Alberni wrestlers Euro bound

A group of Alberni wrestlers is going on a European tour that includes a week in London, England watching the 2012 Olympic events.

A group of Alberni wrestlers is going on a European tour that includes a week in London, England watching Olympic events.

The group of 40 left Port Alberni on July 26.

The tour will start in Prague and travel to cities such as Munich, Salzburg, Innsbruck, St.Moritz, Vaduz, and Zurich.

The tour is part of a series of international trips organized every three to four years by Alberni Wrestling Director Tom McEvay.

Past tours have included Japan twice, Hawaii, Florida, California, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France, Russia and in China for the last Olympics in 2008.

“I have always believed that wrestling and sport in general are fantastic educational tools,” McEvay said.

“Add in travel and you have an amazing combination.”

Athletes will wrestle in Hallbergoos Germany, Inzing Austria and Gamprin Liechtenstein.

All are villages of 2,000-4,000 people and all are hosting the local contingent for a festive dinner and social after wrestling.

The group secured accommodation in London more than a year ago and were able to avoid the scramble for it during the games.

While in London, the group has more than 120 tickets to Olympic events. Every participant on the trip will have the opportunity to attend and watch at least three Olympic events including wrestling, McEvay said.

“In 2008 in Beijing we had the thrill to watch our own Travis Cross at the Olympics but also the opportunity to support all Canadian wrestlers,” McEvay said.

“We were there when BC’s Carol Huynh won her gold medal at 48 kg and we will be there to see her defend it in London.”

B.C. is well represented on the Canadian team.

The participants include Leah Callaghan of McKenzie, who was  on the Alberni Wrestling tour to Europe in 2005 as a high school wrestler.

The group returns to Alberni Aug. 12.