DELACOUR – The summer of 2012 could be an important one for Joshua Riker-Fox of Delacour, as the athlete is hoping to head overseas the compete in the Olympic Games in London.
The University of Calgary graduate competes in modern pentathlon, which consists of five events: running, swimming, shooting, fencing, and equestrian jumping.
Riker-Fox has already had a taste of the Olympic dream, as he competed in the pentathlon in Beijing in 2008.
In Beijing, he ranked 24th overall, and was one of the youngest pentathlete competitors. He developed a passion for the Olympics and for sport at a young age, competing in his first pentathlon event went he was 13.
Although he was proud of his achievements at the last summer games, Riker-Fox hopes to achieve more next summer.
Besides hard work and dedication, there are also financial costs associated to competing at the Olympic level. So, to hopefully assist in helping him make it to London, the small community of Delcour came together on Nov. 19 for a fundraiser in his honor.
Around 250 people attended the event, which was held at the Delacour Community Hall. It was organized by Pat Koosey, Steph Brundige, Amanda and Derek Standen, and Cathy Summerscales. It was sponsored by Big Rock Beer and supported by Horizon Heating, Baytex Energy, Pioneer Energy.
Tom Ponting, who is a past coach of Riker-Fox and a three-time Olympic medalist, emceed the event. World renowned sports physiologist Dr. Steve Norris also attended, and spoke about the challenges of being the best in the world in sport.
Melinda and Terry Bailey as well as Chestermere’s Keister Family Fiddlers performed for the crowd. There was also a silent and live auction.
A golf package for the Canals at Delacour, four vacation packages, five sets of Flames tickets, a signed curling broom of the 2010 Winter Olympic championship team, and a Real Fournier art piece along were among some of the items auctioned off.
Rike-Fox said that the event was “excellent” and that knowing the community is supportive of his journey helps to boost his confidence.
“Our goal with the event was to provide as much value as we could to those attending,” he said. “We wanted to make it entertaining and informative, and I believe we achieved that.”
Riker-Fox said that he will be attending between five and eight competitions in Europe, as well as two World Cups which will be in North and South America this season.
“This funding will go toward those, as well as meeting training and equipment needs,” he said. “Our funding is approaching nil, so without this support, my effort to reach London 2012 would be stymied significantly.”
Riker-Fox said that the summer 2012 games would be a “pinnacle event” for him.
“Every summer sport athlete is passionately looking toward it,” he said. “I want to be there, my community and sponsors want me there, and it is up to me to make it happen.”
Riker-Fox said that he wished to thank the organizing committee, the community, the title sponsor Big Rock Brewery, his many donors such as Ted and Enid Jansen, as well as his sponsors, adamlabs and Powerbar.
For more information about Riker-Fox, to keep up with his blog, or to support him, visit www.riker-fox.com.