New College Alumnus Colin Russell ('10)Describe yourself in 50 words or less.

I am really honest, even in situations that require a filter. I do not understand stupidity – especially in the face of common sense. I never leave a job half done.


What was New College like when you came?

New College is legendary for its all-you-can-eat cafeteria, especially for breakfast, but it became a chore because they removed the trays – meaning I had to do more leg work than necessary.  I found the administrators to be incredibly helpful just as their sign says “Don’t worry, we’re here to help.”


How did your academic and social experience at UofT prepare you for life and your career?

Swimming has been a large factor for much of my life and coaching I received as a member of The Varsity Swim Team played a great role in my success as an Olympic Athlete. Academically, U of T was so challenging that it made doing my Masters and other academic challenges elsewhere seem easy.


What was important to you then – what is important now?

To both questions, it is having a future for myself and helping the ones I care about.


What are your major accomplishments and who had the most influence on your Career?

The most influential person in my life has been my dad. Not always a great influence but I learned many sport and life lessons both the easy and hard way from him.

As for accomplishments:

  • I am a husband to an amazing woman
  • I have travelled all over the world
  • I am in the process of getting my M.Sc.
  • Current World record holder
  • 2 time Canadian record holder
  • 2 time Olympian
  • 2 time U of T Athlete of the Year
  • 2 time Burlington Athlete of the Year
  • Member of the Barrie Hall of Fame
  • World Championship, Commonwealth Games, Pan-American Games and Pac-Pacific Games multiple medalist
  • 6 OUA records
  • 5 CIS records
  • 2 time OUA swimmer of the meet
  • 2 time CIS swimmer of the meet

I think that I have listed enough eh.


Do you have any final comments?

Even though I possibly came across as abrasive with my answers, I would like to express that I am grateful and would not replace my experience at the University of Toronto.

I also want to say that personally I enjoy helping in many forms. I volunteer at my local sports and help teach and motivate young athletes to work hard. I volunteer for programs that want to do good for the future i.e. Clean Air Champions and Canadian Athletes Now Fund. I also find it rewarding when I do something that I or other may consider a small token or gesture but later I hear that it made a lasting impact on an individual. So I will close with this: making a difference even in a small way is worthwhile if you want to be a positive influence in the world.