Brielle Zacharias trains at Climb Base5 in Coquitlam on July 15, 2019. Zacharias is is one of 100 athletes set to compete in the first-ever RBC Training Ground final in Calgary, Alta on Saturday, Sept. 14. RBC Training Ground is a national talent identification and athlete funding program designed to uncover young athletes with Olympic potential. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)

North Delta teen chasing Olympic sport climbing dream

Brielle Zacharias, 17, is one of 100 athletes competing in the RBC Training Ground final on Sept. 14

By Ryan-Alexander McLeod for the North Delta Reporter

North Delta’s Brielle Zacharias is Calgary-bound in her quest to one day represent Canada at the Olympic Games.

The 17-year-old sport climber is one of 100 athletes set to compete in the first-ever RBC Training Ground final, a national talent identification and athlete funding program designed to uncover young athletes between the ages of 14-25 with Olympic potential and provide them with the high-performance sport resources they need to achieve their podium dreams, according to the program’s website.

The finalists, selected from a pool almost 2000 athletes across Canada, will be competing in Calgary, Alta. on Saturday, Sept. 14 to be one of up to 30 athletes who will receive funding and support to reach their dreams of representing Canada at the Olympic Games.

“Training Ground is definitely a big deal,” she said in an email to the North Delta Reporter. “I think being with the top 100 athletes across Canada that went to the qualifier events is really important (if I want to) reach the next level.”

Fresh off competing at the IFSC Youth World Championships in Arco, Italy last month — where she finished 26th in Youth A female speed climbing — it’s safe to say Zacharias is pumped to show what she can do.

“Becoming an Olympian is a dream for most high level athletes, so naturally it’s also one of mine,” she said. “Representing Canada on that big of a world stage would be overwhelming, but in a good way.”

RELATED: North Delta teens headed to world climbing championships

Zacharia is one of two Delta athletes set to compete in the finals. Joining her in Calgary will be Sophie Gower, a 14-year-old multi-sport athlete who rows for the Delta Deas Rowing Club and plays basketball at South Delta Secondary.

RBC Training Ground is a combine where athletes from different disciplines and sports are tested on their agility, stamina, strength, speed and power by representatives from Athletics Canada, Freestyle Canada, Canada Snowboard, Speed Skating Canada, Cycling Canada, Rowing Canada, Rugby Canada and Canoe Kayak Canada.

Zacharias and the other finalists will also have the opportunity to pick the brains of Olympic champions Justin Kripps (two-man bobsleigh, 2018), Patrick Chan (team figure skating, 2018) and Penny Oleksiak (100m freestyle swim, 2016), as well as Tokyo 2020 medal hopeful Melissa Humana-Paredes (world number one in beach volleyball), who will all be on site to help inspire the participants.

Zacharias said she’s ready for her moment.

“I train three days a week, three hours each in the climbing gym. I also do strength and conditioning training on my own. I also like working out and feeling like I tried hard so that’s helpful,” she said.

“Brielle has always had an incredible work ethic when it comes to sport and fitness,” her father, Scott Zacharias, said in an email. “My daughter is having an incredible time, competing with other athletes from all across Canada. (…) It make us very proud to see Brielle competing at the international level.”

Though she’s no stranger to representing Canada internationally, having competed at two world championships and one Pan-Am championship, Saturday’s Training Ground event will still be an exciting moment for Zacharias.

“I’ll get that feeling like when you are on a roller coaster, where your stomach is feeling all weird but you also love it and want to keep riding it,” she mused.

“I’m not that nervous, just excited. Maybe when I’m in the venue I could get some nerves, but overall I think I will just feel blessed and ready to give it my all.”



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

North Delta’s Brielle Zacharias is one of 100 athletes set to compete in the first-ever RBC Training Ground final in Calgary, Alta. on Saturday, Sept. 14. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

Fire truck, police car hit in chain of crashes on Hwy. 99 in South Surrey

‘People weren’t paying attention,’ says Surrey assistant fire chief

Not over yet: Mixture of snow, freezing rain on way as winter storm tapers in Lower Mainland

Environment Canada releases weather alert for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley

Final Four set at Surrey RCMP Classic, where a new champ will be crowned

Guildford Park beats Semiahmoo, ending Totems’ three-year championship run

Calling a snow day – or not – is a big decision for Surrey public schools

There’s much to consider before cancelling classes for 73,948 Surrey students

Surrey man charged in 2019 Vancouver homicide

Chad Harry, 32, charged with second-degree murder in killing of 35-year-old Cong Tran

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Vancouver Island distillery wins award for best Canadian rye whisky

Shelter Point cleans up at Canadian Whisky Awards

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Dad of missing Abbotsford woman charged after allegedly exposing himself in park

Barry Shpeley charged with sexual assault and assault

Crown won’t appeal sentence in child sex assault case of former Burns Lake mayor

B.C. Prosecution Service said sentence doesn’t meet standard for appeal

VIDEO: Semi driver records 22 crashes in one icy trip from Chilliwack to Abbotsford

‘Treacherous’ morning had emergency crews struggling to reach stranded drivers

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Most Read