Danielle Lappage

Excitement building in Olds for local athlete’s Olympic debut

Danielle Lappage is making Olds history.

Danielle Lappage is making Olds history.

The 25-year-old freestyle wrestler is the community’s first Olympic athlete and will compete on Aug. 18 in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Doug Wagstaff, Olds chief operating officer, said there’s a lot of community support for Lappage and excitement has been growing.

“It really has picked up here in the last couple of weeks,” said Wagstaff.

Lappage, who trains with the Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club, competes in the 63 kg weight class.

Earlier this year at the Olympic test game in Rio, she won the gold medal against China.

Her most difficult challenge to get to the Olympics was reconstructive ACL knee surgery in November of 2014.

Lappage grew up in Olds where she began wrestling in middle school at age 13 and started focusing on the sport in Grade 10 when she won the nationals.

A community fundraiser Loonie for Lappage raised $5,000 to help cover her living expenses while she trained. As part of the campaign, she was also presented in July with three Town of Olds flags signed by residents young and old.

“There were lots of message on there that were really heartwarming. She was very moved to get that. You couldn’t help but have a tear in your eye,” Wagstaff said.

Those flags made it all the way to Rio. Lappage hung the flags in the wrestlers’ practice room.

Wagstaff said the pride Lappage has shown in Olds, and Central Alberta, is really uplifting.

The town is working to bring residents together for a community event on Aug. 18 to watch Lappage compete.

The Olds Olympic favourite is one of six Canadian women wrestlers competing at the summer games.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Flooding potential within Red Deer, Lacombe and Stettler to be assessed

Federal-provincial projects will do mapping, forecasting

Red Deer Housing Authority hires local manager

Franklin Kutuadu starts as CAO in February

Olympic ski run designer creates upgrades at Canyon Ski Resort

Jeff Ihaksi says free-style and alpine ski venues are Canada Winter Games-worthy

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Report: China is driving use of armed drones in Middle East

BEIRUT — The use of armed drones in the Middle East, driven… Continue reading

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — A rally in support of Alberta’s oil industry… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Canada’s Kim McRae finishes seventh at luge World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Canada’s Kim McRae finished in seventh place at… Continue reading

Jeff Bridges to receive Cecil B. DeMille Award at Globes

LOS ANGELES — Jeff Bridges may have once been considered as one… Continue reading

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

NEW YORK — Racial justice. Obstruction of justice. Social justice. The Justice… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Most Read