By ANSON WONG
A number of athletes with connections to the Beach and East Toronto will be taking part in the Tokyo Olympics which begin on Friday, July 23.
Athletes with local connections taking part in this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games include:
The Tokyo Games will be the second Olympics for 21-year-old swimmer Penny Oleksiak.
In her debut at the 2016 Rio Olympics, she won one gold, one silver, and two bronze medals. That performance at the age of 16 made her Canada’s youngest ever Olympic medal winner, and the first Canadian to win four medals at a Summer Olympics.
In Rio, Oleksiak won gold in the 100-metre freestyle; silver in the 100-metre butterfly; and bronze medals as a member of the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team and the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay team.
She also won the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s top athlete in 2016.
Oleksiak’s love of swimming began as a child, swimming with her friends in a backyard pool.
In the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Oleksiak won three silvers and a year later in the Fina World Championships she earned three bronze medals.
In Tokyo, Oleksiak is expected to be competing in the 100-metre and 200-metre freestyle events, along with being a key member of the women’s relay teams.
Javier Acevedo, 23, will be participating in swimming at the Tokyo Olympics.
A former Neil McNeil Catholic High School student, these will be the second straight Olympics for Acevedo as he also took part in the Olympic Games in Rio where he was the youngest member of the men’s team at age 18.
In Rio, he competed in the 100-metre backstroke and as a member of the men’s 4x100m medley relay team.
In 2017, Acevedo won two bronzes at FINA World Championships 2017 and at the end of the year he was named Swimming Canada’s Co-Male Swimmer of the Year.
Acevedo is expected to be competing in Tokyo in the 100-metre backstroke, and on the relay team.
A member of the Balmy Beach Canoe Club, Nicholas Matveev will be participating in the Canoe-Kayak – Sprint category at the Tokyo Olympics.
Matveev first competed on the world stage at the 2015 World Junior Championships where he competed in the K-4 1000-metre and K-2 200-metre. In the summer of the same year he participated in the U23 World Championships, missing out on the podium by 0.028 seconds.
Matveev won a silver in the 2018 World Cup season and making the finals at both the U23 and senior world championships.
In 2019, Matveev joined the senior K-4 500-metre crew exclusively. The crew is expected to compete for Canada in the Tokyo Olympics.
Also, a member of the Balmy Beach Canoe Club, Courtney Stott will be in the Tokyo Olympics participating in the Canoe-Kayak – sprint category.
Stott first took part in international competition at the 2015 U23 ICF World Championships. She finished fifth as part of the K-4 500-metre crew.
She joined the senior team in 2017 for two World Cup events, earning the finals position in Belgrade for the K-1 1000-metre and K-4 500-metre. She debuted as a senior at the end of the ICF World Championship season. She made the finals in the K-2 1000-metre.
Stott will be competing in Tokyo with Canada’s K-4 500-metre team.
EDITOR’S NOTE: There are also a number of athletes with local connections who will be competing in the Tokyo Paralympic Games from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5. Those athletes will be profiled by Beach Metro News in August in advance of the opening of the 2021 Paralympics.