Tim Baillie – Canoeing

Hometown: Aberdeen
Sport: Canoeing
Event: Slalom - C2
Games: London 2012

Tim Baillie MBE is a slalom canoer specialising in the C2 event from Westhill, Aberdeenshire. His parents were both keen canoeists, competing in the slalom discipline, so it was no surprise that he followed in their footsteps, achieving world and European success.

Tim and his teammate Etienne Stott both won bronze medals in the C2 team event at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in 2009 and 2011. They also won a bronze medal in the C2 event at the 2009 European Championships at the Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre in Nottingham. They are the British Premier Division Champions and British Open Champions.

Tim's greatest success was arguably at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games held in London. Despite producing the slowest qualifying time in the semi-final of the slalom C2 event, Tim and his partner Etienne went on to win the event with an unbeaten time of 106.41 seconds in the final.

The following questions were prepared by Brentry Primary School in Bristol.

Has your canoe ever been damaged in a race and if so what happened?

Yes we've damaged our canoe in races although it normally happens in training because we spend much more time training than we do racing. If it gets broken it's no problem for me because repairing the canoe is historically a ""Backman"" job so Etienne fixes it. Our boats are made of epoxy carbon fibre composite so with a little bit of composites know-how you can repair them unless the damage is really bad!

What would you be if you weren't an Olympic athlete?

Visionary green stockinged leader of a band of merry men, living in the woods, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor... No only joking, I've no idea really, perhaps an engineer, or an athlete in a non-Olympic sport.

How did you feel when you represented Team GB at the Olympics in London?

Equal parts very proud and very fortunate, racing at a home games in particular made me feel very lucky.

How many hours of training do you do and is it all in a canoe?

In an average week we would do around 20 hours of training, almost all of it would be in a canoe although some of the time we do some weight lifting and some times we do other sports for variety. We also spend a lot of time doing video review and planning so the training weeks are really busy normally.

What does your diet consist of and do you have to eat anything in particular and if so why?

I don't really eat a special diet although I do try to eat healthily and also try to balance my intake in line with the amount of energy I am expending. In Canoe Slalom your weight isn't a crucial factor but strength to weight is important so I try to manage my body composition.

Have you ever wanted to compete in any other sport?

Yes, if I was braver I'd like to race mountain bikes downhill. I also really enjoy skiing, surfing and other outdoor sports like those so competing at any of them would be cool.

Who inspired you to compete professionally?

There's not really any one person who inspired me, it was more a chain of people. When I was wee and I watched the best paddlers at my canoe club I wanted to be able to do things as well as they did, and then the best paddlers in Scotland and then GB and then the world. There's always someone that can do an aspect of paddling better than you that you can learn from or aspire to assimilate. When I was 18 the arrival of Lottery funding inspired me to try and get good enough results that I could do paddling full time and not have to have a proper job.

Apart from competing at the Olympics what is your greatest achievement and why?

Hmmm... tough one, does getting married count? I should probably say that to earn brownie points with my wife. But I don't really think that is an achievement as such, I have a degree from the University of Nottingham which would be my greatest academic achievement.

What are your professional plans for the future?

Hard to say, we're just in the process of putting a plan together to have a shot at Rio... I will need to retire at some point though and after that I don't know. There are lots of hobbies I'd like to spend more time doing but I've yet to figure out how they might work as a job.