Dolfo ready to run for Canada

Langley's Braedon Dolfo one of handful of Langley athletes representing Canada at Parapan American Games in Toronto

Langley’s Braedon Dolfo is among a handful of local athletes representing Canada at the Parapan American Games in Toronto.

Langley’s Braedon Dolfo is among a handful of local athletes representing Canada at the Parapan American Games in Toronto.

Braedon Dolfo is looking to build on his bronze medal performance at the Parapan American Games.

Four years ago, Dolfo took third place in the T13 100m event at the Games, which were held in Mexico. And now he will look to better that result, this time competing on home soil as Toronto gets set to host the Parapan Am Games.

The Games run Aug. 7 to 15.

“It has been a little crazy this last little while so I am just excited to go,” Dolfo said on Friday.

He left for Toronto on Monday.

The 21-year-old is no stranger to representing his country, as in addition to medalling as a teenager at the 2011 Parapan Am Games, he ran for Canada at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

Dolfo is expecting an electric atmosphere with the competition on Canadian soil.

“It is pretty surreal that you get to compete in your own country,” he said.

“The crowd is going to be amazing; the stands are going to be filled up with a sea of red, so that will be really cool to have that environment there.”

Dolfo, who will compete in the 100m and long jump events, developed cataracts and chronic uveitis at age five, and when he was 11, he developed glaucoma. He describes his vision as peering through a straw, and not being able to see on either side.

He has been a long-time member of the Langley Mustangs Track and Field Club, and is now a certified personal trainer, as well as a graduate from the Vancouver School of Bodyworks and Massage.

But Dolfo is also focused on advancing his competitive career.

“Every meet is a stepping stone, regardless if it is a big meet or not,” he said. “This is leading into the next thing.

“Rio (de Janeiro) is just around the corner,” he added about next summer’s Paralympic Games in Brazil.

Dolfo is one of several local athletes representing Canada in Toronto.

Also in para-athletics are Dustin Walsh — a fellow Mustangs member — as well as his guide runner, Dylan Williamson.

Williamson, who is 25, grew up in Langley, attending Walnut Grove Secondary, and is now studying at Trinity Western University. Both also attended the 2012 Games in London.

Tessa Popoff is on Canada’s women’s sitting volleyball team.

Aldergrove’s Tyler Mrak, 17,  is competing in para-swimming and Vancouver’s Trevor Hirschfield, 31, is the co-captain of Canada’s wheelchair rugby team. He grew up in Parksville but was born in Langley.