Canadian Olympic Committee Conducts Final Olympic Excellence Series Workshop For 2006 Olympians

To assist 2006 Canadian Olympians with their transition into a career after sport, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) held its third and final 2006 Olympic Excellence Series workshop this past weekend at the Renaissance Hotel in Vancouver.

“It’s great to know that there is such a strong support system in place to help Canadian high-performance athletes following their retirement,” said 2006 Olympian figure skater Aaron Lowe.  “It was really beneficial to hear first hand some of the career challenges that other Canadian Olympians faced and how they were able to overcome those roadblocks and develop successful careers.  After this weekend, I feel like I’m better prepared to start planning my post-athletic future.”

Led by Olympic medallists and COC Steering Committee members Steve Podborski (alpine skiing, Whistler, B.C.), Veronica Brenner (freestyle skiing, Toronto, Ont.) and Kristin Normand (synchronized swimming, Calgary, Alta.), the latest Olympic Excellence Series workshop featured presentations and seminars on a wide range of topics including career planning, resume writing, education, networking, public speaking and employability.

Keynote speakers for the workshop included two-time Olympic medallist Sylvie Fréchette (synchronized swimming, Laval, Que.) and Dr. Roberta Neault, President of the Vancouver-based career counseling firm Life Strategies.

Over 25 Canadian Olympians from the 2006 Olympic Winter Games attended the three-day session including four-time Olympic medallist Éric Bédard (short track speed skating, Ste-Thècle, Que.), 2002 Olympic bronze medallist Deidra Dionne (freestyle skiing, Red Deer, Alta.) and two-time Olympic medallist Alanna Kraus (short track speed skating, Abbotsford, B.C.).

“It’s never too early for an athlete to begin preparing for his or her future after sport,” said COC Director of Athlete and Community Relations and two-time bobsleigh Olympian, Chris Farstad.  “By holding these workshops, we are able to provide Canada’s Olympians with a better understanding of some of the options and resources that are available to them in order to help them achieve a smooth career transition after sport.”

The first two Olympic Excellence Series occurred in June 2004 and May 2005.  Both sessions brought potential 2006 medallists together with previously successful Olympians for a weekend of inspiration, motivation and team building. The workshops were designed to provide Olympic hopefuls with the practical skills and strategies needed to achieve podium success at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin.