July 28, 2022
Action at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England is set to get underway Friday, after the opening ceremonies officially commenced the festivities on Thursday.
Nine athletes and four staff members with ties to Saskatchewan are set to represent Canada at the Games. Action runs from July 28-Aug. 7. The Games are composed of 18 sports and five para sports, with 272 Canadians set to compete.
CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem will provide live coverage of the Games from Birmingham.
Here’s more on the athletes and staff members with ties to Saskatchewan:
Alexis Ashworth, Weightlifting
Ashworth’s Commonwealth Games debut is in sight. Ashworth, who grew up on a farm near Oungre, Sask., earned a berth in the Games after breaking three Saskatchewan records at the 2022 Canadian Invitational in the 71-kilogram weight class.
Ashworth is set to compete in the women’s 71-kg weight class Aug. 1.
Rylan Wiens — Diving
After making his Olympic debut in Tokyo last summer, another big competition is in store for Wiens, as he makes his second Commonwealth Games appearance. The Pike Lake product represented Canada at the 2018 Games in Australia. He will be competing in both the 10-metre individual and 10-m synchro event, alongside partner Nathan Zsombor-Murray — a pairing that won bronze at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest earlier this summer.
Wiens is set to compete in the men’s 10-m synchro on Aug. 4 and men’s 10-m on Aug. 7.
Margo Erlam — Diving
Erlam, who is from Calgary but trains in Saskatoon with Wiens and Mary Carroll, will be making her first Commonwealth Games appearance. Erlam will be competing in the women’s one-metre and three-metre springboard and three-metre synchro events at the Games. She is fresh off a fifth-place finish in the three-m synchro at the Worlds, alongside teammate Mia Vallee.
She is set to compete on Aug. 5 in the women’s one-metre springboard, on Aug. 6 in the women’s three-metre synchro, before wrapping up with the women’s three-metre springboard on Aug. 7.
Michelle Harrison — 100-m Hurdles, Athletics
After winning her second-straight Canadian title in the 100-metre hurdles earlier this summer, the Saskatoon product will take her talents to Birmingham for her first Games appearance. Harrison is fresh off a 14th place finish at the 2022 World Athletics Games in Eugene, Oregon. Harrison set a personal best time of 12.74 in the event’s semifinal.
The opening round of the women’s 100-m hurdles is set for Aug. 4, while the finals run Aug. 7.
Anicka Newell — Pole Vault, Athletics
After electing to represent Canada at the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games, Newell will do so again in Birmingham. The Texan-born pole vaulter’s mothers side of her family is from Saskatoon — where her grandmother still resides. Newell was a seventh-place finisher at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and will be looking to improve on the result this time around.
Women’s pole vault finals are set to take place Aug. 2.
Garrett Ostepchuk — 3×3 Wheelchair Basketball
The Regina product was named to Canada’s four-player roster for 3×3 hoops — which will appear in the Games for the first-time. Ostepchuk recently starred for Team Canada at the 2022 Americas Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where they won bronze.
Team Canada kicks off the Games against Kenya on Friday, before clashes against Australia, Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka to round out group play. Medal matches are slated for Aug. 2.
Tammara Thibeault — Boxing
The gold medallist at the 2022 IBA World Boxing Championship in the women’s 75-kilogram category is off to Birmingham. Thibeault, who also fought at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, is a part of Canada’s six-member boxing team at the Commonwealth games. Thibeault spent time growing up in Regina, which is where she discovered boxing.
Boxing runs from July 29-Aug. 2 at the Games.
Jessica Frotten — Para Athletics
Frotten, who resides in Regina, will be making the second Commonwealth Games appearance of her career. The 2020 Tokyo Paralympian is one of six athletes a part of Team Canada’s para athletics roster.
Frotten will compete in the women’s 1500-metre (T53) on Aug. 4.
Jordan Kos – Lawn Bowling
Kos is a Regina product who will be making her first Commonwealth Games appearance. She has a trio of medals on the national stage at Canadian single championships and is set to test herself amongst the worlds best this week in Birmingham. Lawn bowling runs from July 29-Aug. 6.
Coaching and Team Staff:
Mary Carroll — Diving, Coach
Carroll will join her diving athletes Wiens and Erlam at the Commonwealth Games. Carroll recently coached Wiens at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and was named 2021 Saskatchewan Sport Awards Coach of the Year.
Carla Nicholls — Athletics, Coach
Alongside Frotten for the journey to Birmingham is para athletics head coach Carla Nicholls. Nicholls has been Canada’s Lead of Paralympic Hgh Performance since 2018..
Al Bodnarchuk — Athletics, Massage Therapist
Saskatoon’s Al Bodnarchuk, known as the legendary medical support staff figure within Saskatchewan and Canadian athletics, is attending another multi-sport Games. He has been to more Olympic and Paralympic Games than any other Saskatchewan resident.
Graham Olson — Video Analysis
Olson, who has ties to Saskatoon, reprises his role as swimming’s video analyst. He attended the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with Team Canada.