Event: Men’s Shot Put
Local Club: Ottawa Lions
By Kieran Heffernan
Less than a year ago, shot putter Tim Nedow wasn’t even sure if he’d keep up his push to make Canada’s Olympic team.
The Ottawa Lions athlete told the Sports Pages last August that not continuing competing was “still a thought,” but added that “things are just going so well.”
Now, the 2015 Pan Am silver medallist will in fact be competing with Team Canada, for what will be his second Olympics.
In Rio, he placed 16th. Since then, he’s had some even higher finishes — including 4th at the 2019 Pan Am Games and 9th at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar. In Qatar, his 20.94-metre throw would have matched the throw of the bronze medallist in Rio, had Nedow made it at the Olympics.
Despite the strong showing at the world championships, Nedow noted that his financial support system was mostly gone after that competition. This was largely due to the complicated carding system used by the federal government’s Athlete Assistance Program, which required that he finish in the top 8 in Doha to maintain his funding.
Still, Nedow found ways to continue training throughout the pandemic. At first, he was lifting weights at home in his basement and throwing in parking lots, before training at Terry Fox Athletic Facility and the Louis-Riel Dome. Finally, he was able to move to Pennsylvania, where he’s been based at Garage Strength, a gym that boasts of training 43 Team USA athletes and seven Olympians.
During Nedow’s first outdoor competition of the season in April, his 21.11m throw automatically qualified him for Tokyo (the Olympic standard is 21 metres). Although he didn’t compete at Canada’s track-and-field nationals in June, this was enough to land him a spot on the national team.
As of 2019, Nedow had won seven consecutive national championships, and in January 2020 was named male athlete of the year at the Ottawa Sport Awards.