By Doug Kennedy
Julie-Anne Staehli from Lucknow added some local excitement to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Lots of road signs were put up around Lucknow in support. She came 17th in the 5,000 metre race, which is a great accomplishment for the 27-year-old.
Staehli was one of 57 track and field athletes from Canada competing in the Tokyo games. She qualified by running her personal best, below 15 minutes, this spring.
The town of Lucknow and area raised over $6,000 to help her with her travel expenses.
Cathy Gibson and Chris Hackett started a Facebook page to give updates and follow her journey.
Russ Sutton from Lucknow said he remembers her work ethic and determination, which he says has been an inspiration for young people and athletes. Sutton can remember Staehli running the roads around Lucknow at a young age and the next thing you hear, is her winning track meets at university. Sutton says she is not only a great runner, but an even better person.
How exciting was the Olympic women’s gold medal soccer game? Canada got off to a slow start against Sweden, but outplayed them the last half of the game and in overtime. Sweden scored early in the game to make it 1-0. Canada tied it up just past the midpoint of the game. It is tough to watch shootouts to decide the gold medal. Sweden went up 2-1 and I thought it was over, but they fought back with some great saves from their goalie and some near misses, to win in sudden death with the sixth penalty shot.
I see fastball and a few other sports are out during the next games. For me, this is disappointing because Canadian women should be able to play in the Olympics. Young women across Canada should be inspired by that great Canadian team that won a bronze medal.
I still do not get how the Russians can be in the Olympics with all the doping infractions over the years. It does not set the right example for young athletes.