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Chasing dreams together: 2 steeplechase stars from northern B.C. head to Tokyo to take on the world’s best

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Chasing dreams together: 2 steeplechase stars from northern B.C. head to Tokyo to take on the world’s best

Alycia Butterworth and Regan Yee originally hail from Prince Rupert and Hazelton, respectively, and while family cannot accompany athletes to the Tokyo Olympics, the duo can beget every other to assist effect grounded at the Video games.

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Regan Yee, left, and Alycia Butterworth at the discontinue line of the females’s 3,000 metres steeplechase for the duration of the Harry Jerome International Monitor Traditional in Burnaby, B.C., on June 12. Both females beget qualified to speed for Canada at the Tokyo Olympic Video games. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press/File)

Canadian steeplechase big title Alycia Butterworth’s mom had been saving her air miles for months so she might maybe well per chance maybe cheer her daughter on this summer season in Japan.

However COVID-19 plot Butterworth won’t be ready to beget her fogeys on the sidelines at the Tokyo Olympic Video games. Whereas right here is a disappointment, she can beget her teammate Regan Yee — and while Yee is her competition, she is additionally a consolation.

“It provides nearly a plot of family to the Video games, in particular considering we cannot beget any family there,” said Butterworth.

Butterworth, 28, and Yee, 26, are both representing Canada in the 3,000 metres steeplechase match, and both are from northern B.C. Butterworth originally hails from Prince Rupert, while Yee, who holds the national describe for the match, is from Hazelton.

“I consider it’s going to be wonderful, being coaching partners, both originally being from up north, it’s fun to be ready to characterize dinky towns and I consider it’s going to be wonderful to drag these dreams and targets together,” said Butterworth, who now calls Parksville, B.C., home.

Yee, who space a Canadian describe at the discontinue of June in Montreal on the supreme day of Olympic qualifying, said she has been getting messages of attend not only from her hometown, nonetheless additionally from other folks in the course of the northern portion of the province.

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“It be been overwhelming nonetheless wonderful,” she said.

Hazelton has only about 300 residents, nonetheless Yee just isn’t the village’s first Olympian. Wrestler Carol Huyn earned a gold medal in Beijing in 2008 and a bronze in London in 2012, while wrestler Lyndsay Belisle competed at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Yee said having hometown role devices made her if reality be told feel love the leisure used to be imaginable. And she or he credits the “special situation” where she grew up as a imaginable reason for producing elite athletes.

“It might maybe per chance per chance also need something to attain with how supportive the community is,” said Yee.

And they beget loads to cheer for.

Yee ran the speed in nine minutes, 27.54 seconds at the La Classique meet June 29, breaking Gen Lalonde’s national designate of 9: 29.82. The Tokyo qualifying commonplace used to be 9: 30.

“To begin with I threw up, after that then I had a bit celebration,” said Yee, reflecting on her consume with CBC Radio.

“I real wished to obtain out and beget a upright speed and real speed fearlessly,” added Yee, noting her consume has helped her confidence heading to the Video games.

“It be comely intimidating getting out there with the world’s best nonetheless I earned my situation.”

From left, Butterworth, speed winner Yee, Genevieve Lalonde of Montreal and Jenna Melanson of Woodland, Wash., compete in the females’s 3,000 metres steeplechase for the duration of the Harry Jerome International Monitor Traditional in Burnaby, B.C., on June 12. Competitors must sure 28 mounted boundaries and seven water jumps for the duration of the speed. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

With the first heats of their match scheduled for Aug. 1 and the finals scheduled for Aug. 4, Butterworth and Yee are headed in the course of the Pacific to take on not only the top steeplechase runners in the world, nonetheless additionally sizzling and humid temperatures and the continuing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Irrespective of the extenuating circumstances, Butterworth is calling forward to getting out there and leaving all of it on the tune.

“I’m accrued so livid to be ready to inch and characterize Canada,” she said. “I’m real going to inch out there and take a look at not to consider too great and real speed.”

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Chasing dreams together: 2 steeplechase stars from northern B.C. head to Tokyo to take on the world’s best