BURLINGTON, Ontario, Canada, May 19. JOANNE Malar, a three-time Canadian Olympian and multiple national record-holder, is making a comeback after a two-year retirement from the sport.
Why is she doing it?
"The reason I'm doing this isn't because I have to, it's because I want to," Malar, 27. "I know I can. I'm choosing to go back because I want to. That's the biggest answer to the question why."
Malar has moved to Calgary and is training under her former coach Jan Bidrman, the Swedish Olympian, who also coached South Africa's Penny Heyns to double Olympic gold in 1996. Her goal is to compete at her fourth Olympics next year in Athens.
"I absolutely believe in myself," said Malar, once the world's top-ranked 400 IMer who still holds the Canadian 400 IM record at 4:38.46.
"I'm excited about the challenge of 16 months to see if I can be better, faster, stronger, smarter than ever before.