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Olympic champion Damian Warner seeks elusive gold medal at world indoor athletics championships – CBC Sports

Damian Warner has had plenty to celebrate the past 12 months, from the birth of his first child, a record sixth title at decathlon’s Hypo Meeting, setting Olympic and Canadian records in winning his first gold medal, and most recently, his son Theo’s first birthday.

Last Friday, Warner ate cake and helped Theo open presents in front of family in London, Ont., before flying to Serbia, where he will attempt to win his first heptathlon gold medal in three trips to the World Athletics indoor championships this weekend in Belgrade.

“Life seems like it’s going faster,” he said. “When I go away now it’s obviously more difficult because you have to say goodbye and might be gone a week or two, but when you come back it makes it that much more special when you can share certain moments and see the smile on his face.”

Being a dad has been the “most special thing” to Warner and brought a new perspective on life for the 32-year-old and his longtime partner, Jen Cotton, a former national team hurdler.

“A lot of the way I try to carry myself is how I will be viewed through my son’s eyes and I just try to be the best role model I can,” he said.

Warner previously took things hard if he didn’t get the desired results in practice or competition, carrying the frustration until he found an answer. While he’s still demanding of himself, he tries not to take his work home.

“Now, if something goes wrong or well at the track and Theo runs to the front door and wants to be picked up or give me a hug, all of that stuff doesn’t matter,” Warner told CBC Sports. “It’s kind of like a reset button and exactly what I needed in my life.

WATCH | Warner’s son, Theo, played big role in dad’s Olympic win:

What Damian Warner will one day tell his son about his Olympic gold medal

The decathlete’s son was born just months before his father’s Olympic title, but he had a big impact on Warner’s performance. 0:40

“Track is really important to me and it’s something I love, but it’s not the be-all and end-all.”

Live stream coverage from Serbia begins Friday (CBCSports.ca, 3:35 a.m. ET) with the afternoon session starting at 11:55 a.m. Action continues Saturday (3:35 a.m./11:45 a.m.) and Sunday (4:05 a.m./10:40 a.m.).

After taking three months off after the Tokyo Olympics to recover and make public appearances, Warner returned to indoor training in November.

Felt ‘terrible’ in February

To the surprise of his longtime coach, Gar Leyshon, there was no drop in his performance during December and January training sessions before practice became stale in February. In previous years, they usually broke the monotony of indoor training by attending training camps in Florida, California and Louisiana, but declined to travel each of the past two winters due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A month ago, Warner was in a funk at practice, telling Leyshon he felt “terrible” and “not ready” to compete at world indoors. Enter coach Dennis Nielsen, longtime physiotherapist Dave Zelibka and sports psychologist Jean Francois Menard, who rallied around him.

“Dave [Zelibka] told me I had one foot in [world indoors] and one foot out and told me …….

Source: https://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/summer/trackandfield/damian-warner-canada-world-athletics-indoor-championships-preview-1.6387226

Damian Warner has had plenty to celebrate the past 12 months, from the birth of his first child, a record sixth title at decathlon’s Hypo Meeting, setting Olympic and Canadian records in winning his first gold medal, and most recently, his son Theo’s first birthday.

Last Friday, Warner ate cake and helped Theo open presents in front of family in London, Ont., before flying to Serbia, where he will attempt to win his first heptathlon gold medal in three trips to the World Athletics indoor championships this weekend in Belgrade.

“Life seems like it’s going faster,” he said. “When I go away now it’s obviously more difficult because you have to say goodbye and might be gone a we…….

Damian Warner has had plenty to celebrate the past 12 months, from the birth of his first child, a record sixth title at decathlon’s Hypo Meeting, setting Olympic and Canadian records in winning his first gold medal, and most recently, his son Theo’s first birthday.

Last Friday, Warner ate cake and helped Theo open presents in front of family in London, Ont., before flying to Serbia, where he will attempt to win his first heptathlon gold medal in three trips to the World Athletics indoor championships this weekend in Belgrade.

“Life seems like it’s going faster,” he said. “When I go away now it’s obviously more difficult because you have to say goodbye and might be gone a we…….

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