The mom of Canadian steeplechase star Alycia Butterworth had saved up her airline miles for months so she might cheer on her daughter in Japan this summer season.
However COVID-19 means Butterworth cannot have her dad and mom on the sidelines on the Tokyo Olympics. Whereas it is a disappointment, she could have her teammate Regan Yee – and whereas Yee is her competitors, she can be a comfort.
“It nearly makes the video games really feel like household, particularly contemplating we won’t have a household there,” mentioned Butterworth.
Butterworth, 28, and Yee, 26, each symbolize Canada within the 3,000 meter steeplechase, and each are from northern British Columbia. Butterworth is initially from Prince Rupert whereas Yee, who holds the nationwide report for the occasion, is from Hazelton.
“I believe will probably be implausible to be coaching companions who’re each initially from the north. Small cities are enjoyable to symbolize and I believe will probably be implausible to pursue these desires and targets collectively,” mentioned Butterworth. he now calls Parksville, BC, house.
Yee, who set a Canadian report on the ultimate day of Olympic qualification in Montreal in late June, mentioned she had obtained messages of assist not solely from her hometown but additionally from folks throughout the northern a part of the province.
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“It was overwhelming however wonderful,” she mentioned.
Hazelton has solely about 300 residents, however Yee is not the village’s first Olympian. Wrestler Carol Huyn received a gold medal in Beijing in 2008 and a bronze medal in London in 2012, whereas wrestler Lyndsay Belisle competed within the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Yee mentioned her hometown position fashions made her really feel that something was doable. And she or he cites the “particular place” the place she grew up as a doable purpose for producing high athletes.
“It might have one thing to do with how supportive the group is,” mentioned Yee.
They usually have lots to cheer about.
Yee ran the race in 9 minutes and 27.54 seconds on the La Classique meetup on June 29, breaking Gen Lalonde’s nationwide mark of 9: 29.82. The Tokyo qualifying normal was 9:30.
“First I vomited, then I partied a bit,” mentioned Yee of her win on CBC Radio.
“I simply needed out, have a very good race and simply run fearlessly,” added Yee, noting that her win boosted her confidence on the way in which to the Video games.
“It is fairly intimidating to get out with the most effective on this planet, however I’ve earned my place.”
With the primary heats of their occasion for August 1st and the ultimate for August 4th, Butterworth and Yee journey throughout the Pacific to compete not solely in opposition to the world’s greatest impediment course runners, but additionally in opposition to sizzling and humid temperatures and the continuing challenges of COVID -19 pandemic.
Regardless of the extenuating circumstances, Butterworth appears ahead to getting out and leaving all of it behind.
“I am nonetheless so excited to symbolize Canada,” she mentioned. “I will simply go on the market and check out to not assume an excessive amount of and simply race.”