Bath resident and pitcher Lauren Bay Regula, who was part of Team Canada for the 2004 Olympics in Athens and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, is training to be selected for Canada’s softball team for this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo.
Photo courtesy of Lauren Bay Regula
BATH — When the softball team representing Canada heads to Tokyo later this year for the 2020 Olympic games, Bath resident Lauren Bay Regula is looking to be one of 15 softball players to make the trip — and make a little history in the process.
“Being an Olympian is hard to describe — it means everything and is such a sense of pride,” she said. “I live in the States now, but I’m Canadian through and through. My kids even have Canadian citizenship. I love my home country and … it’s been my dream to stand on an Olympic podium since I was little.”
Bay Regula, who was part of Team Canada for the 2004 Olympics in Athens and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, would become the country’s first three-time Olympian for softball.
“In 2004, we came in fifth place, and in 2008 we lost the bronze medal game and came in fourth,” she stated.
“And this year’s team is, by far, the best team Canada has fielded. So, we’re hoping to improve on our last Olympic performances.”
One of 20 athletes to be named a finalist for 15 roster spots, Bay Regula said she has been pitching three times a week and doing other forms of strength and conditioning, such as lifting weights and aerobic workouts, with another local Canadian Olympic hopeful.
“Randomly, one of the 20 athletes selected is [Victoria Rumph], the head coach of the College of Wooster,” she said. “It’s the craziest thing because I’m from British Columbia and she is from outside of Toronto, and she married a guy from Parma and I married a guy from Akron. And we are both still playing. She’s a catcher and I’m a pitcher. It’s been amazing.”
According to Bay Regula, the list of athletes vying for the 15 spots includes six pitchers, with three or four pitchers typically selected for the final roster, which will be announced in May.
“The 20 athletes — minus myself and another pitcher who has kids as well — start Feb. 3 and only get two one-week breaks until the team is named in May,” she said. “So, the team is gone and training together for months at a time. But Softball Canada allows people who have children to do two weeks on and two weeks off for the first eight weeks. I’m fortunate because there’s no way I could be away from my children for that long.”Bay Regula and her husband, Dave, are the parents of Grace (10), Jack (9) and Will (7).
“I’m super-excited to bring them along on this journey and, honestly, show them that anything is possible,” she said. “They are a big reason why I wanted to come back this year.”
Being away from the Canadian Olympic team at times to be with her family is not something Bay Regula believes will prevent her from being on “equal footing” with the other players in contention.
“Obviously, I would like to stay and get the training that they’re getting, and they’re doing a lot of intersquad games and getting a lot of practice,” she said. “But I still feel good. [My experience helps] and I think my age does. I’m pretty at peace with being a mom and a business owner, while trying to train for the Olympics.”The business is TrAk Athletics in Fairlawn, which Bay Regula co-owns with her husband.
“We left Chicago six years ago, moved here and opened it,” she said. “I grew up in a really tiny town, Trail, British Columbia, and that’s the ‘Tr’ of TrAk. We used my hometown of Trail and Dave’s hometown of Akron to come up with our gym’s name.”
Bay Regula said everything adds up to keep her plate full, but she is ready for the challenge.“I’m aware that there’s only so much of me to go around, only so much time in the day,” she said. “I’m in a pretty good mindset that I’m going to give it everything I have. I am going to do what I can do, and that’s literally all I can do.”
And no matter what happens, Bay Regula, 38, said this is her last time trying out for the team.“This is it,” she said. “My husband laughed because I thought 2008 was it for me, to be honest.
But this is it. I’ll be done. But I’m really trying not to make it a big deal. I feel fortunate I was able to go back and play in the World Championships in 2016.
We won a bronze medal, and that was after eight years of not even stepping on a field. That allowed me to be at peace with whatever happens in softball. I’m in a pretty good spot.”