An enthusiastic crowd filled Noelle Montcalm's front yard in Belle River Friday evening to cheer their hometown Olympian on as she tried to get through to the semi-final round of the women's 400-metre hurdles at the Tokyo Games.
"There's a lot of people who obviously know Noelle but to have them come here and support her on our street is the icing on the cake," Shawn MacFarlane, Montcalm's partner said.
"I'm super happy about it."
While Montcalm's finishing time of 55.85 seconds was her best this season and just 4 1/100ths of a second off her personal best, it wasn't quite enough to get her through to the next round. Still, her coach Don Garrod said she ran the race of her life.
"Super proud of her," he said. "She's been around the track once or twice, she's a veteran and I didn't expect anything less than her performance tonight."
'I want to be there'
For those closest to Montcalm, not being able to travel to Tokyo to support her was difficult.
"I love being here," MacFarlane said. "But ultimately, I want to be there.
"Without their families, like that's who they rely on every day, you know, the ups and downs," she said. "Whatever it might be, they turn to you and it's tough."
Friends and family did get a chance to show their support for Montcalm first-hand from home after the run as she made an appearance from Tokyo.
"I guess I decided to Facetime instead of just call and I put myself in a situation where I got pretty emotional," she said. "[I'm] super appreciative of all the people there behind me."
She said finishing the race in this way is bittersweet.
"I know I'll be happy with the performance at the end of the day but to not get a chance to race again, it's tough," she said. "I want to be out there again, it's why I do it."