Search for Olympic talent in Central Alberta

Officials and talent scouts from 14 National Sports Organizations will be in Red Deer

The search is on for young Olympians in Central Alberta.

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and RBC Training Ground officials are looking for new and undiscovered athletes from Central Alberta to join Canada’s Olympic talent pool at St. Joseph’s High School Field House Feb. 25. Athletes ages 14 to 25 can participate free of charge in the open talent discovery event.

RBC Training Ground will give local athletes – no matter what sport they are involved in – the chance to test their strength, speed, power and endurance in front of officials from 14 Olympic sports including: basketball, snowboard, bobsleigh, and rowing.

Top performers in Red Deer will advance to an Alberta regional final in Calgary April 21, or begin further testing with specific sports.

Olympic bronze medal-winning cyclist Kirsti Lay (Rio 2016) will be in attendance mentoring the athletes.

Formerly a long-track speedskater, Lay from won a bronze for cycling within four years after she switched sports.

“It’s definitely unexpected to change sports like that, but it ended up being the right path for me, because I ended up going to the Olympics, and win a medal for Canada,” said Lay, 29.

She said the switch lets athletes bring their existing skills into other sports. Lay encourages athletes to come out and take a chance on themselves.

“You have nothing to lose, it’s free and that opportunity is there, so why not chase it?” she said.

The Red Deer event is one of the 30 local events happening all over Canada in 2018.

The program is designed to help fill a hole in Canada’s amateur sport system and provide high performance sport resources for athletes to achieve their podium dreams.

In addition to training support from a national sport organization, top performers also win ‘Future Olympian’ financial support from RBC.

Athletes are encouraged to sign up at rbctrainingground.ca.

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