Several of those big dreams are about to be realized on the biggest stage of them all, as Chatham-Kent is sending SIX Olympians to compete in the Tokyo Games.
One year ago, Bothwell’s Nick Wammes was named to Canada’s Cycling team for the upcoming Summer Olympics.
Blenheim’s Breanne Nicholas and Ridgetown native Chris Von Martels will also represent C-K and Canada. Nicholas will compete in Women’s Rugby 7’s, while Von Martels was named to the national Dressage Team by Equestrian Canada.
Chatham’s Bridget Carleton and Chatham-born Miranda Ayim were both recently named to the Senior Women’s Basketball Team.
And as reported by Mike Bennett and the Blenheim News Tribune, Blenheim’s Alex Hyndman has been named to the 2020 Paralympic Summer Games, also taking place in Japan from August 24th to September 5th.
Bothwell’s Nick Wammes, already a National Champion, will compete in Canada’s Spring and Keirin races.
“That childhood dream of representing Canada at the Olympic Games is one step closer to being a reality,” Wammes wrote on Instagram. “So proud and honoured to be able to share the news today of being nominated to the Olympic Team in Tokyo.”
Blenheim’s Breanne Nicholas will see her dreams come true after overcoming some serious adversity. Nicholas is now healthy and ready to go after battling a concussion and the cancellation of the 2020 games
Nicholas has represented Canada for the past several years moving from Canada’s Junior rosters to the Senior National team.
Nicholas is a Kent Havoc, London St. George’s, and Western University rugby alumni.
Chris Von Martels, 38-years-old, from Ridgetown and currently based in Florida, will travel with his horse Eclips all the way to Tokyo to compete in their first Olympic games.
Von Martels has previously represented Canada, including at the 2015 Pan Am Games where he won a silver and bronze medal.
Bridget Carleton is a very well known local basketball product. A WNBA standout for the Minnesota Lynx, Carleton is one of the best athletes ever produced in Chatham-Kent.
The John McGregor Secondary School alum was drafted by the Connecticut Sun 21st overall in 2019 and spent half a season with the Sun before being picked up by the Lynx. Carleton has also spent time playing professionally overseas in the WNBL in Australia with the JCU Townsville Fire as well as with Landerneau Bretagne Basket in Landerneau, France. She also participated at the 2018 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.
In her career playing at Iowa State University, the Big 12 Player of the Year she finished 2nd in the Cyclones’ records for career scoring with 2,142 points. She ranks third in the franchise record book with 713 field goals, 211 steals and 124 blocks.
Miranda Ayim, a teammate of Carleton’s on the Sr Women’s hoops squad was born in Chatham is a two-time Olympian. After spending her early childhood in Chatham, Ayim moved to London, Ontario before playing NCAA basketball for Pepperdine.
Ayim previously announced her retirement following the Games.
“There’s never really a right time/way to announce something like this, so this will have to do,” she said on social media. “After this season (and the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, of course), I’ll be stepping away from the game that has given me so much.”
Ayim also played in the WNBA for Tulsa in 2003, and has played professionally in Turkey and France.
As first reported by the Blenheim News Tribune, Alex Hyndman will compete as part of the Men’s Handcycle 3 Team at the Paralympic Games.
The Blenheim resident and his teammates will take part in the time trials and road race, scheduled for August 31st to September 3rd.
The Tribune says Hyndman was left paralyzed in part of his torso and his legs after a car crash in 2010. He spent six months in hospital following the collision. Alex took up handcycling during his recovery and was quickly considered an “elite” athlete. Hyndman was already represented Canada in numerous international competitions.
The Paralympic Games, also in Japan, are set for August 24th to September 5th.
The 2021 Tokyo Games, postponed from 2020, will open on Friday, July 23rd and close Sunday, August 8th.