Windsor-Essex runner hopes RBC Training Ground can propel him to Tokyo 2020
'This could be a good stepping stone to get to the next level,' says Corey Bellemore
A Windsor-Essex track-and-field athlete is gearing up to compete in the RBC Training Ground National Final in Calgary, Alta., on Saturday— in the hopes that it can help make his Olympic dreams come true.
"I'm excited," said Corey Bellemore, a 24-year-old runner from Tecumseh, Ont. "I'm just going to try to make the most of this training day."
RBC Training Ground is an athlete funding program which identifies and supports Olympic talent and helps them get to the podium. The CBC is partnering with RBC to support the event.
'A good stepping stone'
Bellemore is one of 100 athletes selected to be a part of the finals, and he's the only one from Windsor-Essex.
"I'm going to meet some good athletes and compete against some good athletes. It's humbling to be included in that group," he said.
He explained that if he performs well, the program could help him receive more coaching and more training resources, which is a huge opportunity for an amateur athlete.
"Until you make it to the next level, funding is pretty scarce. So this could be a good stepping stone to get to the next level and be able to put yourself in a position to go to good meets, go to high-level training camps," he said.
Beer Mile world record holder
Bellemore is primarily a 1,500-metre runner with a current best time of 3.39.30 minutes.
He grew up running, and eventually became focused predominantly on track and field.
As a fun off-season event, Bellemore likes to partake in what's known as the Beer Mile World Classic, for which he currently holds the world record.
Last year, he broke his own world record, but got disqualified for not drinking enough beer.
Even though he's often recognized for that competition, it's the Olympics he's got his eye on.
'I just want to push my body'
"I think Tokyo would be a best-case scenario," said Bellemore.
"It's a bit of a lofty goal but I think I'm in a position that I could get there for sure. So, I have a year to put my best foot forward and I know this past summer I saw some improvements in training, some improvements in my race time, so I'd like to go after these games for sure," he said.
"I just want to push my body and see how far I can go"
CBC Sports will be on-site at the event in Calgary on Sept. 14, providing live hits into its weekly Road to the Olympic Games broadcast on CBC and the free CBC Gem streaming service, as well as coverage across @CBCOlympics social media channels.
Following the event, Road to the Olympic Games will continue to feature the stories of the selected 'Future Olympians' on its weekly CBC and CBC Gem broadcast, and these profiles will also be available at rbctrainingground.ca.