TORONTO — A dynamic group of five first-time Olympic competitors nominated to represent Team Canada are hungry to deliver a knockout punch when they step onto the beach for the triathlon start at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games from August 5 to21.
The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Triathlon Canada announced on Wednesday a youthful, yet experienced team of three women and two men who will showcase a new era for triathlon in Canada when they wear the country’s red and white race suits while swimming, biking and running at Fort Copacabana.
Led by Kirsten Sweetland, each of the three Canadian women have all climbed onto an elite triathlon podium. A 10-year veteran of the national team, the 27-year-old Sweetland will finally achieve her Olympic dream after three tries and a rollercoaster Olympic quadrennial. This saw her battle through a series of career-threatening injuries just months after becoming the third Canadian to ever win a medal at the Commonwealth Games when she captured silver in 2014. The milestone came just weeks after etching her name in the history books as the second Canadian to ever win a medal on the World Triathlon Series.
Sweetland will be joined by 23-year-old Amelie Kretz, who broke through to finish a career-best eighth at the final Olympic qualifying race on the World Triathlon Series in Yokohama, Japan in May. Kretz is a three-time World Cup medallist and Under-23 World Championship medallist. Sarah-Anne Brault rounds out the women’s trio. Brault, 26, has five top-15 finishes on the World Triathlon Series, including a fourth-place result in Auckland, New Zealand – a course known to replicate the challenging nature of the Rio 2016 venue. Brault also has two World Cup medals on her resumé.
Tyler Mislawchuk and Andrew Yorke, who both represented Canada at the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games, will look to deliver a one-two punch in the men’s Olympic triathlon. Mislawchuk, 21, has been the most consistent Canadian triathlete in 2016 with two career-best 10th and an 11th-place finish on the World Triathlon Series. Yorke, 27, who led the Canadians with his fourth place finish at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and seventh place finish at the Pan American Games, had a career-best eighth place result at the World Triathlon Series in Edmonton.
The athletes were nominated to Team Canada following a multi-phased selection period over the last two years. Canada earned three women’s and two men’s start positions based on the country’s international ranking.
Brault, Kretz and Mislawchuk will compete in each of the three World Triathlon Series races leading up to the Olympic Games including: Stockholm, Sweden (July 2-3); and Hamburg, Germany (July 16-17). Yorke will enter both the Stockholm and Hamburg races. Sweetland will continue her Olympic preparation in Canada where she plans to race the World Cup in Montreal on August 7.
At Rio 2016, Canada expects to field a team of more than 315 athletes.
Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in the country. Recognized as an Olympic medal sport since 2000 and Paralympic medal sport as of 2016, Triathlon Canada’s mandate is to promote, foster, organize and develop the sport of triathlon, and its related disciplines, in Canada. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com.
“I am 100 per cent sure every athlete that lines up in Rio has a unique story including the ups and downs that are elite sport. The journey for myself has been all-encompassing; everything I do on a daily basis helps towards making me a better triathlete and accomplish this dream I had as a kid of being an Olympian. It is exhilarating for the five of us to experience such an epic event like the Olympics for the first time together. Fortunately we all have multi-sport games experience on the world stage. I am sure the memories will be forever printed in our minds. It is an honour to be named to the Canadian Team and be given the opportunity to wear the maple leaf and represent your country at such a premier sporting event as the Olympic Games.”
Tyler Mislawchuk, TORONTO 2015 Games Pan Am Athlete
“It is absolutely surreal and a tremendous honour to be named on the team with four other athletes going to their first Games. We are all quite close so it will be great to share this with them. Tyler, Sarah-Anne and I rented out a house together this fall and I brought an Olympic flag that I hung in the kitchen so we had breakfast under the flag dreaming about Rio together.”
Amelie Kretz, Rio 2016 Team Canada Athlete
“I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs over the last few years, but I’m very happy I was able to build throughout this season to some solid results. I was thrilled and relieved at the same time to get the official call that I’d be nominated to Team Canada. I’m looking forward to seizing this opportunity to get even better and having my best result of the year in Rio, on a course I really enjoy. We are quite young and inexperienced at the Games level, but everyone’s been racing the best in the world every few weeks and learning and improving so I know we are hungry for more.”
Sarah-Anne Brault, Rio 2016 Team Canada Athlete
“This means everything to me. It’s so much sweeter after the struggle I have had over the last 10 years to get here. After a breakout season in 2014, and then facing an unimaginable amount of health issues, I never lost sight of my dream. To say it’s been tough would be an understatement, but I have never been happier. I am so proud of everyone on our team. Triathlon Canada is host to an amazing group of talented young athletes so to see our group perform when it counts is a really good sign for well beyond Rio.”
Kirsten Sweetland, Rio 2016 Team Canada Athlete
“This is a culmination of a lifetime of work. I am extremely proud to have the opportunity to wear the maple leaf at the Games. I’ve wanted this my whole life and it’s a dream come true. Our team is a group of highly motivated individuals who represent our hometowns, provinces and country with pride. We will back each other to be the best we can be in Rio.”
Andrew Yorke, TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Athlete
“Canada has a very strong reputation in producing talented triathletes and the nominees today are a reflection of that. I have no doubt that their focus and dedication to represent our country will give us a lot to cheer for. Congratulations to Triathlon Canada and everyone involved in making today happen.”
Curt Harnett, Rio 2016 Team Canada Chef de Mission
“We have nominated a group of fiercely dedicated athletes who have been focused on making steady progress while developing into elite level athletes. While still young in many respects, each of them have achieved great successes throughout their continued development, and have demonstrated the potential to get Canada back on the podium at elite international triathlon races in the near future. As a team, we are going to continue to take positive strides together, with the common goal of reestablishing Canada as an international power in the sport of Triathlon”
Jono Hall, High-Performance Director, Triathlon Canada
“We are so proud to support Triathlon Canada’s efforts to help our country’s top triathletes prepare to compete at the highest level at the Rio 2016 Games. On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to congratulate the triathletes named to Team Canada today and wish them well in the final steps on the road to Rio.”
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
The triathlon team which will represent Canada at the Rio 2016 includes:
|Sarah-Anne||Brault||Quebec City, QC||Women’s Triathlon|
|Amélie||Kretz||Blainville, QC||Women’s Triathlon|
|Tyler||Mislawchuk||Oak Bluff, MB||Men’s Triathlon|
|Kirsten||Sweetland||Victoria, BC||Women’s Triathlon|
|Andrew||Yorke||Caledon East, ON||Men’s Triathlon|
|High-Performance Director||Jono||Hall||Victoria, BC|
Prior to being named to the final Canadian Rio 2016 Team, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Federations.