World and Olympic high jump champion Derek Drouin can hurdle, but he won’t sing.
1. I’d love to play beach volleyball
“If I could parallel to another sport and stay at the same level as I do track, I would switch to beach volleyball. My coach hates me when I say that, but since I stopped playing organised sports [outside of athletics] beach volleyball is the one I play the most. When I was based in Indiana [up until 2015] it was not uncommon for me to play beach volleyball a couple of times a week.
“I would love to be on the international circuit for beach volleyball because, just like track, you get to visit some awesome places around the world. I would travel with my teammate, who is likely to be your buddy, and also because I would regularly train and compete on the beach, and I love the beach!
“I also like the fact that because it is two-a-side, it is both a team sport and an individual sport all rolled into one. I loved playing team sports in my younger days and do miss being in a team environment. Yet I also love individual sports and not having to rely on teammates, but because there’s only two of you on each team there is a big emphasis on the individual, too.
“If I could pick someone from the world of track and field to partner me at beach volleyball, I would say my fellow Canadian and heptathlete Brianne Theisen-Eaton. The reason I’d pick Brianne is a few years ago during a Canadian team training camp in California we teamed up to take on five or six other athletes and more than held our own. She was a pretty impressive player.”
2. I used to be a pretty good hurdler
“I come from a multi events background and some people might not know that the hurdles – behind the high jump – was my second event. In fact, for a period I actually thought I would score 1000 points in the hurdles before [I would in] the high jump.
“Up until the age of 20, the hurdles and high jump were on a par and for IAAF World U18 Championships, I made the qualification mark for the hurdles [though he only competed in the high jump, finishing tenth in Ostrava 2007].
“I think over time I knew my hurdles could never be as good as my high jump because I didn’t have the flat speed.
3. Musical talent shows are my guilty pleasure
“I am always very impressed by people who can sing because I can’t! My guilty pleasure is watching shows like America’s Got Talent and Britain’s Got Talent.
“I don’t have a musical bone in my body and my personal aspiration has never been to sing in public, but I’m impressed by others who can.
“I never really end up following the shows from beginning to end, but I really like the episodes which screen the auditions.”