Manitobans cheer on local athlete Tyler Mislawchuk in Olympic triathlon event

WINNIPEG — While there are no fans in the stands for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this year, Triathlon Manitoba made sure there was still plenty of supporters cheering on local athlete Tyler Mislawchuk – albeit nearly 9,000 kilometres away.

A crowd of more than 100 fans gathered at Birds Hill Provincial Park on Sunday evening to cheer on the 26-year-old athlete from Oak Bluff, Man., as he competed in this year’s triathlon.

Mislawchuk finished the event in 15th place, with a total time of 1:46:28. 

Mislawchuk first competed in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, also representing Canada at the 2015 Pan American Games and the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

Triathlon Manitoba’s Executive Director Jared Spier said during Mislawchuk’s Olympic debut in Rio, he had a very loud cheering section.

“Unfortunately, they aren’t able to make the trip just because of the circumstance in Tokyo and the world right now, so everybody’s staying put,” Spier said.

“But it’s still important that we make sure that he knows how much support is behind him.”

Mislawchuk isn’t the only homegrown Olympic athlete getting support from Manitoba.

Out of the 370 athletes that Canada sent to the Tokyo Olympic Games this year, six are from Manitoba – including Manitoba Bisons’ swimmer Kelsey Wog.

Gene Mueller, the director of athletics and recreation at the University of Manitoba, said student athletes and staff made Wog a good luck video and sent it to her in Tokyo.

“Everyone from women’s basketball to men’s volleyball, some of her teammates from the swim program – we heard through Vlastimil Cerny who’s the Bisons swim coach that she was delighted with it.”

Spier said to have Manitobans competing at the games means a lot to the province.

“The Olympics are always cool, but when you’ve got someone you can cheer for who’s from your home province – that’s just huge.” 

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