LETHBRIDGE, AB – Four athletes and one coach with Lethbridge connections are taking part for Canada at the pandemic-delayed summer games.
The two week spectacle of sport is officially underway following the opening ceremony in Tokyo on Friday.
Larry Steinke is attending his 5th Olympics as a coach. He’s been part of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorn Athletics Program for some time now.
As for athletes, Liz Gleadle and Kayla Moleschi are back at the summer games for their third and second times respectively. Local newcomers are Jillian Weir and Keyara Wardley. Both are rookie Olympians.
On a side note, local athlete Ross Bekkering is representing the Netherlands.
Susan Eyemann with the Lethbridge Sport Council says it should be very inspiring to young athletes in the city to have five exceptional people with ties to Lethbridge representing Canada on the Olympic stage.
It really is an Olympic games like no other we’ve ever seen. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, no fans were allowed to be in the stadium to watch the opening ceremony or any of the events for that matter over the next few weeks.
Lethbridge resident Jon Koopmans is also in Tokyo as a technical engineer for an international broadcaster. Koopmans, who’s the engineer for 94.1 CJOC and 98.1 2DayFM, says it’s eerily quiet in Tokyo where hundreds of active COVID infections have forced a fourth round of health restrictions and a state of emergency.
“There’s nobody in the streets. All of the venues have fences around them with gates that are closed. The festival squares that are normally full of events and interaction have all been barricaded off and no one is allowed to congregate,” says Koopmans.
Koopmans is an Olympic tech veteran. He has worked on the technical side for several Olympics over the past number years.
The Tokyo Games will wrap up on August 8th.