Kokanee alumnus strikes bronze

Richard Weinberger, former Vernon swimmer, collects bronze at Olympics

  • Aug. 12, 2012 4:00 p.m.
Former Vernon Kokanee Swim Club member Richard Weinberger claims bronze in open-water marathon swimming at London Olympic Games.

Former Vernon Kokanee Swim Club member Richard Weinberger claims bronze in open-water marathon swimming at London Olympic Games.

Former Vernon Kokanee Swim Club member Richard Weinberger is an Olympic medallist.

Weinberger, a 22-year-old who now lives and trains in Victoria, won bronze in the men’s open-water marathon Friday at the London Games.

He finished the 10-kilometre circuit – six laps of a one-mile course of the Serpentine in Hyde Park – in one hour, 50 minutes, 0.3 seconds.

Tunisia’s Oussama Mellouli (1:49:55.1) won gold. Germany’s Thomas Lurz (1:49:58.5) took silver.

Weinberger, who made his Olympic debut in 2008 in Beijing, is the first Canadian to win a medal in open-water swimming.

“You’ve just got to have fun,” Weinberger told Canadian Press. “That’s pretty much my position going into every single race. I’m here to have fun, I’m here to race these guys and compete, but racing is just the best.

“Training is hard and this is like Christmas morning.”

Weinberger swam with the Kokanee from 1998  to 2001, and still holds the long course record in the Under 10 Boys 200-m backstroke (3:09.66), which he achieved in April 2001.