Competitive swimming is a family affair in the Russell household and Colin leads the way. The Russell family moved to Burlington in 2005 with Colin already established as a significant force in the sport. Colin swam for the Dolphins Swim Club of Oakville in his formative years and he commuted back and forth to Oakville for his training until he went off to university.
This young man is:
7-time Canadian Swimming Record Holder in the 200-metre freestyle
4 time Canadian Interuniversity Sport Record Holder in the 100, 200 freestyle & 50-metre breaststroke
16 time Ontario Swimming Record Holder in freestyle events
2009 Swim Ontario Athlete of the Year
2009 University of Toronto Athlete of the Year
In 2008, Colin qualified for the Beijing Olympics as a member of the Canadian Swim Team. He was a semi-finalist in the 200-metre freestyle and a member of the relay team that placed 5th. To get his opportunity with the Canadian Olympic team, it is worth noting that he was the Canadian Olympic Trials Champion. In 2012, Colin again represented Canada at the Olympics, this time in London. The relay team on which he was a member made it to the semi-finals, a significant achievement.
In between, Colin swam for Canada in the World Championships in 2009 and 2011. For each of these events, he had to qualify and on each occasion, he emerged as the Canadian World Championship Trials National Champion. In other words, he was the best swimmer in the nation for a number of years.
At the 2006 Pan-Pacific Championships, he was a team member winning two Silver Medals and in the 2010 Pan-Pacific Games, Colin was a finalist in the 200-metre freestyle.
Colin graduated from Burlington Central High School in 2004 and went off to Indiana University. He was the Indiana University Rookie of the Year and three-time All-American, setting 4 Indiana University Swimming Records. Returning to Canada Colin enrolled at the University of Toronto in 2010 and was named their Athlete of the Year. Representing the U of T in 2010 at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships, he won 5 Gold and 2 Silver Medals. He was named the Interuniversity Male Swimmer of the Year. Colin went on to pursue and achieve a degree in Kinesiology from Brock University.
The demands of training in swimming, as in any high-level competitive sport are time-consuming and can be exhausting. It is worth noting that Colin has also made a point of giving back to his sport through coaching and mentoring younger swimmers. He was a volunteer with the Special Olympics swimming program while at U of T; the Assistant Swim Coach in 2012-13 at Brock; volunteer assistant at Ridley College in 2014; volunteer trainer at camps, dryland and swim workouts at Oakville Dolphins, 2013-15.
The Burlington Sports Hall of Fame is pleased and proud to welcome this superb swimmer and athlete. He presents a role model to which we can all aspire.