Series05 May 2014

Work, rest and play – Damian Warner


Damian Warner in men's Decathlon Shot Put at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 (© Getty Images)

Canada’s world bronze medallist Damian Warner is one of the rising stars of the decathlon.

He also won at the famous Hypo Meeting in the Austrian town of Gotzis last year and finished second in the 2013 IAAF Combined Events Challenge.

At the end of this month, on 31 May and 1 June, he will attempt to retain his Gotzis title and become the first man to get back-to-back titles since the Czech legend Roman Sebrle’s five-meeting win streak from 2001-05.

Here we gain an insight into the Canadian's world as he answers our work, rest and play questions.


What is your favourite training session?

Damian Warner: My hurdles practises. I always enjoy hurdling. I think hurdling involves a whole range of aspects of track and field: speed, strength and agility.

What is your least favourite training session?

DW: The harder runs. I’ve come to the point where I do the runs and I don’t complain too often, but these are my least favourite.

What are your three favourite things about being an athlete?

DW: 1 – Getting to travel the world. 2 – Being in shape. 3 – Getting to meet lots of new people.

Where is your all-time favourite training venue?

DW: I really love training at Santa Barbara. It is just such an open area and the track has a great feel. The Californian weather is always beautiful as well.

Who is your favourite training partner?

DW: A hurdler named Matt Brisson. It gets pretty competitive between us in training

What music do you listen to as part of your training?

DW: I listen to a range of music, but it would usually be something up tempo for the sprints. For the rhythm events, like the discus, it would be something slower like Beyonce.


Where is your favourite place to relax?

DW: My bed. It is familiar, comfortable, relaxing and quiet.

What is your favourite stress reliever?

DW: It would either be going to the basketball court, just shooting around not thinking about anything or playing video games; Call of Duty is my favourite.

Describe your perfect day without training.

DW: If I had my perfect day of rest it would be in Barbados on the beach. I would be snorkelling or scuba diving.

What is your favourite movie?

DW: The Pursuit of Happyness. I like the message of the film which is if you work hard and follow your dreams anything can happen.

What is your favourite meal?

DW: It would be stir fry because it has a little bit of everything – chicken, a tonne of vegetables and some rice. It would be followed by cheesecake.


When did your passion for basketball begin?

DW: In grade six at school. It started, for me, because Vince Carter was a huge player for the Toronto Raptors, which was basically my home town team. He was an amazing player to watch and he brought a lot of excitement to the game. It motivated me to work hard.

Did you play basketball and what standard did you reach?

DW: I played guard. Playing for my school we went to the highest level of high school basketball and made it to the national semi-finals; that was the highlight of my basketball career. After high school, I focused on track but some of my favourite memories are playing basketball.

Do you have an all-time favourite player?

DW: Vince Carter. He was not only a great player, but he also brought excitement and entertainment to the game. It motivated a lot of people and it certainly motivated me.

Has your basketball background helped your track and field?

DW: I feel it has helped quite a bit, because I learned the value of hard work and I’ve translated that to my track and field career. The speed and agility I developed in basketball also translates well to track and field.

Which athlete do you think would make the best basketball player and why?

DW: Trey Hardee (USA’s 2009 and 2011 world decathlon champion) because he has that height and that natural jumping ability.

Steve Landells for the IAAF