Mrak swims to international silver and bronze wins

Tyler Mrak of Aldergrove was the winner of a silver and two bronze medals at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games this past week.

Tyler Mrak of Aldergrove.

Tyler Mrak of Aldergrove.

Tyler Mrak of Aldergrove was the winner of a silver and two bronze medals at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games this past week.

A visually impaired 17-year-old, Mrak has been working hard and earning competitive wins since joining the Langley Flippers swim club at the age of nine.

Mrak competed at nine events at Toronto from August 8 to 14. He earned the silver in the men’s 100m backstroke, and the two bronze medals were in the men’s 100m backstroke and men’s 400m freestyle.

He also made fourth place in the men’s 200m IM, fifth in 50m freestyle, and two sixth places in 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly.

Canada was ranked second in the games’ swimming events with 91 medals, 13 fewer than first place Brazil’s 104 medals. Canada’s tally included 24 gold, 39 silver and 28 bronze medals.

The experience Mrak gained in 2014 helped him earn a spot on the Canadian team competing at Toronto. He reached four finals at the Speedo Can Am Swimming Championships, with second places in the 200m individual medley and 100m backstroke, plus a third place in the 100m freestyle.

Mrak also competed for Canada at the 2014 Pan Pacific Para-swimming Championships in Pasadena, California. One of the youngest swimmers on the team at the age of 16, he reached five finals, capped by a bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke. He was also fifth in the 400m freestyle, 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley, plus a sixth in the 100m backstroke.

Mrak, coached by Reg Shaw, was one of three Surrey Knights to make Team Canada at the Parapan Am Games, along with Adam Rahier and Nathan Stein.