Courtesy of the Canadian Sport Institute
VICTORIA – After a year of delay due to the COVID pandemic, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are finally set to start this week and run from July 23 until August 8, and this year’s version of Team Canada is set to have the highest percentage of B.C. affiliated athletes in the Canadian Olympic Committee’s history.
Team Canada features 370 athletes heading to Tokyo for the Olympics. Of those, an impressive 192 of them have a connection to British Columbia. One hundred and thirty one of the athletes have B.C. as their home province or residence and 182 have benefited from services provided by Canadian Sport Institute Pacific or a member of the PacificSport Regional Alliance here in B.C.
With sustained investment from Sport Canada (through the Own the Podium Program), National Sport Organizations and the Province of British Columbia, the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific (CSI Pacific), viaSport and its Regional Alliance partners play an integral role in supporting young athletes and coaches from every corner of the province in attaining their goals.
“We are extremely excited to see these athletes finally getting the opportunity to compete on the world stage,” said Wendy Pattenden, CEO Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, “especially having seen them work so hard over this very challenging past year and a half. We are proud to associate with all the athletes, coaches, national sport organizations and Team Canada, and are thrilled to see such a fantastic number of B.C. affiliated athletes heading to the Games.”
Pattenden noted the fact that an impressive 52% of Canada’s Olympic team is linked to British Columbia – including 49% of the Team Canada receiving services from Canadian Sport Institute Pacific or a member of the PacificSport Regional Alliance – even though the province only makes up 13% of the Canadian population.
“The amazing representation from B.C. at this year’s Olympic Games is a testament to the strength of our province’s sport ecosystem,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO at viaSport BC. “Through the. unique challenges of the pandemic and the return to sport, B.C. sport organizations pulled together to support these athletes and coaches, who in turn are showing incredible resilience in making it to Tokyo. We are so proud of this collective effort and achievement and will be cheering on Team BC and Team Canada in the coming weeks!”
B.C. affiliated athletes competing in these games name 36 unique hometowns and residences in B.C. as their own, helping illustrate how Canada’s Olympians come from throughout the province. The widespread range of B.C.’s athletes is a direct result of the province’s commitment to make community sport accessible to all British Columbians. By creating the environment to participate locally, athletes have the opportunity to develop in many different sports. Those athletes who pursue the performance pathway can access programs and services provided by CSI Pacific and viaSport’s Regional Alliance partners in their regions.
This support continues to produce impressive results: during the Rio 2016 Olympics, 50% of Canada’s 22 medals were won by B.C. affiliated athletes. In PyeongChang, 28% of the athletes had a BC connection, and they won 38% of Canada’s medals.
There are many reasons for B.C.’s prominent position on the national sport landscape. These include:
- The Government of British Columbia’s annual investment in sport of approximately $50 million
- viaSport’s lead role in promoting and developing amateur sport and building a stronger, more effective and inclusive sport system for both athletes and coaches through provincial sport organizations and regional delivery partners
- Canadian Sport Institute Pacific’s technical leadership and support of Canada’s high performance athletes and coaches. Using their mantra of Collaborate. Serve. Innovate. Perform. In combination with world-class training facilities, equipment and innovations, CSI Pacific helps Canada’s elite athletes and coaches maximize their potential
- Collaboration with our National Sport Organization and Provincial Sport Organization partners, who demonstrate leadership and commitment to the Long Term Athlete Development model, to provide expertise, service and support to B.C. athletes and coaches competing in 24 different Olympic Summer sports (over 70 different disciplines)
- Introduction to multi-sport games experience and the sport excellence system by BC Games Society who host the BC Summer Games and Winter Games and manage the Team BC program at the Canada Games
Quick Facts about Team Canada’s B.C. connection for Tokyo 2020:
- 182 athletes benefitted from CSI Pacific and viaSport Regional Alliance partner services
- Eight CSI Pacific sport scientists and sport medicine professionals from five different disciplines attending the Games
- Dr. Paddy McCluskey – Physician
- Dr. Trent Stellingwerff – Physiologist & IST Lead
- Dr. Gareth Sandford – Physiologist
- Wendy Pethick – Physiologist
- Christie Gialloreto – Mental Performance
- Alex Hodgins – Mental Performance
- Zach Kalthoff – Strength & Conditioning
- Ryan Brodie – Canadian Olympic Committee Core Mission Team – Performance Technology
Visit www.csipacific.ca or www.bcmedals.ca for daily results from these athletes, as well as additional information about them, including their hometowns, social media channels and competition schedules.
The Summer Paralympic Winter Games are just over a month away, as well, with Opening Ceremonies on August 24. Once Canada’s Paralympic Team is announced, the CSI network will also share the B.C. athlete details with you.
Ganbare, Canada! (“Go Canada!”)