OLDS — It didn’t go quite as planned for local Olympic wrestler Danielle Lappage.
The 31-year-old former Olds resident lost 7-0 in her initial match in the 68-kilogram (kg) class with Khanum Velieva of the Russian Olympic Committee on Aug. 2 during the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Lappage had a slight chance to continue in competition if Velieva kept going. But she lost in the quarter-final, thereby ending Lappage’s opportunity to compete further as well.
Afterward, Lappage gave a shout-out to her hometown as she reflected on the match via Twitter.
Lappage noted she’s had a lot to overcome during the past five years.
Less than a year ago, she had surgery on one of her knees.
She qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, but never got a chance to finish a match after suffering a ruptured hamstring during warmup.
“I have been through a lot — Rio and then less than a year I got ACL reconstruction on one of my knees,” Lappage said, the acronym referring to a surgery for the anterior cruciate ligament.
“And honestly it’s — reflecting on that piece — moreso the mental piece to make it back from two major injuries in the last five years and make it back to the Olympics.
“I am very proud that I overcame a lot — more than a lot of people have to ever in their life and I overcame (them) in the last few years — or five years, sorry — and I made it back here.
“I have a lot of people watching from Olds, Alberta, hello," she said with a wave. "I hope everybody knows that.
“I did do my best. I tried. That was like 100 per cent of my effort and it just wasn’t good enough today. But I hope they know that I tried to make them proud out there and that was all I had to give today. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough,” she added.
Going into the Tokyo Olympics, Lappage had proven she could compete with the best in the world.
She won a silver medal in 65-kg class during the 2018 world championships and another silver in the 68-kg category during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Lappage lives in Calgary where she has been a member of the University of Calgary Dinosaurs wrestling team. A teammate, Erica Wiebe, 32, who won gold during the 2016 Olympics, also lost out in Tokyo.
She was edged 5-4 by Epp Maee of Estonia on Saturday in the women’s 76-kilogram class.
Like Lappage, Wiebe had a slight chance to compete further through the repechage if Maee kept winning, but the Estonian was beaten in the quarter-finals.
Also like Lappage, Wiebe had to recover from injuries on her way to the Tokyo Olympics. In her case, she suffered knee and ankle injuries.