This has no doubt been a challenging year for not just sport but all aspects of humankind.  As we are hovering around the  anniversary of the COVID pandemic, it is important for us to focus on our progress over the last year and our goals moving forward in an important year ahead. This is a good time to reflect and acknowledge the strength within yourself.

“Adversity causes some men (women) to break; others to break records” ~ William Arthur Ward

I am aware the continued postponement of events and speculation is wearing on our collective competitive spirit.  For those still waiting to qualify for the Olympic and Paralympic Games to those continuing their development with benchmarks they strive to hit this year, competition and achievement is at the root of who we are.  Having that temporarily put on hold, and what looks to be indefinitely, can challenge our motivation and drive.

Your resilience, perseverance and adaptability demonstrated during this pandemic has solidified that there is no quit in high-performance sport.

For those of you pushing towards Tokyo, we will communicate concrete plans to you immediately after World Triathlon’s decision on March 18.  These plans will provide you with some assurances on how best to qualify for the Games.  Qualification, and ultimately nomination, is not guaranteed but our intent is to provide those who  are aiming for Tokyo to have opportunity to put their best foot forward in a fair, transparent and reasonable way; all in light of the uncertainty.

The level of uncertainty for athletes and coaches with longer term goals, or who are at the development level of their careers, is equally important.  I assure you that while working with our provincial partners,  Triathlon Canada is committed to finding solutions to provide each of you with competitive opportunities within the varying landscape of COVID restrictions and recommendations. Our intent is to connect the community through a common competitive calendar that will allow for Provinces and/or regions implement novel or innovative formats that fit within their respective COVID restrictions.

These events will focus on three key elements of our podium pathway:

  • Skill development;
  • Performance on demand;
  • Demands of competition.

Working with the provincial sport organizations, we will release a structured approach to competition in the next few weeks.

Of course, if the Canada and the world evolves towards a semblance of normal, our competition strategy will be adaptive and incorporate all competitive opportunities.

“I think sport tests us in so many ways, our skills, our hearts, our ability to bounce back after setbacks. This is the inner beauty of sports and competition, and it can serve us all well as adult athletes.” ` Peggy Fleming

Though it is cliché now, it is critical that we continue to adapt, evolve and grow.  The root of sport is competition and achievement. These don’t change due to changes in venue, format or things we have become accustomed to.  It is ok to be fatigued, frustrated and even angry, but I ask you to channel this energy and use it to your advantage.  We will be better.

“Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character.” ~ Unknown

Eugene Liang
High Performance Director | Directeur de la haute performance
triathloncanada.com