C3's Andrew Yorke Selected for Rio Olympic Triathlon Team
It all stared 16 years ago, when a young teenage Andrew Yorke watched the Sydney Olympics with his family in Caledon East. On the second day of the Olympics, an un-known, Simon Whitfield won the Olympic Gold Medal and stunned the world with the first ever Olympic medal for the sport. Several months later, C3's head coach Barrie Shepley did a free motivational behind the scenes talk at the Bolton arena about the Olympic experience. As luck would have it, Andrew Yorke and his sister and father (Ward) Yorke would come to that talk. Andrew had been a bike rider, soccer player and was looking for a new way to express his talents. He soon joined the C3 Canadian Cross Training Club and became one of the hardest working juniors in the program. As a late developing swimmer, Andrew had to really work to develop his swim skills. He swam as often as he could at the Mayfield Pool and balanced triathlon, Humberview High School Track & Cross Country, academics, and part-time jobs.
As he graduated from High School, rather than directly into McMaster University, he worked a semester at Royal Containers in Brampton while he continued to improve. Andrew represented Canada at the World Junior Championships and then continued his running and swimming at McMaster University with Paula Schnurr and Andrew Cole. Big brother-mentor Sean Bechtel played a very important role in Andrew's development. He had a big-strong, older mentor to push him in all workouts and Andrew became one of Canada's top under 23 year old athletes, racing at World Champs a number of times. Andrew was a big part of McMaster's resurgence in cross country running, along with C3 triathletes Connor Darlington, Taylor Reid, John Rasmussen, and Lionel Sanders.
Andrew moved out of university and into full time triathlon racing with summers in Germany, Spain and other parts of Europe. He had a chance to race on the biggest stages and world championships and in 2012 was selected as the first alternate for the London Olympic Games. As Simon Whitfield's daily sparring partner leading up to London, Andrew got to see what SImon did every single day for 3 months. Andrew was in London and saw the entire race, the size of the media and got to understand everything he would need to know for Rio. In the last 4 years, Andrew was top Canadian at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Andrew was the top Canadian at last year's Pan American Games in Toronto. Andrew was the 2015 National Champion and the 4th place in New Zealand. Andrew finished the two year Olympic qualifying block as the top Canadian and on June 29th, was officially selected with four others to represent Canada at the Rio Olympic Games. See link to the team announcement: http://www.triathloncanada.com/en/news/latest/?id=3884 and Barrie Shepley's note on the team: https://www.facebook.com/barrie.shepley/posts/1246646062025837?pnref=story
Andrew's journey to the Olympics could not have happened without the massive support of the C3 board, coaches, sponsors, team-mates, Triathlon Ontario, Triathlon Canada, RTC Guelph, McMaster University and of course Andrew's personal sacrifices to do the work. Andrew and Tyler Mislawchuck will be racing Aug 18th and the three women will be racing on Aug 20th). Barrie Shepley and Brenda Irving from CBC will be in Rio doing the live TV commentary. Before Rio however, Andrew will be racing this weekend in Stockholm Sweden and in two weeks July 16-17th in Hamburg Germany, before focusing exclusively on Rio Olympic Games.