If you’re a British Columbian real estate agent, Lucas Hammond might have worked with you on a transaction. When the Engel & Völkers real estate agent is not working with clients, he’s training with the Canadian national rugby team. Right now in Tokyo, Hammond is living his dream.
Hammond made his Olympic debut with the Canadian national rugby team on July 26.
Born in South Africa, Hammond was introduced to the game at age 7. When his family moved to Toronto from his hometown of Vryheid — in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province — he continued playing until he eventually moved to Victoria in his late teens to play with the national team. Hammond plays the scrum-half position. Since 2011, he’s competed in several national matches. Hammond can boast that he’s played in the HSBC Rugby Sevens World Series, two Commonwealth Games, two Sevens Rugby World Cups and the 2015 Pan Am Games, when Canada won the gold medal.
Setbacks and triumphs
A torn deltoid ligament in his foot and COVID-19 delaying the Olympics almost discouraged the athlete.
“Two years ago I was told by my surgeon that I’d never be able to play rugby or even run again,” he said. “As a teenager, I left my friends and family and moved across the country to chase the Olympic dream. It’s been a long road over the last 10 years with lots of ups and downs. I can’t express what it means to me now that it’s finally here.”
In November of 2020, Hammond joined Engel & Völkers Carroll Group, a group led by Alex Carroll, himself an athlete. Carroll played football for the Canadian Football League. When Hammond joined the group, the former wide receiver would tease him about playing rugby but understood the camaraderie that sports can add.
“I’m a firm believer in the power of team sports in building character and values,” he said. “Speaking from experience, some of my closest friends are also former teammates. You form a special bond going through the highs and lows together and under the right circumstances grow as a person as a result. We joke about football vs. rugby alot but I know Lucas was well equipped for a career as a realtor because of the level he has competed at for so long.”
Living in Victoria, Hammond said he’s enjoyed helping clients find homes in this wild housing market. He suggests that first-time buyers should avoid panicking and know where they stand financially.
“First thing I’d recommend is talking to your bank or a mortgage specialist to know what you’re approved for,” he said. “Especially in this highly active market, being pre-approved will increase your buying power. The second thing is patience. In this market, many experienced buyers are making split-second decisions on properties in order to secure an accepted offer, and many places are going well above asking price. This could be extremely intimidating for a first-time buyer on a limited budget.”
Canada played in the group B Olympic pool with Japan, Fiji and Great Britian and placed 8th to move on to the quarter-finals. However, a 21-10 loss to New Zealand on July 27 eliminated the Canadians from medal contention.
Even without a gold medal, Hammond can shine back home.