7 Kingston Athletes You Can Cheer On at the Olympics

By Emily Coppella

After postponing the Olympic Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic, over 10,000 athletes are set to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. The Olympics will welcome a powerful Team Canada – with seven Kingstonians on the roster. Read on to learn about each of the Kingston athletes we’re celebrating as they compete at the world’s most prestigious sports competition.

Jennifer (Jenny) Casson – Rowing

Credit: Kevin Light (Jenny Casson front and her teammate, Jill Moffatt)

Jenny Casson began her athletic journey by practising at the Kingston Rowing Club and running along the Cataraqui River. She is an exercise and sports science major who has placed in several World Championships and World Cups. She has competed with the Canadian Senior National Team since 2017 and placed eighth in the lightweight women’s double with her teammate, Jill Moffatt, at the 2019 World Rowing Championships. Jenny and her rowing partner were unofficially invited to the Canadian Olympic team when Canada received the quota spot after a New Zealand boat was forced to drop out of the women’s lightweight double sculls. Casson holds a world record in dryland rowing with a lightweight 6,000-metre ergometer mark in the 19 to 29 age group and she also set the lightweight, 2,000-metre ergometer world record in the same age group in 2018. She is passionate about women supporting each other and the power that comes from this.

Will Crothers – Rowing 


Anyone familiar with Kingston high-performance athletes will recognize Crothers’ athletic journey. He began rowing at 14 at the Kingston Rowing Club and Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute and has been competing internationally for Canada since 2004 when he won bronze at his first appearance at the World Junior Championships. He claimed two World Championship medals when he joined the Senior Team. He was a member of the men’s eight that won silver at the London 2012 Olympics, later competing with the same team members as the “Truth North Four.” The team won bronze at the 2014 and 2015 World Cup and Crothers also won two gold medals at the 2015 Pan Am Games. The True North Four came in sixth at the Rio 2016 Olympics and won bronze in the 2019 World Cup. In May 2021, the team won second place at the final Olympic qualification regatta for Tokyo 2020, securing their spot at the Games with Crothers in the stroke seat. Crothers’ energy is unparalleled as he looks forward to a career-best performance in Tokyo.

Crother’s teammate Gavin Stone also has ties to Kingston as a Queen’s University graduate and former Queen’s University rower.

 Aaliyah Edwards – Basketball

Aaliyah Edwards of Kingston in action for Team Canada against Puerto Rico at the AmeriCup Basketball Tournament in San Juan Puerto Rico on Tuesday September 24, 2019 FIBA Photo

Aaliyah Edwards is more than a student at University of Connecticut, she’s the Huskies forward who’s been meeting achievement after achievement on basketball courts all over the world. In 2019, she was the youngest player on Team Canada’s senior women’s basketball team and the top performer in the 2019 gold medal AmeriCup game. She is also the first Kingston women’s basketball player on the senior team since Andrea Blackwell who played from 1979–1996. Edwards was named the Big East Sixth Woman of the Year in 2021, a prestigious award given to the most outstanding female basketball player out of 11 Northeast and Midwest schools in the NCAA. She was also invited to the Canadian national team’s training camp in preparation for the 2021 FIBA Women’s AmeriCup in Puerto Rico. Edwards has earned an invitation to represent Canada as a forward at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Annie Foreman-Mackey – Cycling, Track

Credit: 2016 Track Cycling World Championships, London, England (Eric Feferbeg/AFP/Getty Images)

When Annie Foreman-Mackey was nine, she saw Simon Whitfield win triathlon gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Annie was inspired by seeing a fellow Kingstonian excel in sports at the international level. Annie made her UCI World Championship debut in 2016 and won bronze in the non-Olympic individual pursuit event. She had an amazing performance at the 2017 Canadian Track Cycling Championships where she won five medals. 2019 saw her as a key member of the team pursuit as she contributed to fourth-place finishes at the Worlds in 2018, 2019, and 2020. She was also a member of the team pursuit that won gold at the 2019 Pan American Championships and won silver in the individual pursuit. Annie is an aspiring doctor and began medical school while preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. She also worked with Cycling Canada to host an online cyclist mentorship program during the pandemic. 

Abi Tripp – Para-swimming

Credit: Ian McNicol, 2019 WPS World Para Swimming Championships 

Kingston Y Penguins Aquatic Club swimmer Abi Tripp joins Team Canada’s swim team at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games – and it’s her second Paralympic Games. Abi has cerebral palsy, which mildly impairs all four of her limbs. After breaking the Canadian record in S8 200-m individual medley twice at the 2016 Olympic & Para-swimming Trials, she qualified for her first Paralympic Games. She attended Rio 2016 and made the finals in the 400-metre freestyle (sixth), 100-m freestyle (seventh) and 200-m individual medley (eighth). Her times in the 400-metre freestyle and 200 individual medley were also Canadian records. Abi has been competing on the National Para-swimming team since she was 14 and she has several amazing accolades, including taking home the bronze at the London 2019 World Para Swimming Championships. In Tokyo, she’ll be competing in the 100-metre breaststroke for the SB7 category, the 50-metre freestyle S8, the 100-metre freestyle and 4×100-metre freestyle relay.

Alexandra (Ali) ten Hove – Sailing

As a child, Alexandra (Ali) ten Hove represented Canada at two Youth World Championships. Now, she’s representing Canada at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. When Ali became a skipper in the 49er FX class she met her current teammate, Mariah Millen. Both of their fathers are Olympians who competed at different games with the same skipper. The ten Hove and Millen team has won many national titles including second place at the 2016 and 2017 North American Championships. They set a Canadian record in 2019 when they finished in 15th place at the European Championships and achieved a personal best finish at the 49er FX World Championships. Their fourth-place finish at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima earned them their spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games. A 2019 graduate from Queen’s University and a strong advocate for women in sports, Ali feels indebted to the Kingston Yacht Club and other sailing resources available within the community.

Kristina Walker – Rowing

Although Kristina Walker has done most of her competitive rowing for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, Kristina’s hometown is Wolfe Island and she was a member of the Kingston Rowing Club. She was a part of the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds that finished second at the Canadian University Rowing Championship in 2017 and 2018. She also finished second in the single sculls in 2018. After recovering from an injury, she qualified for the FISU World Championship team and won silver for Canada in the double sculls in Shanghai. She joined the Rowing Canada National Team in 2018 in the Women’s Open program and was named a CAN Fund #150Women recipient in 2021. Kristina launched a podcast called “Difference Makers” in 2021 to interview people who have achieved their definition of success a profession or sport. She’ll be competing in Tokyo in the women’s four.

The Games are scheduled to take place Friday, July 23 – August 8, 2021, and Team Canada is lucky to have several lively and dedicated athletes from Kingston. Follow along with the Olympic schedule and watch several Olympic journeys that began in Kingston, play out on the world stage.