Olympian Zach Bell reaches out to Yukoners

The following is a letter from Watson Lake cyclist Zach Bell. To everyone in the Yukon, I am writing this letter to each of you, young and old.

The following is a letter from Watson Lake cyclist Zach Bell.

To everyone in the Yukon,

I am writing this letter to each of you, young and old. I am about to embark on my second adventure at the Olympic Games and one regret I have from my last experience was I did not share it. I didn’t engage the people who helped build the foundation of who I am now, in the way I should have. To be perfectly honest I did not realize that anyone would be overly interested or benefit from my experience.

For all the young people, I want you to know I have come from where you come from. I was a small, Yukon kid that was willing to accept the help and support of the Yukon community. We have great strength in our young people and after traveling the world on this journey I have realized we are one of the few places in the world that believes in the power and potential of our young people. If you do watch the Olympics this year I want you to know I am competing for you. I want you to believe you can get to places just as amazing as the Olympics. I did from the same seats you will be sitting in as you watch.

To the Games, I carry the spirit of the North. I head to London with all your hopes and the push of your support behind me. This time I go to show the world the power of what a northerner can be. I go to show what our humble northern strength can create. I want everyone to get excited, feel that spirit and engage in the Olympics with the knowledge that you have played a role in getting me there. If I come back with a medal I don’t want people to think, ‘Look what he did,’ I want you to celebrate in what WE did. Celebrate with your fellow sourdough in our achievement.

Finally, I don’t know what will happen come the competition but I want everyone to know how thankful I am for your support. To attend one Olympics as a Yukoner was a childhood dream. To attend a second as a contender for a medal is beyond words.

– Zach Bell

The 29-year-old Bell will be representing Canada in men’s track cycling, specifically the six-race omnium event, on August 4 and 5 at the Games in London.

A silver-medal performance by Bell at the 2012 UCI Track World Championships in April earned Canada its spot in the omnium event at the Games.

Bell made the podium at both UCI Track World Cup Tour events he competed at this season with a silver in Cali, Colombia, and a bronze at a world cup in London. Those results put Bell in fourth at the end of the world cup tour.

He finished in first place in the UCI World Cup series in 2011.

In his first Olympics, the 2008 Beijing Games, Bell finished seventh in the points race and 12th in the men’s Madison event.

Bell is not the only Yukoner – nor the only Watson Laker – going to the London Games on Team Canada. Two others are going as alternates. Watson Lake’s Brittanee Laverdure is first-alternate for Canada’s wrestling team for the second Olympics in a row. And Whitehorse’s Jeane Lassen will be an alternate for Canada’s weightlifting team.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Are they coming?

One of COVID-19’s big economic questions is whether it will prompt a… Continue reading

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, along with Yukon health and education delegates, announce a new medical research initiative via a Zoom conference on Jan. 21. (Screen shot)
New medical research unit at Yukon University launched

The SPOR SUPPORT Unit will implement patient-first research practices

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate members Bill Bennett, community engagement coordinator and Mobile Therapeutic Unit team lead, left, and Katherine Alexander, director of policy and analytics, speak to the News about the Mobile Therapeutic Unit that will provide education and health support to students in the communities. (yfned.ca)
Mobile Therapeutic Unit will bring education, health support to Indigenous rural students

The mobile unit will begin travelling to communities in the coming weeks

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley, speak during a live stream in Whitehorse on January 20, about the new swish and gargle COVID-19 tests. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Swish and spit COVID-19 test now available in Yukon

Vaccination efforts continue in Whitehorse and smaller communities in the territory

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Most Read