We’re surrounded by messages of success.
At the 2014 Olympic Games Marie-Philip Poulin made Women’s Hockey history. She led Canada to its 3rd consecutive Olympic Gold – after an unprecedented 2 goal comeback against our American rivals. She motivated youth across the globe with her believe-in yourself-mentality, and proved that even if the odds are against you, anything is possible.
We’re inspired by selfless gestures.
We witnessed Long Track Speed Skater Gilmore Junio do the unthinkable, he gave up his opportunity to race at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He knew his training partner could put up a superior performance to his, and he made a tough decision to step aside. His compassionate gesture touched the hearts of people across Canada and his decision paved the way for Canadian skater Denny Morrison to win Olympic Bronze. Many chase a dream, but few can pass up an opportunity of a lifetime – Gilmore made us challenge our mindset.
We love to see Canadians succeed. We crave the excitement that celebrating a medal brings and we often find ourselves searching for ‘that one’ athlete to rise to the occasion. The strongest victors are a combination of discipline, exceptional physical talent and a perfectionist mindset. We want this for ourselves, and watching athletes succeed gives us that oh-so-good feeling like we’ve succeeded too.
Reaching the podium is just a fragment of an athlete’s journey, the end result. To be inspired, one needs to look deeper than medals, the fame and sponsorship deals – identifying the catalyst to success is where the real story lies.
RBC Training Ground: The Catalyst
I witnessed 2016 Training Ground Winner Pierce LePage turn the heads of National Sport Organization (NSO) leaders in person. He’s a natural athlete, towering in at 6-feet-6 inches, harnessing the strength of a shot-putter, and able to hold the stride of a sprinter and the vertical of a basketball player.
An outright star, Pierce is the product of diligent training, exceptional coaching and a positive support system. Being a part of his development as a mentor and friend has shown me that Pierce is a special talent. He’s a Canadian Junior Record holder, a budding multi-event star and he’s extremely humble. At only 22, he was crowned the Canadian Decathlon champion and continues to shine as an RBC Training Ground alumni.
In contrast, 2017 Training Ground winner Dennis Cook is on a different wave. Named by the Lifesaving Society of Canada as 2016 Male athlete of the year, Dennis is excelling rapidly and looks to translate his Lifesaving skills to Olympic sport. At RBC’s Training Ground Regional final (Toronto) his unique sprint start caught my attention. His unconventional take off – a low and twisted ready position facing the opposite direction, followed by explosive footspeed, and efficiency stood out to me. Is Dennis a budding skeleton athlete or future elite sprinter? Time will tell – but I have high hopes that he will impress.
RBC Training Ground reminds me why I’ve spent my life pursuing athletic excellence and I can’t wait to watch the next generation of Canadian athletes put it all on the line in 2018.
I know I’ll be watching RBC’s Training Ground athletes inspire our nation, will you?
RBC Olympian & 2-Time Canadian 100m Champion