Two local Olympic athletes will be on hand for the opening of a new bank in Sage Creek today.
Hometown champions Clara Hughes (cycling and speed skating) and Jared Funk (wheelchair rugby) will celebrate Team Canada’s success at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games in London. The pair is appearing on behalf of RBC, who is opening its newest branch is the southeast neighbourhood.
The athletes will announce RBC Olympian Grants for organizations which have touched their lives and fostered their love of sport. The event at RBC’s newest Winnipeg retail location includes an open discussion with Funk and Hughes, special activities for children and youth and a free BBQ lunch.
The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 50 Sage Creek Boulevard.
Three Winnipeg athletes who competed at the 2012 London Olympic Games will greet their local fans on Monday.
Olympian bronze medal soccer player Desiree Scott, silver medal rower Janine Hanson, and rower Kevin Kowalyk, will be at Polo Park Shopping Centre signing autographs from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba (CSCM) is hosting the event, being held in the mall’s centre court.
Scott was a pivotal part of Team Canada’s victory over France to win the bronze medal. She recently announced her return to the Manitoba Bison women’s soccer team as an assistant coach.
Hanson won the silver medal as part of Canada’s women’s eight rowing team. She also has two World Championship silver medals in women’s eight rowing to her credit, and placed 8th at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in quad sculls rowing.
Kowalyk finished 6th in men’s double sculls at the 2012 London Olympics.
Olympic bronze medallist Desiree Scott returned home to Winnipeg Monday night to a roar of fans, family and friends.
The 25-year-old former Manitoba Bisons soccer player was an instrumental part of Team Canada at the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Scott’s women’s soccer team won bronze in a 1-0 victory over France on August 9.
The newly-crowned Olympian made her way down the escalator at James Richardson International Airport to cheers and congratulatory greetings from the hundreds who came out to welcome her. Chants of “Desiree! Desiree!” rang out moments before her anticipated arrival.
“I’m a very emotional person and to come home and hear my name being screamed the first thing I see — I’m holding back tears right now. It’s absolutely unreal. I love the support. It’s amazing,” Scott said after being welcomed by an onslaught of media.
Asked of her favourite moment from the Games, Scott said it was when teammate Diana Matheson scored the sole goal in extra time to seal Canada’s fate in securing a medal.
“Just to hear that whistle blow — that had to be the moment for me knowing I had hit the podium.”
Scott was modest when asked how she feels about narrowly blocking a shot from France with her knee in front of the net, saying it was a complete team effort.
“I just happened to throw my body and get that ball out of the back of the net. I did everything I could and I happened to be in the right place at the right time.”
Scott has also been an ambassador and role model to younger female soccer players who one day aspire to reach her level of success. That much was evident from the fanfare of young, pre-teen girls dressed in Scott’s jersey with the number 11 on the back.
“Just keep working hard and enjoy it,” were Scott’s words of advice. “You have to have fun doing what you’re doing, and I absolutely love my job.”
After being quickly whisked away from taking questions from the media, Scott took time to sign autographs and soccer balls for her adoring fans. The Olympian even shed a few tears at one point after becoming overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from her hometown city.
“My heart’s still beating very fast,” Scott added, while being drowned out by the crowd singing O Canada in the background. “This is unbelievable. I did not expect this at all. The turnout is phenomenal.”
Winnipeg’s other Olympic medallist, Janine Hanson of the women’s eight rowing team, isn’t expected back in the city with her silver medal until mid-September.
Winnipegger Desiree Scott is an Olympic bronze medallist after Team Canada claimed victory over France at the London 2012 Summer Olympics on Thursday.
Scott’s team won 1-0 in extra time with a single goal from Diana Matheson. Scott was in the starting lineup for Canada’s national team and played the entire time in her six Olympic appearances at the Games.
Scott saved a France goal with her knee on the Canadian goal line at the 70-minute mark to preserve a scoreless game at the time. She has now made 53 appearances with Team Canada over her career.
The 25-year-old is a former University of Manitoba Bison athlete and plans to return as an assistant women’s soccer coach following the Olympics — a role she maintained during the 2011 season.
Winnipeg-born midfielder Sophie Schmidt, and midfielder/fullback Chelsea Stewart, who calls The Pas home, are also on the Canadian women’s team.
As the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games get underway later today, the University of Manitoba is releasing a series of videos pertaining to the London Olympics.
The first video was put out on Thursday, in which Dr. Leisha Strachan from the U of M’s Health, Leisure, and Human Performance Institute answers a number of questions relating to athletes and the games.
“Just like physical preparation — and the time that it takes to physically train — that is just as long as it takes to practice mental skills and decide what type of mental skills work best for you,” Strachan said when asked how Olympic athletes mentally prepare for the games.
On July 31, the U of M will address physiological effects of doping, future of doping, followed by the ethics/evolution of drug testing and gender testing on August 3 and Olympics as site of protest, ROI on Oly bids on August 7. Future videos can be viewed at YouTube.com/YouManitoba.