TORONTO — Canada’s women’s soccer captain Christine Sinclair runs stairs in an empty stadium. A sweat-soaked Adam van Koeverden slices through the water in his kayak. Boxer Mary Spencer heaves a medicine ball methodically against a wall.
They’re images of the long hours of work Canada’s Olympians do away from the spotlight, when the camera is normally turned off.
They’re also images the Canadian Olympic Committee hopes will help the country’s London-bound athletes become household names.
The COC unveiled its glitzy “Give Your Everything” multimedia campaign Monday featuring more than 50 athletes including Sinclair, van Koeverden and Spencer in the thick of their training for London.
“The Olympics is interesting for us, obviously it’s every four years but it’s every day for us, we live it every day, and that video was a good indication of what we do every single day,” said van Koeverden, an Olympic gold, silver and bronze medallist.
“I get up, I walk to my boat, I put it on the water, I pound on the water for 90 minutes, I go back, I eat, I drink, I go to the gym. That’s my routine every day.”
The 15-week national campaign is the Canadian Olympic team’s largest and most integrated campaign ever. Athletes will be featured on buses and billboards, television, radio and print ads, and in online short documentaries.
The footage was shot by Canadian director and producer Henry Lu, who said he couldn’t name one Canadian summer Olympian before working on the project.
The goal is for Canadian fans to get to know them well.
“I think in this world where everyone’s famous for 15 seconds, that athletes really deserve it, that there’s this incredible dedication and years of work and substance that goes behind this moment we see at the Olympic Games,” said Mark Tewksbury, an Olympic swimming champion and the Canadian team’s chef de mission for London.
“And they’re great role models. Who else would you want, Kim Kardashian or an Olympian?”
The COC hopes to build on the momentum that began with the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.