CALGARY – Two-time world champion diver Blythe Hartley, one of Canada’s top medal hopes at this summer’s Olympics, announced today she is dedicating her season to her late brother Strachan and announced the launching of a foundation in his memory.
Blythe lost her brother, Dr. Strachan Hartley to cancer on July 5th, 2007. He was only 30-years-old, six years older than Blythe. Strachan was a star football player for UBC and McGill. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in November 2005. He completed his medical degree and graduated from medical school in 2006.
‘’Strachan was an incredible role model for me,’’ said Blythe, originally from North Vancouver and now living in Calgary. ‘’He taught me everything about aiming for excellence and achieving it. I don’t believe I’d be the person I am today without having him as an older brother. As a family we want to celebrate him, his life and everything he wanted to achieve.
‘’We’re not only dedicating this year but the rest of our lives to what he taught us and what he did for us as a son and older brother.’’
In his memory, Blythe and her family created a foundation in his name – The Strachan Hartley Legacy Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to furthering Strachan's life goal of making a difference in the world by providing under-privileged youth and families with life-enriching sports and educational programs that will help them reach their full potential.
‘’A couple of weeks before he passed away he told me his main goal in life was the make a difference in the world and give back,’’ said Blythe.
The Strachan Hartley Legacy Foundation will celebrate sports and the positive role it plays in people’s lives through the Make a Difference Marathon. It is a 14-day bike relay marathon from Halifax to Victoria involving 10 Hartley family members and friends scheduled to arrive at the Olympic Diving Trials in Victoria on June 21st, 2008.
There are various ways to donate to the foundation including on-line or in person. ‘’They’re going to be stopping in major cities across Canada,’’ said Blythe. ‘’Anyone who wants to get involved can pledge, donate anytime they want or join in with their bike and take part.’’
All ticket proceeds from the trials will go to the foundation as well. Full information on the foundation and the bike marathon is available on-line at www.strachanhartleyfoundation.com.
Hartley is headed to Beijing Friday to compete at the FINA World Cup of diving. Her primary goal is to qualify an Olympic spot for Canada on women’s three-metre synchro with Melanie Rinaldi of Montreal. Hartley will also compete on individual three-metre. She earned Canada an Olympic spot in that event at the world championships last year.