At 6'3" Mike Mintenko is one of the biggest swimmers on the Canadian
national team. He was also one of its big revelations this past winter on
the short course World Cup circuit. He unexpectedly claimed the overall
crowns in the 50 and 100-metre butterfly events and pocketed $8,000 (U.S.)
in the process. It's not the kind of money his former class mates in Moose
Jaw, Ryan Smith and Curtis Brown are making in the NHL but it's valuable
change for a national team swimmer.
"The World Cup was just bonus for me because when I went over to Europe I
had no idea I'd be in that position," said Mintenko, 24, based in Vancouver
since 1998. "I think this can translate into strong performances in the
long course pool. I can see a progression happening in my swimming and I
can't see why I wouldn't post strong times in the long course pool."
Before joining the Pacific Dolphins Club in Vancouver, Mintenko swam for
the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) and at the same time garnered a
Bachelor of science degree in sport and fitness management. He still
receives big support in his Saskatchewan hometown. A local couple helps
finance his swimming and his father Leonard, a Safeway store manager,
raised funds by issuing a 16-month calendar which included photos of
Mintenko. All 600 copies sold out.
Men's 400-metre medley relay: Chris Renaud, Calgary; Morgan Knabe, Calgary; Michael Mintenko, Moose Jaw, Sask., and Craig Hutchison, Pointe-Claire, Que., were sixth in final.
Men's 100-metre butterfly: Michael Mintenko, Moose Jaw, Sask., finished in a fifth-place tie in final.
Men's 100-metre butterfly: Michael Mintenko, Moose Jaw, Sask., finished fourth in semifinal heat, advanced to final.
Men's 800-metre freestyle relay: Mark Johnston, St. Catharines, Ont.; Brian Johns, Richmond, B.C.; Michael Mintenko, Moose Jaw, Sask.; Rick Say, Salmon Arm, B.C.), were seventh in final.
Moose Jaw's Michael Mintenko in action
Dustin Hersee & Mike Mintenko
Canadians cheer on Yannick Lupien
2000 Games Swimming Coverage