Commonwealth Games a family affair for Canadian wrestlers
GOLD COAST, Australia – Wrestling is finally about to begin at the Commonwealth Games and there will be some familiar names on Canada’s wrestling team.
Steven Takahashi, competing this year at 57 kg, will be following in the footsteps of his father Ray who competed at both the 1978 games in Edmonton and 1982 games in Brisbane, Australia. Ray won gold in 1978 and captured silver in 1982.
Jordie Steen, 97 kg, also has parental connections to the Commonwealth Games. His father Dave and mother Andrea both competed at the 1982 games and 1986 games in Edinburgh, Scotland. Andrea competed in the 400-m hurdles, and Dave was a decathlete and took home silver at both events. Jordie’s great uncle also competed in three Commonwealth Games, 1962, 1966, and 1970 as a shot putter and took home a bronze and two golds.
“The main piece of advice my parents have given me that has helped me the most so far is to treat this tournament like every other one I’ve competed at,” said Jordie. “And not let the pressure of the games affect my performance or preparation.”
Jessie MacDonald and her husband Evan competed together on the wrestling team at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. They both took home bronze medals
“It was my first multi-sport games event and experiencing it with my husband and best friend made the experience even better,” said Jessie. “Now eight years later Evan will be arriving with my daughter Ella. And knowing that they are here with me is surreal. I never would have imagined a second Commonwealth Games, let alone with my baby girl.”
Jessie believes Evan’s experience at a Commonwealth Games has helped her in her preparations.
“He knows exactly what an athlete is going through at the Games. He also knows what an athlete needs in order to be successful. Although he isn’t here physically in the village he keeps my mind in check and helps me with the mental aspect of the Game.”
Alex Moore has family on this year’s team as his father Rob on Wrestling Canada Lutte’s coaching staff at Gold Coast.
Wrestling at the Commonwealth Games take place April 12 to 14 in Gold Coast, Australia.