U of G Student Jason Wilson, No. 12, competing in the triathlon

For the first time, Barbados will have a triathlete competitor in an Olympic Games – and it will be University of Guelph student Jason Wilson.

Wilson, who grew up in Barbados, fulfilled a longtime dream by qualifying to represent his home country in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this summer.

“Qualifying for the Olympics and earning the right to represent my country at the highest and most prestigious sporting event in the world is a huge honour,” Wilson said.

“Records can be broken but being the first person from Barbados to compete in the triathlon at the Olympic Games is something nobody will ever be able to take away from me.”

To qualify, Wilson competed in 14 international races since May 2014. Since January alone, Wilson has raced in Abu Dhabi, Australia, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Mexico and Japan.

The men’s Olympic triathlon is Aug. 18.

Wilson, an environmental engineering student, trains at the Guelph Regional Triathlon Centre (RTC).

The program began in 2006 as a provincial centre after former Gryphon swimming coach Alan Fairweather applied to host it. Wilson is coached by the RTC’s Craig Taylor, a former triathlete.

Wilson began post-secondary studies at Dalhousie University but transferred to Guelph for its triathlon centre. He ran with the Gryphon cross-country team in fall 2012.

Following the Olympics, he will return to U of G for his final year of school.