‘I watched this little girl grow up with a dream’: Olympic bronze medalist Emma Entzminger returns home to Vancouver Island

'I watched this little girl grow up with a dream': Olympic bronze medalist Emma Entzminger returns home to Vancouver Island
Emma Entzminger shows off her Olympic bronze medal at the Victoria International Airport Wed., July 28, 2021.

It was an unforgettable reunion for the Entzminger family today.

Tears were shed as Emma Entzminger,  an Olympic bronze medalist, hugged her mom and dad at Victoria’s airport for the first time in six months.

The Lambrick Park grad led Team Canada Softball to bronze, breaking a scoreless tie in the bottom of the second inning with a two-out, two-run single to beat Mexico 3-2 in Tokyo.

“I watched this little girl grow up with a dream that she set out to get, and not only did she become an olympic athlete, she came home with a bronze medal,” said Emma’s mom, Maureen Entzminger.

The third-basemen left the Island in January to go train with her 14 teammates, the longest she’s ever been away from home.

“You watch TV and see athletes and it doesn’t really mean anything to you, but when you see your sister or your daughters face and you can see pain, disappointment, anticipation, and excitement, you ride the rollercoaster with them,” said Emma’s sister, Krissta.

Twenty years of cheering from the sidelines, watching his daughter grow and succeed was more than worth it, her father said.

“Hard work finally paid off, it’s nice to at least get some payback at the end of all those years of training and working,” said John Entzminger.

Close family and friends joined at the airport to welcome Emma home, passing around the medal and sharing long overdue hugs and congratulations.

Emma said she’s proud to have made history with her Olympic team, but couldn’t have done it without her other team — the one watching back at home.

“They’ve been my biggest support system at home and the messages and all the pictures of them watching, it’s just been incredible,” said Emma. “Coming in here trying not to cry but seeing everyone, it was very very special and I’m so grateful to have these people supporting me.”

It was an historic win for Team Canada, their first ever in Olympic softball, and Entzminger, who was a key part in how that medal made its way to Canada.

Hannah LepineHannah Lepine

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