Wood heading to Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires

Chinook High School Grade 12 student Solen Wood is set to become part of Olympic history.

Wood will compete for Team Canada in the triathlon event at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games later this month in Argentina.

Hosted in Buenos Aires Oct. 6-18, the 2018 version of the event will mark the first Summer Youth Olympic Games held outside of Asia, and the first Youth Games (summer or winter) to be held outside Eurasia.

"I am incredibly excited for the opportunity to travel to Buenos Aires to represent Canada at the Youth Olympic Games," said Wood. "I consider it a privilege to race on an international stage against 32 of the world's best athletes. My goal racing is to always do my best. My training has gone well and I feel prepared to be competitive. My aim is to make my family and coaches, Lethbridge and Canada proud."

Wood leaves Oct.3 and returns Oct. 20. The opening ceremonies on Oct. 6 will be Wood's Olympic introduction, while the men’s race is set for Oct. 8. The triathlon relay goes Oct. 11. Competing in the relay is dependent on race placing on the 8th.

The Youth Olympics experience will be one of many triathlons for Wood, who began racing at the age of four, when he competed in his first mixed-team triathlon. He only ran in that event but at the age of 11, Wood participated in his first full triathlon.

“I just loved it and I’ve done it ever since,” he said.

Wood’s practice schedule typically involves a focus on two disciplines each day, as he rotates mixing in biking, running and swimming workouts.

Coached by Bart Ujack out of Calgary, Wood's qualification journey involved being selected to race in Ecuador and qualifying there. He has raced since a young age, and has competed in soccer, football and basketball. Wood has won provincial championships in triathlon and cross-country running.

He also swims with LASC and has run with Lethbridge track and field. Wood is deeply supported by physiotherapist Bruce Stewart, acupuncturist Wendy Takeda and chiropractor Ian Buchanan.

He was selected to the race in Ecuador by triathlon Canada and the COC for the youth Olympic Games. 

Not only will Wood compete in in the first Youth Olympic Games to be held in the Southern or Western Hemispheres, but he will also experience the first opening ceremony in the history of the Olympic movement to be held outside a stadium, and open to the public for free.

The once-in-a-lifetime experience will be made all the more memorable for Wood, as he will have a lot of support in Argentina.

“My whole family is going down there for a week.”

Wood is the only Canadian triathlete set to compete in the Games.

Date posted: Oct. 1, 2018