Calgary’s Olympic Team

August 9, 2016
 

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The Games of the XXXI Olympiad are opening today in Rio, Brazil.  In the coming weeks, across Canada, our nation will be united as we strongly cheer on our Canadian Olympic Team.

Calgary is home to 12 of our Canadian Olympians.  As your Member of Parliament for Calgary Confederation, I am pleased to let you know more about our hometown athletes who will be competing in the 2016 Summer Games in Rio.

You can also follow many of our athletes on their Twitter and Facebook social media accounts.

Go! Canada! Go!

Len Webber, MP
Calgary Confederation

bernardmariaMaria Bernard
Sport: Athletics
Games: Rio 2016
Born: April 6, 1993, Age: 23
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta
Home Province: Alberta
Hometown: Calgary, AlbertaBIOGRAPHY:
Maria Bernard has represented Canada twice at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. She competed in the junior race in 2011 before progressing to the senior race two years later. In between she competed at the IAAF World Junior Championships in the 1500m. While competing for the University of British Columbia, Bernard won the 3000m steeplechase and 5000m at the 2015 NAIA Outdoor National Championships. That made her the first female UBC athlete to win the Herbert B. Marrett Outstanding Performer Award. In 2015 she also finished sixth in the 3000m steeplechase at the World University Games. During her university career, the Thunderbirds won three NAIA cross country national championships. Bernard was a co-winner of the May Brown Trophy as UBC Graduating Female Athlete of the Year. She ran a personal best 9:44.81 in the 3000m steeplechase in June 2016.

Getting to Know…

Family: Mother Rita Bernard… Sisters Therese and Renee… Getting into the Sport: Started running track at age 15… Outside Interests: Graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Combined Major of Science… Odds and Ends: Collects postcards during her travels… Nickname: Mea…

Notable International Results

  • IAAF World Championships (junior): 2012 – 7th in H (1500m)
  • IAAF World Championships (cross country): 2013 – 76th (senior race); 2011 – 61st (junior race)
  • Universiade: 2015 – 6th (3000m steeplechase)

 

beveridgeallisonAllison Beveridge
Sport: Cycling – Track
Games: Rio 2016Toronto 2015
Born: June 1, 1993; Age: 23
Height: 169cm; Weight: 62kg
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta
Home Province: Alberta
Hometown: Calgary, AlbertaBIOGRAPHY:
Allison Beveridge enjoyed a major international breakthrough at the second World Cup stop of 2015-16 when she won omnium gold in Cambridge, New Zealand. It was her first individual World Cup victory in just her second career World Cup omnium start. She went on to finish fourth in the omnium at the 2016 UCI World Championships on the strength of a stellar second day in which she was fastest in the flying lap. At those worlds she also won silver in the team pursuit with Jasmin Glaesser, Kirsti Lay and Georgia Simmerling. Beveridge has been an integral member of the team pursuit since winning world championship silver in 2014. In 2015 she won a pair of world championship bronze medals,  teaming with Lay, Glaesser and Steph Roorda to finish third in the team pursuit. She also finished third in the non-Olympic scratch race, coming back from a mid-race crash. At the 2015 Pan Am Games, Beveridge won team pursuit gold with Glaesser, Lay and Laura Brown. She added a bronze medal in the road race. Beveridge has competed in both road and track cycling at the UCI World Junior Championships. She won the sprint jersey in stage one of the 2015 Tour of California before finishing fifth overall in the points classification.

Getting to know…

Family: Parents Bruce and Cathy Beveridge… Older sisters Julie and Michelle…Getting into the Sport: Started cycling at age 14… Had been a competitive swimmer as a child… Odds and Ends: Nicknames: Alli, Bev, Bevy…

Notable International Results

  • UCI W0rld Championships (track): 2016 – SILVER (team pursuit), 4th (omnium);2015 – BRONZE (team pursuit), BRONZE (scratch); 2014 – SILVER (team pursuit)
  • UCI World Championships (track, junior): 2011 – 5th (omnium), 8th (points), 12th(ind pursuit); 2010 – 6th (points), 10th (omnium), 15th (ind pursuit)
  • UCI World Championships (road, junior): 2011 – 11th (time trial), DNF (road race)
  • Pan American Games: 2015 – GOLD (team pursuit), BRONZE (road race)
  • Pan American Championships: 2013 – DNF (road race); 2012 – 9th (keirin)
  • Pan American Championships (junior): 2011 – SILVER (omnium), SILVER (scratch), SILVER (ind pusuit), 13th (points), BRONZE (team sprint)

 

bilodeaumathieuMathieu Bilodeau
Sport: Athletics
Games: Rio 2016
Born: November 27, 1983; Age: 32
Height: 185cm; Weight: 72kg
Birthplace: Quebec City, Quebec
Home Province: Alberta
Hometown: Calgary, AlbertaBIOGRAPHY:
Mathieu Bilodeau first represented Canada internationally as a triathlete, competing at a Pan American Cup event in 2003. He made his only ITU World Cup appearance in 2006 before competing in the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in 2013. Struggling to manage school and triathlon, he decided to just focus on his degree, but a chance encounter with three-time Olympian Janice McCaffrey introduced him to the world of race walking in March 2014, a little over two years before the 2016 Olympic Games. Within seven months he qualified for the 2015 IAAF World Championships, where he placed 31st in the 50km race walk, finishing in just over four hours. In March 2o16 he posted a personal best time of 3:53:56 to go just under the Olympic entry standard for Rio. In May he competed in the 20km event at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships, winning a historic silver medal for Canada alongside Evan Dunfee, Inaki Gomez and Ben Thorne.

Getting to know…

Family: Parents Alain Bildeau and Anne Carrier… Younger sister Alexandra… Wife Marie-Pier Blais… Getting into the Sport: Grew up watching the Olympics on TV with his father… Has been competing in sport since he was 8, going from swimming to triathlon to running to race walking… Loves the long distances of race walking and spending time on roads around the world…

Outside Interests: Enjoys cross-country skiing and working on his art latte skills… Works full time as a CPA for MEG Energy… Earned his degree in Accounting from Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières/SUNY Plattsburgh… Earned his CPA-CMA designation and is working towards his CFA designation… Odds and Ends: Always washes his sunglasses and has an espresso the morning before a race…Always travels with his French press… Favourite motto: Nothing can stop me…

Notable International Results

  • IAAF World Championships: 2015 – 31st (50km race walk)
  • IAAF World Championships: 2015 – 31st (50km race walk)

 

blockjasonJason Block Sport: Swimming
Games: Rio 2016
Born: December 28, 1989; Age: 26
Height: 182cm; Weight: 82kg
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta
Home Province: Alberta
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

BIOGRAPHY:
Breaststroke specialist Jason Block was a dominant swimmer during his five-year undergraduate career at the University of Calgary, winning 11 Canadian Interuniversity Sport gold medals for the Dinos. In his final year in 2012-13, he set the CIS championship record in both the 50m and 100m breaststrokes as he swept the gold medals in all three breaststroke events for the third time in his career. It was his fourth straight victory in the 100m breaststroke, helping the Dinos captain to be named the University of Calgary’s male athlete of the year. Block competed at two editions of the Universiade in 2011 and 2013, advancing to the semifinals in the 50m and 100m breaststroke at the latter. After achieving a career highlight with his 200m breaststroke silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Trials, Block made it to the top of the podium at the 2016 Olympic Trials with his win in the 100m breaststroke. Block trains with the Trojan Swim Club in Los Angeles.

Getting to know…

Family: Parents Lawrence and Glenda Block… Older sister Carmen… Getting into Sport: Began swimming at age 4 because his sister was already in the sport and his mother grew tired of looking after him at the pool… Outside Interests: Self-proclaimed Corvette enthusiast who enjoys racing during the off-season…Odds and Ends: Graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Commerce in 2013… Odds and Ends: Has a cup of coffee, preferably Tim Horton’s, prior to competing… Role models include three-time Olympic medallist Tom Ponting and Canadian breaststroke legend Victor Davis… Favorite motto: “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I will do what others can’t”…

Notable International Results

  • Universiade: 2013 – 12th (50m breaststroke), 12th (100m breaststroke), 19th(200m breaststroke); 2011 – 23rd (200m breaststroke)

 

harenicoleNicole Hare
Sport: Rowing
Games: Rio 2016
Born: July 26, 1994; Age: 22
Height: 177cm; Weight: 75kg
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta
Home Province: Alberta
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

BIOGRAPHY:
Nicole Hare made her World Cup debut at the second stop of the 2016 season in Lucerne and finished sixth in the pair B final with Hillary Janssens. It was a huge challenge to join the national team in the final year of an Olympic quadrennial and try to mold herself into the existing group, but she was met with nothing but support. Hare had previously represented Canada at three straight editions of the world U23 championships, finishing fifth with the eight in 2013 followed by bronze and silver medals with the four in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Hare’s first major success came in 2010 when she won the junior women’s double sculls at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta with Ashley Vrielink. She went on to be a co-recipient of Rowing Canada’s Junior Female Sculler of the Year in 2012. During her freshman year at Washington State University in 2012-13, Hare competed in both the junior and varsity eight before moving to the varsity crew exclusively in 2013-14. That year she was named as a Second Team All-American and a National Scholar-Athlete by the College Rowing Coaches Association.

Getting to know…

Family: Parents Lyle Hare and Pia Steinmuller… Older sister Danielle competed in field hockey for Syracuse University… Younger brother Karl… Getting into the Sport: Started rowing at age 12 and began competing in the prairie regatta circuit… Had no idea what to expect in the beginning so she wore a swimsuit to her first on-water practice… Rowing was “recreationally competitive” until high school… Outside Interests: On hiatus between third and fourth year studies at  Washington State University; will return after Rio 2016 to complete degree in Marketing and Management and a Certificate of Leadership… Odds and Ends:Lithuania’s Ieva Adomaviciute is a teammate at WSU and her role model for showing how to dig deep and do work she never thought was possible…  Always makes the same wish at 11:11… Always picks a pair of earrings to wear for the training sessions leading up to an important regatta and the race itself… Often travels with candy because “a craving for Fuzzy Peaches is inevitable”…

Favourite quote: “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” – John A. Shedd…

Notable International Results

  • FISA World Championships (U23): 2015 – SILVER (W4-); 2014 – BRONZE (W4-);2013 – 5th (W8+)

 

haynesakeemAkeem Haynes
Sport: Athletics
Games: Rio 2016
Born: March 11, 1992; Age: 24
Height: 168cm; Weight: 71kg
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta
Home Province: Alberta
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

BIOGRAPHY:
With his fourth place finish in the 100m at the 2012 Canadian Championships, Akeem Haynes was named to the Olympic team as part of the 4x100m relay for London 2012, but did not actually compete at the Games. In the years that followed, he struggled with injuries while attending the University of Alabama. But he was named a First Team All-American in 2013 after helping the Crimson Tide’s 4x100m relay team finish second at the NCAA Championships in school record time. Following graduation, he re-teamed with coach Stuart McMillan at ALTIS in Phoenix, Arizona, having previously trained with him in high school. During the preliminary heats at the 2015 Canadian Championships, Haynes ran a personal best 10.15 seconds in the 100m, eventually finish fifth in the event.

Getting to know…

Family: Mother Carlene Samuels… When he was seven, he and his mother moved to Yellowknife before settling in Calgary when he was 10… Outside Interests: Attended Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kansas before transferring to the University of Alabama where he earned a degree in General Health… Wrote a self-help book called Love, Life and Legacy about dealing with hardships…


 

kiejkolyndaLynda Kiejko Sport: Shooting
Games: Rio 2016Toronto 2015
Born: September 13, 1980; Age: 35
Height: 157cm; Weight: 51kg
Birthplace: Winchester, ON
Home Province: Alberta
Hometown: Calgary, AB

BIOGRAPHY:
Lynda Kiejko comes from a shooting family. Her late father Bill Hare competed at the Tokyo 1964, Mexico City 1968 and Munich 1972 Olympic Games. Her sister Dorothy Ludwig became an Olympian at London 2012 after competing at the 2007 and 2011 Pan Am Games. They competed together at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games, creating a moment to remember in 2010 when the sisters won bronze in the 10m air pistol pair event. Kiejko also has three Pan Am Games medals to her credit, winning double gold in the 10m air pistol and 25m pistol at Toronto 2015 following her 10m air pistol bronze at Santo Domingo 2003. She had started 2015 with a career-high result on the ISSF World Cup circuit, finishing sixth in the 10m air pistol in Changwon. She achieved a career highlight in 2014 when she won the national title in the 10m air pistol just one month after giving birth. She also competed at her first ISSF World Championship since 2006 and cracked the top-five in the 10m air pistol at the Continental American Championships.

Getting to know…

Family: Parents Bill (deceased) and Fran Hare… Older brother John Hare… Older sisters Lorna Idland and Dorothy Ludwig… Husband Kevin Kiejko… Has had her best performances since daughter Olivia was born in July 2014… Father Bill was a three-time Olympian (1964-72)… Sister Dorothy is a 2012 Olympian and her greatest competitor, motivator and supporter… Getting into the Sport: Started shooting at age 11, following her father’s passion… Has wanted to represent Canada since hearing her father’s stories of going to the Olympics and the places he travelled for competition… Outside Interests: Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 2003; works as a Senior Civil Engineer… Enjoys reading sport psychology books, biographies, and fiction… Learns how to say ‘thank you’ in the language of the country she is visiting… Volunteers at Central United Church… Odds and Ends: Listens to music before competing to keep her from thinking too much… Always travels with a loonie from her first major competition, the 2003 Pan Am Games…

Notable International Results

  • Pan American Games: 2015 – GOLD (10m air pistol), GOLD (25m pistol); 2003 – BRONZE (10m air pistol)
  • Commonwealth Games: 2014 – 5th (10m air pistol), 17th (25m pistol); 2010 – 6th (10m air pistol)
  • ISSF WCh: 2014 – 47th (10m air pistol), 72nd (25m pistol); 2006 – 91st (10m air pistol), 91st (25m pistol)
  • Continental Championships: 2014 – 5th (10m air pistol), 6th (25m pistol); 2010 – 5th (10m air pistol); 2005 – 6th (10m air pistol)

 

kisilyuriYuri Kisil
Sport: Swimming
Games: Rio 2016Toronto 2015
Born: September 18, 1995; Age: 20
Height: 200cm; Weight: 84kg
Birthplace: Calgary, AB
Home Province: Alberta
Hometown: Calgary, AB

BIOGRAPHY:
Yuri Kisil was a triple medallist at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, reaching the podium as part of all three relays, including anchoring the 4x100m freestyle relay to silver. Immediately following, he made his FINA World Championship debut, winning a bronze medal as part of the inaugural mixed 4x100m freestyle relay. At the 2014 Canadian Trials, Kisil became the youngest Canadian man to ever post a sub 50-second time in the 100m freestyle. He raced in both the 50m and 100m freestyle events at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, just missing the podium with a fourth place finish in the 100m. He was also part of the fourth place 4x100m medley relay team and fifth place 4x100m freestyle relay team. He competed in the same events at the Pan Pacific Championships, finishing 12th in both individual races and fifth in both relays. Kisil’s first major international meet was the 2013 FINA World Junior Championships.

Getting to know…

Family: Parents Gerry Kisil and Jocelyn Moore… Older sister Dinah Kisil…Getting into the Sport: Started swimming at age 8 when his parents made him learn for survival reasons… He realized he had some skill so he stayed with it…Outside Interests: Taking general studies at the University of British Columbia… Enjoys kicking back, relaxing, playing guitar and dancing (specifically to Shakira)… Odds and Ends: Always cracks his knuckles before a race… Nicknames: The Missile, Yuri the Mankini, Yuri the Misil Kisil, Hips Don’t Lie… Favourite quote: “I’ve wrestled with an alligator, I’ve tussled with a whale; I done handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick; I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.” – Muhammad Ali…

Notable International Results

  • Pan American Games: 2015 – SILVER (4x100m freestyle relay), BRONZE (4x200m freestyle relay), BRONZE (4x100m medley relay), 6th (100m freestyle)
  • Commonwealth Games: 2014 – 4th (100m freestyle), 12th (50m freestyle), 4th (4x100m medley relay), 5th (4x100m freestyle relay)
  • FINA World Championships (junior): 2015 – 8th (4x100m freestyle relay), 29th (100m freestyle), 13th (4x100m medley relay) 2013 – 24th (100m backstroke), 13th (200m backstroke), 9th (50m freestyle), 4th (4x100m freestyle relay), 7th (4x100m medley relay)
  • Pan Pacific Championships: 2014 – 12th (100m freestyle), 12th (50m freestyle), 5th (4x100m freestyle relay), 5th (4x100m medley relay)

 

obrienkateKate O’Brien
Sport: Cycling – Track
Games: Rio 2016Toronto 2015
Born: July 23, 1988; Age: 28
Height: 168cm; Weight: 70kg
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta
Home Province: Alberta
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

BIOGRAPHY:
Kate O’Brien is a newcomer to track cycling who narrowly missed qualifying for Sochi 2014 as a bobsleigh brakeman. After being introduced to bobsleigh in 2010, O’Brien had competed at the 2013 FIBT World Championships with pilot Jenny Ciochetti but a torn hamstring took her out of the first half of the Olympic season. Trying to figure out her future, she decided she wanted to try piloting a bobsled, so in March 2014 she attended driving school in Calgary. At the same time, there was a testing camp for Cycling Canada at the Canadian Sport Institute. It seemed like a good opportunity to try a sport she had always been interested in. With good test results, she was invited to a training camp at the velodrome in Los Angeles. In a matter of months she was competing internationally. In September she debuted at the Pan American Championships, finishing fifth in both the team sprint (with Monique Sullivan) and the keirin. O’Brien split 2014-15 between track cycling and bobsleigh, competing on both World Cup circuits as well as at both world championships. She went on to win a pair of medals at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, taking gold in the team sprint with Sullivan and silver in the sprint, losing to Sullivan in the final. O’Brien would better her more experienced teammate at the 2016 UCI World Championships, finishing an impressive sixth in the sprint.

Getting to know…

Family: Parents Nick O’Brien and Beth Smith O’Brien… Getting into the Sport: Started track cycling at age 25… Outside Interests: Earned Masters of Science (specialization: Joint Injury and Arthritis Research) from University of Calgary in 2015; defended her thesis in December 2014… Enjoys playing guitar, reading, being active outdoors… Odds and Ends: Inspired by paralyzed British trials cyclist Martyn Ashton for his grasp on what truly matters in life and Sir Chris Hoy for his refreshing outlook on sport… Wears a small bumblebee necklace for luck… Has a bracelet with her grandfather’s initials on it that makes her feel like she is bringing him on her Olympic journey… Has certain songs she listens to before a race… Favourite quotes: “Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” (Groucho Marx) and “I can sum up what I’ve learned about life in three words: It goes on.” (Robert Frost)… Nicknames: Katie, Traps, Trapzilla…

Notable International Results

  • Pan American Games: 2015 – GOLD (team sprint), SILVER (sprint)
  • UCI World Championships: 2016 – 6th (sprint), 9th (team sprint), 17th (keirin);2015 – 12th (team sprint)
  • Pan American Championships: 2014 – 14th (sprint), 5th (team sprint), 5th (keirin)

 

oconneljessicaJessica O’Connell
Sport: Athletics
Games: Rio 2016Toronto 2015
Born: February 10, 1989; Age: 27
Height: 158cm; Weight: 48kg
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta
Home Province: Alberta
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

BIOGRAPHY:
With a high fitness level thanks to her dance background, Jessica O’Connell stood on the podium at her first ever junior nationals. She had always been infatuated by the Olympic Games, so those results made her realize that with a little hard work, competing for Team Canada was possible. She represented Canada at the 2008 IAAF World Junior Championships. After running a personal best 15:13.21 in the 5000m in May 2014, she went on to finish 10th in the event at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. She then improved upon that personal best in May 2015, running 15:06.44 to make her the fourth-fastest Canadian all-time in the 5000m. But while enjoying the best season of her career, she suffered acute Achilles tendonitis during an easy practice in June 2015. That forced her to withdraw from the Canadian championships and what was to be her debut at the IAAF World Championships. She was able to compete at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, which she entered as the top-ranked runner in the 5000m, but the injury had forced her to change her training and she couldn’t race at her full potential. In her longest run in three weeks, she finished a disappointing seventh, but was still the highest-placing Canadian and proud of her fight. It took her five months to return to full training.

Getting to know…

Family: Parents Stephen O’Connell and Annette Comeau O’Connell… Younger sister Liz… Getting into the Sport: Grew up Irish dancing and loved competing, which motivated her to practice and improve… Transitioned into track and field in grade 11… Ran track and cross-country casually in high school until a club coach invited her to practice after a meet… Outside Interests: Completed Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology at the University of Calgary in December 2015 after her undergraduate degree at West Virginia University… Works as a research assistant on a variety of kinesiology projects at the University of Calgary and as a fitness instructor… Enjoys baking, listening to local music and taking in local events in Calgary, hiking, exploring the mountains… Athlete ambassador for Fast and Female… Feels that it is her responsibility as an athlete to give back to the community that has given her so much… Odds and Ends:Nicknames: Jess, J-Conn… Inspired by Megan Metcalfe and Malindi Elmore who were coached by her coaches and have become sister-figures… Considers it good luck when her competition number has repeating digits (ie: 393, 522, etc)… Likes to have ice cream the day before a race… Favourite quote: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela…

Notable International Results

  • Pan American Games: 2015 – 7th (5000m)
  • Commonwealth Games: 2014 – 10th (5000m)
  • IAAF World Championships (indoor): 2016 – 9th (3000m)
  • IAAF World Championships (junior): 2008 – 16th (1500m)
  • IAAF Continental Cup: 2014 – 7th (3000m)

 

sullivanmoniqueMonique Sullivan
Sport: Cycling – Track
Games: Rio 2016Toronto 2015London 2012
Born: February 21, 1989; Age: 27
Height: 167cm; Weight: 50kg
Birthplace: Calgary, AB
Home Province: Alberta
Hometown: Calgary, AB

BIOGRAPHY:
Monique Sullivan made her Olympic debut at London 2012 as the lone female sprinter on the Canadian track cycling team. Coming off a pair of gold medals at the Pan American Championships, Sullivan worked her way into the six-woman Olympic keirin final, placing ahead of some of the world’s best sprinters. After the Games, Sullivan took a break from the sport to attend school and just be herself. She returned to racing in May 2014 and in September won gold in the keirin and silver in the sprint at the Pan American Championships. She also returned to the World Cup circuit, racing the keirin, sprint and team sprint (with Kate O’Brien). In February 2015 she just missed the podium at the UCI World Championships, finishing fourth in the keirin for her best ever result at the global event. Sullivan became one of Canada’s most decorated athletes at the 2015 Pan Am Games with her triple gold medal performance, sweeping the sprint events at the velodrome in Milton. In December 2015 she earned her first career World Cup medal with her third place finish in the keirin in Cambridge, New Zealand.

Getting to know…

Family: Parents Patrick Sullivan and Suzanne Leclerc… Older sister Annalise… Older brother Ryan… Getting into the Sport: Introduced to track cycling at age 12… Was signed up for a course at the University of Calgary where the development program included getting kids to experience the cement velodrome… At age 15 competed in the junior category (meant for ages 17-18) at the Canadian championships and finished second in the 500m time trial but had the medal taken back because she wasn’t age-eligible… Outside Interests:Took nine years to complete mechanical engineering degree at University of Calgary… Odds and Ends: Favourite quote: “Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself-and be lenient to everybody else.” – Henry Ward Beecher…

Olympic Highlights

  • 2012 London Olympic Summer Games – Keirin-Women – Finished 6th
  • 2012 London Olympic Summer Games – Sprint-Women – Finished 11th

Notable International Results

  • Olympic Games: 2012 – 6th (keirin), 11th (sprint)
  • Pan American Games: 2015 – GOLD (sprint), GOLD (keirin), GOLD (team sprint)
  • Commonwealth Games: 2010 – 4th (500m time trial), BRONZE (team sprint), 5th(sprint)
  • UCI World Championships: 2016 – 9th (team sprint), 21st (keirin), 27th (sprint);2015 – 4th (keirin), 15th (sprint), 12th (team sprint); 2012 – 16th (sprint), 13th(keirin); 2011 – 15th (sprint); 2010 – 14th (500m time trial), 9th (keirin); 2009 – 19th (sprint), 13th (keirin)
  • Pan American Championships: 2014 – SILVER (sprint), GOLD (keirin), 5th (team sprint); 2012 – GOLD (keirin), GOLD (sprint); 2011 – SILVER (sprint); 2010 – 4th(sprint), 5th (keirin)

 

whittentaraTara Whitten
Sport: Cycling – Road
Games: Rio 2016London 2012
Born: July 13, 1980; Age: 36
Height: 166cm; Weight: 67kg
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario
Home Province: Alberta
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

BIOGRAPHY:
Tara Whitten initially hoped to go to the Olympic Games as a cross-country skier. She competed at the 2005 FIS World Championships, but grew frustrated after not being named to the 2006 Olympic team. Already using cycling as cross-training, she was convinced to try it full time. Torn by the decision, because it meant she would miss a chance to compete at Vancouver 2010, she began training seriously as a cyclist in July 2007. By 2009 Whitten had transformed into an elite rider and won world championship silver in the omnium. A year later she was world champion in both the omnium and the points race. She also won four medals (one gold, three bronze) at the 2010 Commonwealth Games where she competed in both track and road events and was named Canada’s Closing Ceremony flag bearer. In 2011 she won her second world title in the omnium. Finally making her Olympic debut at London 2012, Whitten won bronze as a member of the team pursuit and finished fourth in the omnium. Having taken a two year break from her academics to prepare for London 2012, Whitten took two years off from cycling after the Games to complete her PhD. Upon her return, she focused on road cycling, in which she’d placed fourth in the time trial at the 2011 UCI World Championships. She won time trial silver at the 2015 Pan American Championships.  While on an orientation trip to Rio in March 2016, Whitten rear-ended a small bus during a bike ride on the day before flying home. A CT scan in Calgary showed she had fractured the base of her skull where it joins the top of the spine. After wearing a neck brace for almost three months, she finished second in the time trial at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Gatineau just one week after its removal.

Getting to know…

Family: Parents David and Deborah Whitten… Younger brother Alan… Getting into the Sport: Became a competitive cyclist at age 27… A friend had always told her she would be a natural fit for track cycling instead of cross-country skiing… Outside Interests: Completed her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Alberta, defending her thesis in January 2016… Looking for a post-doctoral position after Rio 2016… Completed her undergrad (major in biological sciences) at the University of Alberta in 2007… Aspired to a career in neuroscience after reading Steven Pinker’s How the Mind Works in high school…Odds and Ends: Role model is Beckie Scott for her sportsmanship, anti-doping advocacy, and dedication… Favorite quote: “Some people run to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts” – Steve Prefontaine…

Olympic Highlights

  • 2012 London Olympic Summer Games – Omnium-Women – Finished 4th
  • 2012 London Olympic Summer Games – Team Pursuit-Women – Bronze Medal

Notable International Results

  • Olympics: 2012 – BRONZE (team pursuit), 4th (omnium)
  • Commonwealth Games: 2010 – GOLD (individual time trial), BRONZE (individual pursuit), BRONZE (team sprint), BRONZE (points race), 7th (road race)
  • UCI World Championships (road): 2015 – 13th (time trial); 2011 – 4th (time trial), 88th (road race); 2010 – 7th (time trial), 15th (road race); 2009 – 8th (time trial), 40th (road race)
  • UCI World Championships (track): 2012 – BRONZE (team pursuit), 4th (omnium), 5th (individual pursuit); 2011 – GOLD (omnium), 6th (team pursuit); 2010 – GOLD (omnium), GOLD (points race), 6th (team pursuit), 9th (individual pursuit); 2009 – SILVER (omnium), 11th (team pursuit), 7th (individual pursuit); 2008 – 16th(individual pursuit)