Langley/Tokyo – Trinity Western University will have a group of six as part of Canada’s Olympic contingent in Tokyo this summer, as five Spartan alums and TWU’s head athletic therapist will be wear the Maple Leaf in Japan.
As has become commonplace, the Canadian men’s volleyball team will have a strong Spartans flavour, with three TWU alums named to Canada’s 12-man roster, including Steven Marshall (’13, Abbotsford, B.C.), Ryan Sclater (’17, Port Coquitlam, B.C.) and Lucas Van Berkel (’14, Edmonton).
On the track, Spartan alum Regan Yee (‘18, South Hazelton, B.C.) will represent Canada in the 3000m steeplechase, after qualifying for the Olympics with a Canadian record time of 9:27.54.
In a last-minute addition to Canada’s cycling team, fellow track and field alum Alison Jackson (’14, Vermillion, Alta.) will compete in the women’s road race, after she was initially marked as a non-travelling alternate. Jackson, who was Canada’s top road race finisher at both the 2019 and 2020 World Championships, received a call earlier this week informing her she had been added to the Canadian team after another country withdrew from the competition.
Natalie Ghobrial, who is the Spartans head athletic therapist, will also be in Tokyo, as she will work with Canada’s women’s softball team as the athletic therapist.
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For Marshall, this year’s nomination marks his second opportunity to represent Canada on the Olympic stage, as he was also part of the Canadian squad in Rio in 2016. Sclater and Van Berkel will be making their Olympic debuts. All three helped Canada to an eighth place finish in the most recent Volleyball Nations League, which saw Canada cap the tournament riding a five-match winning streak.
Yee will also be making her Olympic debut, as the middle distance star earned a spot on Canada’s Olympic team after a phenomenal performance in June. After posting a then personal best time of 9:31.07 in the 3000m steeplechase at the Harry Jerome Classic in Vancouver on June 13, Yee went to Montreal and put on a show. First, she won the Canadian title by winning the Canadian Olympic Trials in 9:31.46. Then, just a few days later, she secured her Olympic spot by setting the Canadian record and running the qualifying standard for Tokyo.
Jackson is also making her first appearance at the Olympics, realizing her long-time dream, after being a non-travelling alternate for both Rio and originally, Tokyo. She has long shown her prowess in one-day races, which is the Olympic format. At the 2020 UCI Road World Championships, Jackson led Canada in the individual road race, crossing the line 30th overall. Her 2020 result marked the second straight year as Canada’s best rider at the World Championships, having finished 16th overall in the individual road race in 2019. Jackson races professionally with the Liv Racing WorldTeam.
On the diamond, TWU’s Ghobrial will play an important role with Canada’s women’s softball team, as she takes yet another step in an already impressive international career. Ghobrial resume already includes participating as an athletic therapist at the Summer Universiade, the Commonwealth Games and the Pan American Games.
Alums Eric Loeppky (’20, Steinbach, Man.) and Dan Jansen Van Doorn (’13, Langley) are also currently with Canada’s men’s volleyball team in the lead-up to the start of the Olympics as alternates.
Women’s Road Race
July 24 | 9 p.m. (PT)
July 31 | 5:40 p.m. (PT)
August 4 | 4 a.m. (PT)
July 23 | Canada vs. Italy | 5 p.m. (PT)
July 26 | Canada vs. Japan | 3:40 a.m. (PT)
July 27 | Canada vs. Iran | 5 p.m. (PT)
July 29 | Canada vs. Venezuela | 5 p.m. (PT)
July 31 | Canada vs. Poland | 5 p.m. (PT)
August 3 | Quarter-Finals
August 5 | Semifinals
August 7 | Gold Medal & Bronze Medal Matches