July 15, 2020

UBC Graduate, Evan Dunfee Reaches for the Top of the Olympic RaceWalking World

UBC grad Evan Dunfee reaches for the top of the Olympic RaceWalking world

UBC Graduate, Evan Dunfee Reaches for the Top of the Olympic RaceWalking World

by Chrissy Benz

A recent request for photos of Evan Dunfee for a UBC Thunderbirds Alumni profile revealed a reality all too familiar to individual athletes – even at the Olympic level  - of not having many photos of themselves.  Often traveling alone to competitions around the world, it’s actually quite difficult to secure photos that athletes have the rights to share – particularly when your sport is a 50km racewalk. Evan is adjusting his preparation for the Tokyo Olympics in the face of the current pandemic with the competition delayed to 2021 under the guidance of his long time coach, Gerry Dragomir. Evan was fourth at the 2016 Olympic Gamers in Rio.

With a couple quick phone calls, a socially distanced walk between friends became a photo shoot thanks to the community-minded Victory Creative Group.  Known for their contributions within the local basketball scene, Victory are also great supporters of UBC Athletics & Recreation as well as the Harry Jerome Classic so they were quick to capture images of these UBC alumni and Olympians.

Evan Dunfee started his athletic career in Richmond following in the footsteps of Dr Doug and Diane Clement who founded the Richmond Kajaks Club in 1961

Celebrating Phase 3 of BC’s Restart Plan, Evan and the Clements reconnected at the scenic UBC Vancouver campus and captured the rare opportunity when everyone was available and not rushing off to another event.  Conversation flowed easily and ranged from Olympic experiences (spanning from 1952 right up to the highly anticipated Tokyo 2020) to sport science discoveries to favourite chicken recipes.  

Evan's studies in kinesiology at UBC have accelerated his understanding of training techniques

Perhaps the most incredible part of the day was it’s slow pace – to have the luxury of a free morning among such busy and energetic people.  After snapping photos at a few of the many iconic locations on campus – likely the very first photoshoot on the new MacInnes Field – Evan took to the track to get some action shots.  Evan even sported his vintage UBC singlet from his T-Bird days.

Evan took the Bronze Medal at the 2019 World Championships in Doha over 50km in torid conditions

As he warmed up, we noticed a young boy and his father doing laps on the Rashpal Dhillon Track & Field Oval.  Diane cheered as he sprinted by and later caught up with him to plant an Olympic dream in his mind.   Quickly, the peaceful morning finished and the Clements were off for their own fitness routine and Evan was off to a zoom call to inspire aspiring young athletes.

Follow along with Evan’s journey to Tokyo 2020 through his Instagram page.