Gymnast Shallon Olsen. (Photo: olympic.ca)

Gymnast Shallon Olsen. (Photo: olympic.ca)

Olympics-bound Surrey gymnast Shallon Olsen enters sports hall of fame – in Coquitlam

She was the youngest member of Team Canada when she made her Olympic debut at Rio 2016

Before she returns to the Olympic Games this summer, Surrey-raised gymnast Shallon Olsen entered the Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame.

This week she was named to the organization’s “Wall of Fame” during a virtual ceremony, video of which is posted to YouTube.

Olsen, 20, grew up in the Fraser Heights area but trained in Coquitlam and attended Centennial Secondary in city across the river. Upon graduation, she left to compete with the gymnastics team at the University Alabama.

• RELATED STORY, from 2019: Surrey gymnast Shallon Olsen looks to book a return trip to Olympic Games.

During Coquitlam’s hall of fame ceremony, Olsen is introduced by event emcee Perry Solkowski at the 57-minute mark of the video, which includes clips of her on TV over the years.

Olsen was the youngest member of Team Canada when she made her Olympic debut at Rio 2016 in her first year of senior eligibility, notes a bio posted to olympic.ca. She is now aiming to compete at the 2020 Games in Tokyo this summer, in artistic gymnastics.

“(Olsen) achieved a career highlight by qualifying for the eight-woman vault final, a feat she repeated in her world championship debut in 2017 in Montreal,” the bio says.

“She qualified for her third straight vault final at the world championships in 2019 when she just missed the podium, finishing fourth. It was also at those worlds that she helped Canada qualify in the team event for Tokyo 2020. Earlier in 2019, Olsen helped Canada win team silver and earned an individual bronze in vault at the Pan Am Games in Lima.”

Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame was established in 2020. No such hall exists in Surrey, although the idea has been floated in recent years.

• RELATED STORY, from 2019: Sports hall of fame in Surrey is ‘something that should be done,’ city councillor says.

The Coquitlam hall this year inducted new members Dave McKay (Olympic wrestler), Brittany Timko Baxter (2004 FIFA world under-19 women’s Golden Boot recipient), 1987 Coquitlam Metro Ford United (national women’s soccer champion) and Sohen Gill (lacrosse legend).

In addition to Olsen, Wall of Fame inductees this year are Robert Church (lacrosse), Ella Finding (wrestling, rugby, track and field, soccer), Emma si yuDong (tennis), Matthew Shanley (baseball), Jade Lee (taekwondo), Kierra Scott (soccer), Emiliano Brienza (soccer), Matteo Polisi (soccer), Jaya Rampuri, Coquitlam Little League All Stars (baseball), Urith Hayley (track and field), Larry Moro (soccer) and Kiyo Breiting (tennis).



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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