Langley’s Evan Kimm has spent a lot of time on the basketball court, but when the RBC Training Ground Olympic experts took a look at his athletic skills, they wanted to put him on the water.
In the spring, he took part in the training ground talent search for future Olympic athletes. The results were a surprise – he should be a rower not a thrower.
“I’m really interested in playing new sports. I’ve been playing basketball all my life,” he said.
The teen has impressed the Canadian Olympic Committee which invited him to a national training event later this month in Calgary, the only Langley athlete chosen.
“I’m really excited to go to Calgary,” said Kimm, a centre with the 2018 Team BC U15 basketball team.
It took an outsider’s perspective on Kimm’s abilities to see that he may be more successful in another sport.
His sport background, combined with his measurements (height and armspan) results in speed, power, strength, and endurance benchmark tests, caught the eye of Olympic talent scouts, according to organizers.
But first there was an obstacle. He admits to being a bit intimidated about taking on a water sport.
“I did have a really big fear of water but I kind of got over it when I started practicing,” he said.
He hasn’t gotten out onto the water as much as he would like.
“Rowing makes sense,” Kimm said. “I have the strength.… It kind of opened my eyes to all the other sports that I could be successful in.”
The 16-year-old who is about to start Grade 11 would like to take his sports as far as he can in life but for now, he’s focused on how it links with education.
“I’d love to play sports professionally. If I could get a scholarship for anything, that’s my main goal right now,” the Brookswood Secondary student said.
Kimm’s Olympic journey continues with a trip to Calgary as one of 100 athletes invited to the national finals of the talent search.
He is now in a group of 100 athletes who will compete for funding (by redoing the benchmark tests) and a spot on one of eight partner National Sport Organization (NSO) teams at the RBC Training Ground National Final on Sept. 14 in Calgary.
Thirty athletes at the event will be awarded funding and sign up with a national program.
Transportation to Calgary, hotel and food are all included for the invited athletes.
At the event Kimm will also have the chance to pick the brains of Olympic champions Justin Kripps (bobsleigh, 2018), Patrick Chan (team figure skating, 2018) and Penny Oleksiak (100m freestyle swim, 2018), who are all on site to inspire the participants. Tokyo 2020 medal hopeful Melissa Humana-Paredes (world number 1, beach volleyball) will also be on site.
RBC Training Ground has tested over 7,000 athletes at 98 free local events in 35 different Canadian communities. Kimm’s mom told him about the local training camp held at the Langley Events Centre.
“It just sounded interesting to get ranked, so I thought I’d try it out,” Kimm said. “I wasn’t sure how far I’d go.”