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

 

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

UPDATE: Two North Delta schools briefly in ‘hold and secure’ after report of weapon

Seaquam Secondary and Cougar Canyon Elementary were in ‘hold and secure’ for about 45 minutes

Charges dropped against officer who shot and killed Hudson Brooks in South Surrey

‘I feel like I’ve lost Hudson all over again,’ says mom

‘Men of Curling’ calendar features Surrey’s Tardi, who went rock climbing with a curling rock

Tyler Tardi, 21, now curls on men’s circuit, meaning he won’t play at 2020 nationals in Langley

Here’s why you may not have seen many federal election signs in Surrey

Earlier this year, Surrey council banned election signs on public property, highways

‘Jail’ time for Surrey business and community leaders in Crime Stoppers fundraiser

Metro Vancouver organization to host Jail & Bail event Friday at Central City’s outdoor plaza

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

‘We still did not get answers’: Vancouver parents demand expulsion after students’ racist video

‘We were unable to get confirmation from the VSB, but he hasn’t returned as of yet,’ says Marie Tate

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

‘What goes up will come down’: Gas prices spike in Metro Vancouver

Petroleum analyst Dan McTeague says prices will fall Thursday

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Most Read