The RBC Olympians program hires both Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes as community ambassadors who bring Olympic messages of excellence and leadership to Canadian communities.
Athletes are provided with the opportunity to gain valuable skills that will help them prepare for life after sport, while also receiving much-needed funding to help them realize their Olympic and Paralympic dreams.
|Bobbi-Jo Slusar||Calgary||Ice Hockey|
|Brady Leman||Calgary||Ski Cross|
|Carla MacLeod||Calgary||Ice Hockey|
|Marc Kennedy||St. Albert||Curling|
|Viviane Forest||Edmonton||Goalball & Paralympic Alpine Skiing|
|Kristi Richards||Summerland||Freestyle Skiing|
|Jared Funk||Niverville||Wheelchair Rugby|
|Ben Russell||Dartmouth||Sprint Canoe|
|Heather Hamilton||Toronto||Athletics – Pole Vault|
|Valerie Hould Marchand||Toronto||Synchronized Swimming|
|Christian Redmann||Toronto||Beach Volleyball|
|Kevin Rempel||Dundas||Ice Sledge Hockey|
|Robbi Weldon||Thunder Bay||Tandem Cycling, Para-Nordic Skiing|
|Greg Westlake||Toronto||Ice Sledge Hockey|
|Jennifer Botterill||Toronto||Ice Hockey|
|Jayna Hefford||Toronto||Ice Hockey|
|Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir||London||Ice Dancing|
|Benoit St. Amand||St-Hubert||Ice Sledge Hockey|
|Caroline Ouellette||Montreal||Ice Hockey|
|Benoit Huot||Longueuil||Paralympic Swimming|
|Kelsie Hendry||Calgary, AB||Athletics – Pole Vault|
Bobbi-Jo’s favourite sporting experience is putting on a Team Canada jersey when she competes.
Brady joined the Canadian Ski Cross Team in 2008. After battling a string of injuries, including a broken leg the day before the race at the Vancouver Olympic Games, Brady had a breakthrough season in 2011/12 winning 2 World Cup Gold medals and finishing the season ranked 2nd in the world. With his sights now set squarely on Sochi, Brady is aiming to be the first Canadian male to take home an overall Crystal Globe Award for Ski Cross in 2013.
Carla’s six years on the Canadian National Women’s Ice Hockey Team have been filled with highlights, including winning a gold medal at the 2006 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games as well as placing first at the 2006 Four Nations Cup and 2007 World Championship. Recently retired, Carla is now an assistant coach for the Canadian National Under 18 Team.
Marc began curling at six years old and hasn’t stopped since. All of his hard work and dedication paid off at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games when his team won gold medal. Standing on the podium with friends and family in the audience while the Canadian national anthem played was a moment Marc will never forget.
Viviane is a true inspiration. She is the first Canadian female athlete to win a gold medal at both the Summer and Winter Paralympic games. Viviane’s favourite moment of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games was being at the start gate in Whistler and hearing the roar of the crowd cheering for her at the finish line at the base of the mountain.
Michelle is a highly decorated Paralympic who has successfully repeated as Paralympic Champion at the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games and is the only female Canadian athlete to hold Gold medals in two separate summer sports (Basketball and Athletics). Michelle has the following words of wisdom on the wall where she trains to keep her focused: “You are what you repeatedly do; excellent therefore is not an act but a habit.”
Scott has been a member of the Canadian National Swim Team since 2003 and during that time has had many accomplishments, including competing for Canada at the 2012 and 2004 Olympic Games, being named University Swimmer of the Year in 2005 and winning both gold and bronze medals at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Scott is a three-time Olympian and three time Collegiate National Champion rower from British Columbia. He has won three World Cup gold medals and a silver medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Frandsen continually demonstrates hard work and determination. His motto: “If you want something and are willing to work for it, anything is possible.”
Kristi was raised in Summerland, BC, and has been skiing at Apex Mountain Resort on the freestyle team since she was 12 years old. She placed seventh in the 2006 Torino Olympic Winter Games and won the 2007 World Championships in Italy. She is known for her courageous bottom jump after a devastating crash at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games that won the hearts of the nation.
A veteran on Team Canada, Jared has competed in wheelchair rugby for 13 years, winning three Paralympic Games medals – silver in Athens 2004, bronze in Beijing 2008 and silver in London 2012. He has also reached the podium at the 1995 and 2006 World Championships. His favourite Olympic moment was prevailing in a competitive semi–final match in front of a sold out stadium in London. Jared is an inspirational role model and has a passion for introducing new athletes to the sport of wheelchair rugby.
Jill started curling at the age of 10 and by 17 had won her first provincial championship. She has added numerous other titles to her accomplishments, including four Canadian Scotties Tournament of Hearts National Championships (her most recent in 2010) and the 2008 World Women's Championship. Her team, skipped by Jennifer Jones out of Winnipeg, plans to make another run toward the Olympics in 2014 in Russia. For Jill, competing is all about respect – respect for your teammates, competitors, yourself and the sport.
An inductee of the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 2009, Vicky has had a softball career filled with highlights including competing at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Each year the Vicky LeBlanc Award is given to a New Brunswick female softball player in Vicky’s honour.
Ben won the bronze medal at the 2007 Pan American Games and followed that up with competitive finishes at World Cups and the World Championships in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
After competing in 15 World Cups and 3 World Championships in his campaign towards the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Brendan found himself an alternate towards his goal. Not stopping there, Brendan began keelboat sailing as the skipper on a competitive race team. Brendan continues to compete on keelboats and looks forward to another shot in the Finn class at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero.
John Hastings is a member of the Canadian National Kayak Team and has been part of the RBC Olympian Program for three years. He finished the season in 12th in the 2011 World Cup overall rankings. He was the 2008 National Champion and an alternate on the 2008 Olympic Team. John’s ultimate goal is a medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The best advice John ever received: “Winners never quit and quitters never win.”
Hailing from Mississauga, ON, Heather’s career in Athletics – Pole Vault has been a successful one so far with accomplishments including a silver medal at the 2008 NACAC, and being named to the 2009 World Student Games. Her goal is to compete in the 2012 Olympic games in London and medal at the 2016 games in Rio.
Valerie’s 15-year career in competitive synchronized swimming was filled with athletic accomplishments that included winning a silver medal at the 1996 Olympic Summer Games and gold medals at the 1995 Junior World Championships, 1998 Commonwealth Games and 1999 Pan American Games.
Christian has spent 4 years on the Beach Volleyball World Tour and three years on the Challenger and Satellite Tour before that. Some of his athletic accomplishments to date include winning a silver medal at the 2006 Liechtenstein Challenger Event, placing ninth at the 2009 FIVB World Championships and placing fifth at the 2009 FIVB Moscow Grand Slam. Christian won the 2011 Canadian Beach Volleyball Championships and has been the top Canadian player on the World Tour for the past 4 seasons.
Kevin’s story is all about hard work and perseverance, which culminated in winning three gold medals since joining the men’s national sledge hockey team. Kevin’s goals include winning a gold medal for Canada at the World Championships and at the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Kevin has a passion for public speaking, and once he retires from competition, he plans to write a book about his experiences, both on and off the ice.
2012 was a monumental year for Robbi as she won Gold in the 80 km Tandem Road Cycling Race at the London Paralympic Summer Games. Two–time World Champion on the bike, Robbi has also raced in Cross Country Skiing for Canada since 2006, ranked 3rd in the World in 2008 and competed for Canada in the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Winter Games. Competing with only 6% vision, Robbi doesn't let this slow her down. She continues to keep her sights on Gold over the next quadrennial to Rio 2016. Robbi also hopes to compete at the Toronto 2015 Pan American/Para pan American Games.
An offensive star for Canada’s National Ice Sledge Hockey Team, Greg has had a playing career filled with highlights, including winning a gold medal at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, being awarded MVP for the 2007 season and placing first at the 2008 World Championship. Greg has been named Team Captain for the 2011/2012 season.
Jennifer was the youngest member of the 1998 Canadian Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team, bringing home the silver medal. At the 2002 and 2006 Olympic Winter Games, Jennifer earned gold medals and successfully defended those titles most recently at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. A Harvard graduate, Jennifer is also a five-time World Champion and a two-time winner of the Patty Kazmaier Award as the top player in NCAA women’s ice hockey.
Jayna returned from each Olympic Games she attended with a medal around her neck – silver from the Nagano 1998 Olympic Winter Games, gold from the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games, gold from the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games, and finally gold at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Over the course of her 13-year tenure on Canada's National Women's Ice Hockey Team, Jayna has won seven World Championship titles.
Defending World and Olympic champions, Tessa Virtue, 23, and Scott Moir, 25, have blazed new trails on their way to the top of their sport. The only Canadians to win a World Junior title (2006), they are also the only ice–dancers from North America to win Olympic Gold (2010) and are the first ice–dancers to score a perfect "10" in international competition. Five-time Canadian champions, and counting, Tessa and Scott are the embodiment of artistry and athleticism on ice.
Benoit has played on the Canadian National Sledge Hockey Team for eight years, which have been filled with highlights, including winning a gold medal at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games, finishing in fourth place at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver and winning two World Championships in 2008 and 2011.
Sandra has been competing in fencing for 27 years and has had many accomplishments in her sport. She is a nine-time Canadian National Champion and continues to compete around the world. Her sport has taught her that perseverance is an important value to have, as well as working as a team toward the same goal.
Caroline’s 13 years on the Canadian National Women’s Ice Hockey Team have been filled with many highlights, including winning gold medals at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games and placing first at six World Championships.
Benoît Huot’s athletic dreams came true when he participated in the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony. He has competed in swimming events at four Paralympic Games and brought home eight nine gold, four five silver and five bronze medals. He was nominated flag bearer for Canada in the closing ceremony for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Kelsie Hendry competed at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in the pole vault event. The 2007 Canadian champion's favourite career memory was walking into the Beijing National Stadium (The Bird's Nest) to represent her country. Kelsie's goal is to be a finalist at the 2013 World Championships in Russia.