Joe Barker is a swimmer who specializes in the breaststroke. He achieved a Canadian Record at the German Open Swimming Championships in Berlin in 2008 for 50m Breaststroke with a time of 39.96 . He represented Canada at two Paralympic games.
He was recently honoured at the John Labatt Centre along with several other Olympic athletes. Thousands of fans and supporters showed up for the event wearing red and white. They cheered quite loudly and stuck around after the event to meet and greet the athletes.
“All of the people in the audience were really loud. It just seemed like a giant tidal wave of happiness and energy. I’m really excited that I’m a swimmer and I swam when I did because it’s just been about swimming and about sports the past four years of my life. I had Beijing and coming back I had 2010.
Barker admitted that the event at the JLC felt a little delayed. “They say that this is our homecoming but I came home almost two years ago.”
Joe has a point. This event was heralded as the welcome home for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Athletes. However, London wanted to honour the local athletes who made us all proud and it was a great thing to see our summer and paralympic athletes celebrated as well.
Barker enjoyed the event immensely. “It’s great. It’s nice to feel the support from my community. It’s really motivated me to train as hard as I can. You have those lumps some times and this is really helping out, for sure.”
Canada had such a strong showing at the Vancouver Winter Olympics and that energy continues to carry through. “The whole country is just so overwhelmed with just national pride in sports. It’s a great time to be an athlete now, for sure.”
So what’s next for Joe Barker?
“I have Web World in the Netherlands and that’s in August, then I have Can Am, and Pan Am, and all those things the next year. And in 2012, hopefully I’ll be in London, in England. So London to London, 2012.”
We certainly hope so too Joey Barker! Thanks a lot for taking the time to meet with your fans. sign autographs, and do this interview. We wish you all the best and will be cheering loud for you whenever you hit the pool.
Listen to the interview with the player below or download it here.
Joe Barker – Paralympic Swimmer