Olympic wrestling champion Carol Huynh has been named assistant chef de mission for Team Canada at Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Chef de mission Jean-Luc Brassard introduced his fellow athlete mentor at a gathering of Olympic hopefuls in Toronto on Thursday. The role of the chefs is to support athletes in a leadership capacity during the Olympics, which are an understandably pressure-filled and emotional time in the lives of Olympians.
Huynh’s is a remarkable personal story to which many new Canadian families can relate. A daughter of Vietnamese refugees, Huynh took up her sport in high school as a teenager. From there, she began competing under the maple leaf at international competitions, leading her to Olympic gold for Canada at Beijing 2008. Four years later she won a second Olympic medal – a bronze – in London.
When wrestling was taken out of the Olympic calendar, Huynh became an instrumental advocate for her discipline, helping to rally international support, which eventually saw the ancient grappling art remain in the Olympic Games going forward.
Huynh joins a lengthy list of top Olympic team mentors in recent years that have given a great deal of their time to volunteer their counsel to present-day competitors.
At London 2012, Olympic champion swimmer Mark Tewksbury helped lead Team Canada to the Games in England. Two years later at Sochi 2014, Olympic alpine skiing bronze medallist Steve Podborski led the charge, where Brassard – Olympic moguls champion – was an assistant chef.