Just days before Team Canada was set to depart for the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi, Richard Hildreth’s Aunt Pat passed away after a battle with breast cancer. But Richard knew he still had to go to India. Weeks before, his aunt had told him to go, to represent Canada, no matter what happened. So he went.
Throughout the World Cup, Richard wore the signature pink breast cancer bracelet – a tribute to Auntie Pat. To this day, you can always find pink tape on his hockey stick. This weekend (June 16 and 17), Hildreth will honour his aunt in a big way as he bikes in Vancouver’s Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer and raises funds for the BC Cancer Foundation.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting other people who have been impacted by cancer,” says Hildreth. “I think it will be great to feel the camaraderie and hear everyone’s stories. It will be awesome to ride with a group of people all there for the same reason. And obviously, it’s exciting to raise money for such an important cause.”
Richard purchased his first road bike a few years ago, and it has since become his primary means of transportation. Not only does biking add some extra exercise to his routine, it is definitely cost effective – always important for amateur athletes. Hildreth often bikes to and from National Team training at the University of British Columbia.
“At first the other guys on the team made fun of me for biking,” he admits. “They called me the hipster. But now the tables have turned. About four or five other guys have started riding. I like to think I had some influence on their decision.”
As an elite level athlete, Richard is obviously competitive. While the Enbridge Ride is not technically a race – don’t expect to find Hildreth in the back.
“Even when biking around Vancouver I’m competitive,” says Hildreth. “Every time someone passes me, I want to catch up and pass them.”
Said like a true National Team athlete. It is that competitive spirit Auntie Pat always encouraged in Richard.