James Profit: At home in the water

Duncan Forbes - February 5, 2014

James Profit in the pool.
James Profit in the pool.

James Profit is an East Coaster through and through. The Charlottetown, P.E.I. native grew up in the water and he’s never left. Profit grew up with six older sisters. This alone might be a nightmare for many young boys growing up, but to top it all off, they were all competitive swimmers.

“There was no way around it, you had to swim,” says Profit, who at 19 is already in his 14th year of competitive swimming.

His love of swimming quickly became a lifestyle when he started working at his local pool when he was only 13 years old. At an age where most of us are only worried about hanging out with our friends or playing video games, Profit was using his highly developed skills to save lives. His house was only a five minute walk away from the pool, and he would often head right to the pool to train after he was done classes in high school.

In grade 11, Profit got to represent Canada on the Youth National team at the North American Challenge Cup in Mexico, where he placed first in the 200m butterfly, his strongest event. That same year, he qualified for Olympic Trials for the 2012 London Olympics, becoming the first-ever high school student from P.E.I. to do so.

When it came time to decide where to go to university, Profit faced the same tough decisions many young elite athletes face: he had many offers from schools across Canada, giving him the chance to get a great education while pursuing his swimming dreams and ambitions. Unlike many athletes, he really only had one destination in mind.

”I received offers from schools in Ontario, but even though they might have been ranked higher than Dal, they didn’t come close to having the team chemistry that Dal has, plus they weren’t as close to home,” adds Profit.

Three of his sisters, Talia, Maria and Johanna, even swam for the Tigers. He was the sixth member of his family to attend Dalhousie, so it just made sense for James to don the black and gold, just as his sisters had done before him.

During his first year with the Tigers, he set no specific goals; instead, he focused on simply getting better, faster, and improving his personal bests. That may sound like a modest goal until you consider that last year he walked away with three gold, one silver and one bronze at the 2013 AUS championships. He also was named the 2012-2013 AUS Male Swimming Rookie of the Year, just like current Tigers David Sharpe and Kyle Watson had done before him.

He trained with team P.E.I. this past summer in preparation for the Canada Games, and has already posted two CIS qualifying times (in the 200m butterfly and 400 IM) and will look to continue on with his early career successes.

Going forward, Profit says he would love to set either Dalhousie or AUS records before all is said and done, but laughs when he admits “that it’ll be awfully tough to beat Dave (Sharpe)’s records anytime soon.”

Watch James Profit and other Tiger athletes in the Subway AUS swimming championships this weekend (Feb 7-9) at Memorial. Watch the live feed here.


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