August 6-21, 2022
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by: Bernie Puchalski, BP Sports Niagara

Welland native Tutti to defend 2017 Games discus title at the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games

Trinity Tutti gets to defend her Canada Games title close to home.

The 22-year-old Welland native won the discus and placed third in the shot put at the 2017 Summer Games but will only be competing in the discus at the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games. The reigning Canadian discus champion is thrilled to be competing close to home.

“I think it’s awesome. Obviously it’s an amazing experience and it’s a lot of fun. It’s great to see up-and-coming athletes come out of their shell and kick some ass.”

The Eastdale graduate is anything but an up-and-comer, having represented Canada at this year’s world championships, but it doesn’t mean she can’t enjoy her week in Niagara.

“It’s great to have the atmosphere and it’s amazing to compete so close to home for us, but for me I’m just going to try to use it as any other competition, trying to do my best so far and see what happens.”

Still fresh in her mind is her 30th-place showing in the discus at the world championships.

“I got my ass kicked, but it was such a crazy experience, competing and training with all these top dogs in the world and just seeing everybody’s intensity,” said the world’s 39th-ranked discus thrower. “When you’re there, you’re like ‘Wow I want to be like them,’ It’s easy when you’re training on your own, you don’t have that experience with the older athletes, like throwing with Valarie Allman, Sandra Perković, and all these huge names. You see them training, working hard, and you’re like ‘This is why I’m doing this, so I can be like them.’ ”

It was a great learning experience.

“I learned that you can’t really train experience. You don’t know until you’re there. I think I can use what I learned this year, hopefully going to world championships next year. You know what the process is, going through the holding camp, the call rooms and all these other huge things that you need to learn and know how to do.”

Her performance at the worlds was a combination of her not being at the level of the world’s best and not competing to the best of her abilities.

“I threw five metres under my personal best, so it was just like a kick in the face, but obviously I’m also very young compared to a lot of them and I think I’ll be on their level when I’m their age too, hopefully sooner.”

To get there, the gold medalist in the shot put and silver medalist in the discus at the 2019 Pan American U20 Championships has been living and training in Toronto the past four years since graduating high school.

“It’s a lot of hard work, but I’m glad I did it. I don’t think I would’ve been able to reach my goals if I didn’t,” said the SISU Throws Club member.

The gold medalist in the shot put and discus at the 2019 Canadian Track and Field Championships trains five days a week in Toronto. She feels she is in the perfect place.

“I have a really great support system with my teammates, the strength and conditioning coaches and my coach, Richard (Parkinson). They’re like ‘You just have to survive this day and then it’ll pay off in the long run.’ ”

Parkinson has been a major influence on her career.

“The technical (aspect) is a big thing, but he gets us into competitions and gets us ready. He does all of our programming, makes us peak for certain things and he’s obviously a great coach. I couldn’t do any of this without him. He’s just so understanding and he gets it when you’re having a bad day. He’ll cut you some slack and he’ll push you when you need to be pushed.”

Tutti feels she has improved physically and mentally as a thrower.

“I’ve gone to therapy a lot and (have been) working on mental health and performance. It’s just maturing each year. I was here in 2017 and when I look back at how I was then and how I was now, it’s crazy. I feel the same, but it’s like five years go by, and you’re like ‘Wow.’ ”

The mental therapy has been a big part of her development and maturation.

“I think it’s important to not have any demons weighing you down because you go through traumas and things. If you don’t work it out, it affects you when you’re trying to train or trying to compete and you’re thinking about that as opposed to leaving that behind you and just being able to focus on the now.”

She struggled with that last year.

“I was living in the past and not dealing with certain things, and now that I’ve dealt with it, I feel like I’ve come a long way. Going to world championships this year was huge for me. It’s just being mentally prepared for that, just excited and not nervous and thinking about other things or thinking bad about myself. It’s been a huge difference.”

Tutti feels she is in a good spot now.

“There’s always room for improvement, of course.”

Tutti’s main goal is the 2024 Olympics and she knows it will take a lot of hard work and dedication.

“I probably need to add a couple of metres onto my throw and just a lot more consistency.”

The automatic qualifying standard for the Olympics is around 63.5 metres and right now her personal best is 59.44 metres.

“But even with world championships, I got in on world ranking points, so if I throw 60 or 60-plus, I should be good.”

After the Canada Games, Tutti will enjoy her two-week off-season and then it’s back to work.

“I have to talk to Richard about plans for next year. We’re just trying to survive this year and focus on the last competition.”

Qualifying rounds for the women’s discus go Friday at 4:45 and 6:15 p.m. at Canada Games Park while the final will happen Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

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