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Tokyo Olympics over for South Surrey runner, White Rock skateboarder

Despite not qualifying for 5,000-m finals, Luc Bruchet says he’s leaving 2020 Olympics with a smile
Andy Anderson of Canada competes in the men’s park skateboarding prelims at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics are over for the Semiahmoo Peninsula’s two remaining athletes, after both skateboarder Andy Anderson and runner Luc Bruchet failed to advance to the finals in their respective sports.

In the men’s 5,000-m on Tuesday, Bruchet – a graduate of Elgin Park Secondary – was 13th out of 19 runners in his heat, and 27th overall. And though his time in the race, 13 minutes, 44.08 seconds, was well off the 13:12.56 pace that he ran in mid-June at the Harry Jerome Track Classic in Burnaby – which was the race that ultimately earned him a spot on Team Canada for his second Olympic competition – Bruchet left Japan with a positive outlook.

Shortly after his Olympic experience had wrapped, Bruchet, 30, wrote a lengthy Instagram post where he explained that, considering how he was running a year ago – and how he felt about the sport in general – he was simply happy to have had a second opportunity on the world’s largest athletic stage.

“Would love to say I’m an Olympic finalist, but what can you do,” he wrote. “I gave myself every opportunity to succeed Tuesday night. I fought hard for every spot and every second, and I’m proud as hell of that.

“To be totally honest, I never thought I’d make it back here. 12 months ago I hated running and the way it made me feel. There is so much to share about the journey, how I rediscovered the love for the sport… but let’s save that for another time.

“All I know is that I entered the track with a big smile and left with an even bigger one. That’s a good way to feel about something.”

Anderson, meanwhile, finished 16th out of 20 in the preliminary round of the men’s park skateboarding competition Wednesday evening; only the top eight advanced to the finals later that night.

In the park event, competitors make three separate 45-second runs through the bowl-like course, and their tricks are marked, on a scale of 0-100, by a panel of judges. Only a skater’s best score of the three is used.

Anderson’s opening run was his worst – a fall knocked his points down considerably – but he steadily improved from there, and finished with a best score of 60.78, and was briefly in third place before a slew of other skaters had their turns. He also became something of a fan favourite – at least if social-media buzz is considered – with many calling for him to make the top eight.

After his third and final run, he used his few remaining seconds to pull off some fun freestyle moves – including a few spins – much to the delight of the broadcasters, his fellow skaters and those watching at home.

“Andy Anderson deserved better,” said one commenter on Twitter.

“Andy Anderson easily had the most creative line in the whole competition,” said another.

“The best things to come out of Canada are Rush and Andy Anderson… he should have definitely been in the finals,” said a third commenter.

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