October 6, 2022
  • October 6, 2022

RBC Training Ground is looking for another Park Olympic medalist

By on March 29, 2022 0

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If there’s one group of athletes in a community who should be well aware of what the RBC Training Ground Olympic Talent Search can do, it should be Sherwood Park.

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After all, the program’s ultimate proof of concept is Sherwood Park’s Kelsey Mitchell.

Recently finished her college football career about five years ago, Mitchell was working weed-spraying ditches in Strathcona County when she decided to see if there was a way to extend her athletic pursuits by competing in an RBC Training Ground cattle call.

After undergoing a slew of tests, she caught the eye of Cycling Canada, despite not even owning a bike or having any previous experience with the sport. Four years later, Mitchell was on the top step of the podium at the Summer Olympics last summer in Tokyo, Japan, after winning a gold medal for Canada in the women’s sprint in cycling.

Now, other Park athletes will have the opportunity to follow his path to Olympic glory as the RBC event returns to Edmonton this weekend.

The free and innovative program, which has already found and funded seven Canadian Olympic medalists, is hosting a free event at the University of Alberta’s Foote Field Dome on Sunday, April 2.

Local athletes between the ages of 14 and 24 are encouraged to register for the chance to show off their basic speed, power, strength and endurance to Olympic talent scouts from nine different sports.

Mitchell once said The news that signing up to get tested obviously completely changed the course of his life.

“When I first went to the RBC training ground, I had no idea what was to come of it all or what I was capable of,” said the Salisbury Composite High School graduate , now 28, who attended the RBC event when she was 23 after finishing her football career at America’s University. that I gave everything. And my everything ended up being a gold medal at the Olympics, which is pretty surreal.

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“The RBC training grounds are the only reason I’m here. If it wasn’t for that, I might be done with sports. I didn’t even own a bike before that.

RBC Training Ground technical director Evan MacInnis said Mitchell definitely speaks to the program’s promise.

“She was just encouraged to go to this event to see what happens and she had a very good athletic ability that cycling saw some of her tests and said, ‘We can make you a track cyclist of world class,'” he said.

Bobsleigh Skeleton Canada, Canoe Kayak Canada, Cycling Canada, Freestyle Canada, Luge Canada, Rowing Canada, Rugby Canada, Speed ​​Skating Canada and Volleyball Canada are the sports partners of the program this year.

Last year, Training Ground added three more local athletes to its talent pool: Erin Watchman (cycling), Ava Ference (rugby) and Cassie Jorgenson (rugby).

Since the program’s inception in 2016, 10,000 athletes across the country have been tested, more than 1,300 of whom have been identified by national sports organizations as having Olympic potential.

Those interested in attending the April 2 event should register online at rbctrainingground.ca.

— With files from Postmedia Network

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