considering a bike park, parkour course, zipline and more

Body found in Central Saanich waste recycling facility deemed non-suspicious

Coroners Service investigating circumstances of death

West Shore RCMP spend four hours searching for roving hikers

RCMP say stay put once you’ve called for help and listen to instructions

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

B.C. man gets life with no parole until 2042 for murder of Belgian tourist near Boston Bar

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchres

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Port Alberni rallies for mill workers

Fundraisers helping ease the sting of five months without work

Island student lobbies school board for dress code consistency

Jaylene Kuo contacted school trustees after seeing dress guidelines at brother’s school

Bids down, costs up on Highway 1, B.C. independent contractors say

Rally protests NDP government’s union-only public construction

Members of little people community applaud change to drop ‘midget’ term

‘It’s not about sensitivity,’ says Allan Redford, the president of the Little People of Canada

Most Read