Richmond race walker Evan Dunfee was surrounded by fans desperate to get a selfie with him at Tuesday morning’s donation event.
Dunfee won a bronze medal in the men’s 50-km race walking competition at the Tokyo Olympics last month. This was Canada’s first medal in the event. In honour of his time of 3:50:59 at the Olympics, Kraft Dinner donated 35,059 boxes of macaroni and cheese to the Richmond Food Bank this morning in Dunfee’s name.
Residents crowded around Dunfee, trying to snap pictures or videos of him.
Richmondite Francis Thong, a volunteer with Richmond Food Bank, said Dunfee’s visit was a big surprise for him.
“He is super nice and said, ‘hey,’ to every one of us. He told us he lives only a kilometer away from here. To me, he is so friendly and approachable, just like the boy living next door,” said Thong.
Ramzi Naisan said he was at the food bank simply to pick up food and had no idea he would be coming face-to-face with an Olympic medal winner.
“I once saw him race walking on a trail in Richmond before heading to the Tokyo Olympics, and the next time I saw him was on TV and he was walking under the scorching sun in Tokyo. I was so excited and shouted at my friend, this is our Richmond boy,” said Naisan.
Dunfee said he was glad to leverage his partnership with his sponsor Kraft Dinner to help the community in a meaningful way and raise awareness about the local food bank.
“The coolest thing about being in Richmond is because I am out walking on the streets daily, I’m getting cars honking at me and people saying hi. So, I feel an intimate connection with my community, which is cool. And that’s where the desire to help our community comes from,” said Dunfee.
After returning home from Tokyo, Dunfee said he has been taking some time off and enjoying the moment, before getting back to training and figuring out his next big goal -- such as winning the gold medal.
However, the men’s 50-km race walking event will not be held at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, although there will be a mixed-gender race walking event.