Kenora’s Gabe Mastromatteo is gearing up for the world’s biggest stage as he gets set to represent Canada and Northwestern Ontario at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
This will be the first time Mastromatteo will be representing Canada at the Olympics.
Janet Hyslop, Mastromatteo’s mother said he is excited about just finally arriving to the games.
“I think feet on the ground in Tokyo created a little bit of excitement for him when he texted yesterday. He is ready to do, whatever he is ready to do, he's excited about being able to swim the 100 metre individual breaststroke. He's ready, he is just so pumped and so excited.” said Hyslop
Mastromatteo had a great showing at the Canadian Olympic swim trails last month, which qualified him for the Men’s 4x100 Metre Medley Relay, the 4x100 Mixed Medley Relay, and the Men’s 100 Metre Breaststroke as an individual.
Even though in his mind his chances are slim to finish in the top of the pack in the 100 Metre Breaststroke and come back for a second swim or receive a medal, he is going to do his best. This experience will be beneficial moving forward for many Olympics to come.
Mastromatteo has been preparing with Team Canada at the UBC Aquatic Centre in Vancouver for the past couple of weeks undergoing vigorous training including preparation for the relay races.
“Obviously, for Gabriel is that within those two weeks of staging in Vancouver, the team has an opportunity to work together to build that relay, the relay takeovers, the relay order and for Gabe and for most of those athletes, that's a super important place to do that sort of work in order to be ready for the games because they don't have time during the year to do that,” noted Hyslop
These games are different than past games due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as athletes are facing stricter restrictions due to a fourth COVID wave hitting Tokyo. Athletes are subject to rapid COVID testing each day, mask-wearing, restricted on where athletes can and can not go, and little to no intermingling between countries.
Hyslop added the great support the Kenora community has had for Mastromatteo through his swimming career.
“Whether it was the Kenora Recreation Center, whether it was Saint Thomas Aquinas School, whether it was with parents, his family, but the community has really stepped up to support Gabe. I ask them to continue to do that and to maybe put a Canadian flag up or Olympic rings or even a “Go Gabe Go” sign in their window that would be fantastic, just to show that support is there,” says Hyslop
Mastromatteo will hit the water for the first time on Saturday in the Men’s 100 Metre Breastroke at around 5:00 a.m. local time. Fans can catch all the action online to follow his story.