Saanich athlete taking Rio Games in stride

Hillary Stellingwerff to compete in 1,500 metre event at Summer Olympics

Hilary Stellingwerff (front left)

Just days before Friday’s start to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, one of Canada’s veteran athletes was staying clear of the hype.

Saanich-based 1,500-metre specialist Hillary Stellingwerff, 34, was in Guelph, Ont., part of an Olympic preparation camp with several track runners. It was actually a family affair for Stellingwerff, whose coach and husband, Trent, was also there with their two-year-old son Theo. The trio are Saanich regulars, often on the track at Centennial Stadium and at the Canadian Sports Institute facilities at the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence where Trent is based.

“Guelph is a great place to train,” Stellingwerff said. “It will allow for heat adaptation similar to what we’ll experience in Rio and is only an hour time change to Rio.”

The presence of Theo’s grandparents in Guelph, available for child care, is an added bonus, she said.

After a strong career with multiple podium finishes at the Canadian championships, Stellingwerff is eager to prove herself. At the 2012 London Games she made it through the qualification round but was pipped at the finish line of the semifinals by American Shannon Rowbury by a tenth of a second, 4:05.47 to 4:05.57.

Stellingwerff and teammates will fly into Rio de Janeiro four days before they compete. (Theo will have to stay behind.) Health and safety are only part of the strategy to arrive close to the date of competition, which begins Aug. 12 with the final set for Aug. 16.

“Being in the Olympic Village for too long can be overwhelming, you don’t want to get hyped up too early or for too long… even for the London Games we were only in the Olympic Village a few days before [the event] for the same reason.”

Stellingwerff is one of three Canadians going to Rio for the 1,500m, with Nicole Sifuentes and Gabriela Stafford. At the July 9 Track and Field Championships in Edmonton it was Stafford winning the 1,500m with a time of 4:18.51 ahead of second-place Sifuentes (4:18.650) and third-place Stellingwerff (4:18.987).


The Edmonton conditions were slower than the personal bests of the athletes who all met the 4:07 Olympic standard, and who will likely have to record a sub-four minute run to reach the podium in Rio.



Just Posted

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Colwood field lacrosse camp aims to get more kids involved

Victoria Field Youth Lacrosse hopes to inspire future athletes

Light up August with a lantern building workshop in Sidney

ArtSea workshops in preparation for Aug. 24 Salish Sea Lantern Festival

Saanich council to develop policy around contingency fund

Saanich’s strategic initiatives fund has been the subject of controversy

Report estimates Saanich taxpayers face a preliminary tax increase of 4.73 per cent in 2020

Saanich staff also questions why council continues to ask for budget reduction scenarios

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Most Read