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SFU students and alumni make university proud as they ready for Tokyo Olympics

July 22, 2021

By Ayomide Gbadamosi

Following years of hard work, grit and determination, SFU students, alumni and staffers are set to make the university community proud as they ready for the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, which start Friday, July 23.

While some have been stars on SFU athletic teams—including alumnus Helen Maroulis, who will wrestle to defend her 2016 Olympic gold medal—others are prominent athletes who have trained in individual or team sports outside of SFU’s programs.

They include alumnus Jasmin Glaesser Duehring, who graduated in 2018 with a BSc in mathematics. Glaesser Duehring will be cycling in the team pursuit competition for her third medal win after clinching bronze medals from two former Olympic competitions in 2012 and in 2016.

Current student Brian Malfesi, who is completing a degree in applied mathematics, is aiming for a medal in double kayaking. Although this is Malfesi’s first time at the Olympics, he represented Canada five times between 2011 and 2019 in the International Canoe Federation (ICF) World Championships.

Beedie School of Business alumnus Gabriel Ho-Garcia, who graduated with a BBA in 2016, will return to the Olympics on Canada’s field hockey team. Ho-Garcia previously represented Canada in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Kristen Tsai who completed her bachelor’s in 2017 and master’s in 2020 at SFU will be representing Canada in Badminton at this year’s games. Tsai won six gold medals, three silver medals and one bronze medal for Canada between 2012 and 2019 at the Pan American Games.

SFU Athletics staff member Lindsey Butterworth will be competing on the track, setting her sights to win the 800m race. Butterworth is also an SFU alumnus who majored in health sciences and begins a master of public health degree this fall.

Ryan Brodie, a current BPK PhD student researching sports analytics, is on his way to Tokyo as an employee of the Canadian Sports Institute - Pacific. Brodie will be assisting the Canadian Olympic Committee with sports performance measurement and analysis.

Other former student-athletes heading for the games include Danielle Lappage who is representing Canada in wrestling, Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe on the women's basketball team, Natasha Wodak who is running the 10,000m marathon, and Tony Revitt who is a medical staff on the fencing team. Read more about their road to the Olympics on the SFU Athletics website.

Images of the athletes are courtesy of the Canadian Olympic Committee.