Swimmer may be Game for 2012

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:17 PM ET

Mike Brown might've been less than a tenth of a second from calling it quits.

But after falling just short of claiming an Olympic medal in Beijing, the 24-year-old Canadian breaststroke star hasn't ruled out gunning for a third Games appearance.

"If I'd been on the podium this summer, I'd probably have retired in the fall," Brown said. "But I didn't, so I have a bit of a scar."

Brown, who enrolled at the University of Calgary last semester, will dive back into competitive swimming tonight, representing the Dinos at the three-day Canada West conference championships in Victoria.

After a heartbreaking finish in Beijing's famed Water Cube -- Brown's clocking of two minutes 9.03 seconds in the 200m breaststroke finale was his second-best time ever but still 9/100ths of a second shy of bronze -- the Perth, Ont., product took a three-month break. The step away from swimming was by far his longest breather since joining the national program seven years ago.

Despite nursing a sore knee, Brown will compete in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke, one other individual event and likely a couple of relay races in his Dinos debut this weekend.

Fellow Olympian Emily Morningstar, 19, will also be in Dinos colours at the conference showdown, where the crew from Calgary and the perennial powerhouse UBC Thunderbirds typically fire the first shots in the battle for national bragging rights.

Brown is still wrestling with whether he'll set his sights on the 2012 Olympics in London but plans to make up his mind before this summer.

The two-time Olympian admits the days he plans to forge ahead outnumber those when retirement seems like his best bet.

"I truly do love my sport. It's been my life," Brown said. "The Olympic Games has been everything I've worked for and everything I've done. I've sacrificed a lot for it."

Longtime Dinos swimming coach Mike Blondal referred to Brown's Olympic future as "one of those things we don't bring up," but there's little doubt his varsity teammates would support their star if he decides to give it a go.

"If he wants to move towards that medal, then he should go for it. He's so close. He's in rarified air now," Blondal said. "I think if you took the Olympic experience that Mike had, I mean, he was so close that if you did it another day, you might get a different result."


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