CHEK Upside: Victoria softball player eyeing gold at upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games

CHEK Upside: Victoria softball player eyeing gold at upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games
File Photo

From Canadian flags nailed to the front of his house to his entrance doormat that reads ‘Oh Canada’ — John Entzminger’s decorations are in full force.

“Never have too much of the Canadian stuff,” said John, while giving CHEK News a tour of his Victoria home.

John has always been a fan of the Olympics, but this year he’ll have extra incentive to watch and cheer as his daughter Emma is set to represent Canada at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“I’m definitely proud, could not be prouder,” said John.

Emma grew up an all-around athlete — from playing rep hockey to the top-level little league with the boys and starring on the soccer pitch. CHEK News first heard of Emma’s immense talent in 2013 when the then Lambrick Park Secondary student was named BC High School Athlete of the Year.

Upon graduating high school, she eventually chose to focus on softball, earning a scholarship to San Jose State University and working her way to a spot on the Canadian Women’s National Team. With softball returning to the Olympics for the first time since 2008, the 25-year-old is about to achieve a childhood dream.

“I’ve always wanted to, as a young kid, play for Team Canada,” said Emma via Zoom from her temporary national team home in Fort Myers, Flordia.

“I never really knew what sport it was, just because I played so many and I wanted to do it all, but I knew I wanted to represent Canada on the highest stage.”

“She was very dedicated, very keen,” said John, who kept several boxes of Emma-related photos and news articles. “I had a feeling if she picked one sport and concentrated on it, she was going to do well at it and she sure has.”

Canada enters the six-team tournament ranked 3rd in the world, but Emma believes the extra year of practice has taken the team to a new level.

“I’ve never seen our team so confident,” said the team Canada third baseman. “It’s pretty cool, like, we’re going for gold and nobody’s going to beat us and we believe that.”

Although COVID-19 restrictions will keep him from travelling to the games, John says he’ll be watching every second of the action with the entire Entzminger family.

“I’m very excited, to say the least,” said John, who anticipates many late nights and early mornings due to the time difference in Tokyo.

Team Canada opens up their Olympic tournament on July 22 against Mexico.

Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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