A man’s home is a . . . Ontario Summer Games venue – The London Free Press

What’s better than having Ontario’s largest sports event in your figurative backyard?

Having it — or at least a piece of it — in your actual backyard.

Just ask Mike Radcliffe of Denfield, northwest of London.

When the Ontario Summer Games rolls into London starting Thursday, bringing more than 3,400 athletes, coaches and officials, Londoners will be able to catch the action at 25 different sports venues.

Radcliffe, on the other hand, will simply have to walk outside to watch one of the main events — the triathlon.

It turns out his property has a 40-acre lake to the side of his house, perfect for the swimming portion of the grueling event.Triathlon combines swimming, cycling and running in one sport.

Radcliffe said Games staff asked if he’d allow them to hold the triathlon events at his place, and he agreed.He even offered his three-car garage to store the bikes to keep them safe as the athletes swim.

“I have no issue with it,” he said. “It will be a neat experience to host.”

It’s not the first time triathletes have used Radcliffe’s spread: His mini-lake, about six metres deep, has doubled as a training venue before.“It even has whitecaps on stormy days,” he quipped.

Hosting is no sweat for Radcliffe. Staff at the Ontario Summer Games will set up everything, including stands for the crowds.Radcliffe said the cycling and the running portions of the triathlon will be run on the roads in front of and surrounding his house.

“Everything is right there,” he said. “Spectators can stay there and see everything.”

With London hosting back-to-back Games in 2018 and 2020, Radcliffe said he wouldn’t be surprised if he’s asked to host the triathlon again.For now, though, he’s just excited by the prospect of a front-row seat on the action this weekend.

“I’m going to have fun watching them swim,” he said.


THE TRIATHLON EVENTSTwo events, individual and mixed relay, are held Friday and Saturday.The individual race includes a 500-metre swim, a 15-km bike ride and a four-km run.The mixed relay is a 250-metre swim, a five-km bike ride and a 1.5-km run.Both events start at 9 a.m. Road access to the site closes at 8:30 a.m.