TORONTO, January 25, 2022 — RBC Training Ground struck gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games when alumni Avalon Wasteneys (rowing) and Kelsey Mitchell (track cycling) became Olympic champions. Now, as program graduates prepare to make their debut at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games, RBC Training Ground resumes its search for the next generation of Olympic talent.
RBC Training Ground is a nation-wide talent identification program dedicated to finding and funding Canada’s future Olympians. Rowing Canada Aviron – one of nine participating National Sport Organizations – has partnered with RBC Training Ground since its inception.
“RBC Training Ground is a gamechanger and a real life example of how a Team Canada partner can change the fate of young Canadian athletes,” said David Shoemaker, Chief Executive Officer and Secretary General, Canadian Olympic Committee. “This amazing program quite literally makes Olympic dreams a reality. We are delighted to see the program returning for its seventh year and excited about the prospects of RBC Training Ground graduates competing at Beijing 2022 in just a few weeks. We know how Team Canada inspires Canadians to Be Olympic, and we strongly encourage young Canadians to take advantage of this free opportunity to kickstart their campaigns for Paris 2024, Milano Cortina 2026 and beyond, so they can then inspire the next generation of champions.”
Year seven of the program, beginning this Spring, features a planned return to free in-person qualifying events across the country (guided by local health and safety protocols) in addition to virtual testing options.
At each qualifying event participants will perform speed, strength, power, and endurance benchmark testing in front of the participating National Sport Organizations. Athletes deemed to have high performance potential are invited to complete further sport-specific testing. The top athletes will be selected as RBC Future Olympians and receive funding, mentorship, and other resources to pursue their Olympic dreams.
“RBC Training Ground is designed to help identify and support the next generation of Olympic talent, and provide athletes with the high-performance sport resources needed to achieve their podium dreams,” said Evan MacInnis, Technical Director for RBC Training Ground. “While some participants are looking to re-energize or boost an Olympic dream in a sport they are already pursuing, others participate with the hope of being discovered and directed toward an Olympic sport they may have never considered. But they all rely on raw athleticism and determination to attract the attention of our sport partners and are excited to see where this program can take them.”
RBC Training Ground alumni emerging as Beijing 2022 hopefuls include World Cup gold medalist Marion Thénault (Freestyle Skiing – Aerials), Mike Evelyn (Bobsleigh), and Sara Villani (Bobsleigh).
Registration and event information for all local RBC Training Ground events is available at RBCTrainingGround.ca.
“We are thrilled to launch year seven of RBC Training Ground in our 75th year as a long-standing partner of the Canadian Olympic team,” said Mary DePaoli, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, RBC. “What began as an idea in 2016, has since become a cornerstone in championing the dreams of young people and fostering the next generation of Team Canada. Building off the incredible success of Tokyo 2020, we look forward to supporting the RBC Olympians and RBC Training Ground athletes competing in Beijing 2022, and continuing to discover new athletes with Olympic potential.”
Since its inception in 2016, the program has tested 10,000 athletes across Canada, with over 1,300 athletes being identified by National Sport Organizations as having Olympic potential (many in a sport they had never considered).
National Sport Organization program partners in 2022 include: Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton; Canoe Kayak Canada; Cycling Canada Cyclisme; Freestyle Ski Canada, Luge Canada; Rowing Canada Aviron, Rugby Canada; Speed Skating Canada; and Volleyball Canada – all looking to identify new talent for development.
RBC Training Ground was developed in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Olympic Foundation, with support from the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network. As the longest standing corporate partner of Team Canada, RBC is proud to celebrate its 75th year proudly championing the Olympic Movement.
Photo: Pascal Lee