Sinead Russell races from father’s long shadow to London Olympics


When Canadian swimmer Sinead Russell yesterday punched her ticked to the 2012 London Olympics, questions about her swim coach father’s shady past were inevitable, Cecil Russell twice banned from coaching for life for his involvement in illegal steroid and ecstasy rings, and having admitted helping burn and dispose a murder victim. It’s a mess the likes of which Canadian swimming has never seen, but Sinead Russell appears unperturbed, and didn’t flinch at a suggestion her family’s problems have made her path harder than for other swimmers.

“Not at all. It’s made me tougher,” said the 18-year-old from Burlington. “What I’ve been through, it’s made me more determined to do what I do.”

Read more here on The Star (a Google cached version is here in case they are still having technical problems)

About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)


  1. Claudia Cordoba on

    I do not know why people keep talking about Cecil Russell. He is the reason that Sinead is in the Olympics. He has made thousands of good swimmers. Don’t people realize that if he did something one day, it is time to forgive him. How many times we hurt people with just words an we keep walking on the streets like nothing. Come on. Please leave Cecil Russell alone and let him coach us. He has been the best swim coach ever.

    • Thanks for commenting, Claudia

      Yes, I’m sure he must be a good coach, since he wasn’t just dropped and forgotten after all that happening.

      It is a good story though, which I think is the reason that people keep telling it. Also if it as now turns into an ‘overcoming’ story, with his daughter qualifying for the Olympics and all.

      One of the challenges of having a blog like this (at least for an amateur like me), is to figure out how to handle a difficult subject. I’m not especially proud of this story, but I feel that since it is being told by ‘big media’, it should be mentioned also by us who love swimming.

      Best regards,


  2. Cecil Russell committed many mistakes, that unfortunately can not be forgotten, but should be forgiven.
    However I believe that behind all this there are people with much power who became enemies of Russell.
    There the story through a number of daily inmates after serving his sentence have been reintegrated into society successfully conviertiendo in people.
    Why is not allowed the same to Mr. Russell

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