How Olympic sprinter Sam Effah spends his money

Now one of two chefs de mission for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Effah shares how he splits his money between work and play
Lora Grady
spending diary_august collage_final

Sam Effah’s Olympic sprinting days may be in the past, but he’s still a man on the go. Effah represents Team Canada as one of two chefs de mission for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which begin Thursday in Birmingham, England. He shared his costs for one week in the lead-up to the event, splitting his spending between work and play.


Last night, I flew to Ottawa to light the Canada Games torch at the Centennial Flame monument on Parliament Hill. It was such an honour. Pascale St-Onge, the minister of sport, was there. I started my day with a three-egg omelette and coffee ($24) from room service. I don’t normally drink coffee, but I needed to stay alert.


My mom is coming to visit at the end of the month, so my wife, Sofia, and I bought us all tickets to a Greek-themed beach picnic ($450) on the Toronto lakeshore as a 60th-birthday surprise. One of her best friends, Gloria, my sister, Erica, and Gloria’s son, Ian, will be joining us, too—and my mom has no idea!


We kicked off celebrations for my friend Chris’s bachelor party today. I know Chris from my track days. The seven of us grabbed some food and drinks ($74) at the Loose Moose in downtown Toronto and then we went to the Rogers Centre to watch the Blue Jays play the Minnesota Twins ($40). To be honest, I’m not a baseball fan, but I love the atmosphere of the stadium.


The bachelor party continued in Niagara Falls. We went go-karting at the Niagara Speedway ($130), which was fun, even though kids were driving circles around me. We headed to Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse for an all-you-can-eat meat dinner ($111). There was so much steak and chicken; I don’t want to look at meat ever again.


I drove back to Toronto in my rented silver Ford Escape ($196). I had to stop for gas, which cost me $75 and didn’t even fill the tank. It hurt my heart!


Last summer, I trained with four-time Olympic coach Joey Scott and started using his line of supplements, JML Levitate Nutrition. His team let me work out with them during lockdown. Today, I re-upped on my favourite JML protein powder ($115). I do everything I can to support good people.


I went to the Farm Boy in my building to buy avocado, bread, vegan cheese and vegan mayo ($42) to make my wife a grilled cheese before she headed to Miami for a friend’s bachelorette weekend. She’s vegan, and I participate out of support. But when she’s out of town, I have my steak (see Thursday for proof).

—As told to Lora Grady

This article appears in print in the August 2022 issue of Maclean’s magazine. Subscribe to the monthly print magazine here, or buy the issue online here