Elgin Park grad Luc Bruchet competes in his 5

‘Fire has been lit,’ says South Surrey Olympian

Although Luc Bruchet would’ve loved to have raced in an Olympic final, he is still proud of his performance.

One of the first things Luc Bruchet noticed when walking around the Olympic Village in Rio was the size of the other athletes.

As a competitor in a sport – distance running – that is often dominated by smaller athletes, the 26-year-old Elgin Park Secondary graduate had become used to feeling as though he was something of a giant, by comparison.

But compared to other athletes – from a variety of sports – he encountered at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Bruchet said that feeling quickly vanished.

“I’m six feet tall, so I’m a little bit bigger than some runners, but I just felt like an ant,” he told Peace Arch News last week from Rio, a day after he competed in the men’s 5,000-m heats.

“There’s just so many amazing athletes there – they’re all so big, and just so athletic. It’s been pretty cool.”

Bruchet, who grew up running with South Surrey-based Ocean Athletics, did not qualify for the men’s 5,000-m finals, which were held Saturday. He finished 19th in his heat, and overall, he placed in the mid-30s out of 46 runners.

And though he would’ve loved to have raced in an Olympic final, he is still proud of his performance.

“I knew heading in that I’d need everything to be perfect to make the final,” he said, adding that the race-day temperature, which reached above 30 C, didn’t help him on the track.

“And I think it’s hard, for the general public to (understand) – they look at the time and the (overall placing), but I look at it like, there were only 46 people in the world who hit the time standard (to even qualify for Rio),” he said.

“It was such a learning experience, and I’m proud of myself because I never gave up – I gave it everything I had, pushed myself as hard as I could the entire race, and kept trying to pass people until I crossed the finish line.”

Bruchet’s family was in Rio to watch him run – they had to re-arrange their summer plans in late June when Bruchet qualified for the Games – and he was surprised how many other familiar faces he saw.

“There’s a big contingent here from B.C. because there’s seven (B.C.) athletes on the track team, and I think 29 across all sports,” he said.

“It’s funny, you don’t expect to see so many people that you know because it’s so far from Vancouver, but there were five or six guys from UBC – guys I trained with for five years – who were in the stands cheering for me, and then another eight or nine guys from SFU who I used to race against every weekend.

“It’s been pretty cool to share the experience with that many people, even if they aren’t right there on the track with you.”

Though he didn’t take part in opening ceremonies on Aug. 5 – he and many of his track-and-field teammates arrived four days later, after attending a pre-Olympic training camp in Guelph, Ont. – Bruchet did have plenty of time to soak in the Olympic experience with his family.

Bruchet was in the stands to watch White Rock swimmer Hilary Caldwell win her bronze medal.

“It was definitely cool to see someone you know win a medal,” said Bruchet, who said he’s known Caldwell since he was 10 years old.

On Thursday, the Bruchets also watched Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse claim silver in the 200-m, and they’ve been regular visitors to the pool, track and diving facility.

“It’s just such a big spectacle,” he said. “I’ve been at some events like the World University Games and the Pan-Ams last year in Toronto, which are both really big – but this is a whole different level.”

With the 2016 Games wrapped up, Bruchet is already looking ahead four years, to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

“Four years from now, it won’t be just about making the team, it’ll be about making the final,” he said.

“The fire has been lit.”

Just Posted

Call for better security follows fuel thefts at South Surrey Park & Ride

White Rock man says someone used a drill to drain his fuel tank Wednesday

PHOTOS: Snoozing seal pup captures attention at White Rock Pier

Dozens of seals spent the day at White Rock’s iconic structure

‘Stuff the Sleigh’ event aims to collect 5,000 Christmas toys for Surrey children

The Surrey Central Lions Club event will support the Surrey Christmas Bureau

Donated bikes to help low-income kids in Delta have a merry Christmas

Surrey-based R.E.C. for Kids donated the bikes to Deltassist for its annual Christmas toy depot

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pressed to clarify his stance abortion over several weeks

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants blank Cougars 4-0

Goaltender David Tendeck turned aside all 38 Prince George shots for his WHL-leading third shutout

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Dallas Smith, Terri Clark to perform on CP Holiday Train’s B.C. stops

Annual festive food bank fundraiser rolling across province from Dec. 11 to 17

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Paul Bissonnette joins Vancouver Warriors after tweeting he could walk on to an NLL club

Bissonnette will join the Warriors for their final week of training camp at Rogers Arena

Most Read

l -->