Expense diary: Head of Mission Sam Effah

Now one of two Chefs de Mission for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Effah tells how he divides his money between work and play
Sam Effah’s Olympic sprint days may be a thing of the past, but he’s still a man on the move. Effah represents Team Canada as one of two Chefs de Mission for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which begin Thursday in Birmingham, England. He split his expenses for a week before the event, dividing his expenses between work and leisure.


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


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


We kicked off my friend Chris’ bachelor party celebrations today. I’ve known Chris since my track days. All seven of us had food and drink ($74) at the Loose Moose in downtown Toronto, then went to the Rogers Center to watch the Blue Jays take on the Minnesota Twins ($40). To be honest, I’m not a baseball fan, but I love the stadium vibe.


The bachelor party continued in Niagara Falls. We went go-karting at Niagara Speedway ($130), which was fun, although the kids circled 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 never want to watch meat again.


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


Last summer, I trained with four-time Olympic trainer Joey Scott and started using his line of supplements, JML Levitate Nutrition. His team let me train with them during the lockdown. Today I picked up my favorite 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 mayonnaise ($42) to make my wife a grilled cheese before heading to Miami for the weekend single from a friend. She is vegan and I participate out of support. But when she’s out of town, I have my steak (see Thursday for proof).

—As said 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 purchase the issue online here.

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