Finnian Young est prêt à prendre son envol

Lorsque le jeune Finnian Young, originaire de Calgary, prenait des leçons de ski alpin, il s’attirait toujours des ennuis parce qu’il faisait trop de sauts, ce qui ennuyait son entraîneur. Au lieu de le réprimander pour ses tendances de haute voltige, sa mère l’a plutôt inscrit au ski acrobatique.

Maintenant, Finnian, 19 ans, est le plus récent membre de l’équipe de demi-lune acrobatique de Prochaine génération du Canada et ses objectifs sportifs volent aussi haut que lui. « Je veux me rendre au sommet », dit-il. « Les Jeux olympiques, les X-Games. Je veux être un skieur professionnel depuis que j’ai quatre ou cinq ans. »

Les débuts de Finnian dans le sport ont été typiques du plus jeune enfant, c’est-à-dire qu’il pourchassait ses deux frères aînés en dévalant les pentes. « Je me souviens que j’essayais toujours de faire leurs sauts. À ce moment-là, mes parents voulaient que j’arrête », dit-il en riant.

Mais il était évident, très tôt, que Finnian était fait pour voler et que personne n’allait l’en empêcher. Ses frères lui avaient montré la voie et il l’a suivie sans jamais regarder derrière lui. Une fois que sa nature compétitive s’est installée, il a progressé encore plus dans le sport. « Je suis celui qui est passé au niveau supérieur », dit-il.

Finnian a perfectionné ses compétences pendant sept ans à la WinSport Academy, un centre de sports de neige pour le développement des athlètes situé au Parc olympique du Canada. L’Académie est conçue pour favoriser la recherche, le développement athlétique, l’acquisition de compétences ainsi que le développement cognitif, émotionnel et social et pour aider les athlètes à atteindre leur potentiel de compétition nationale.

« L’Académie a un programme de très haute qualité », dit Finnian et il remercie le programme de lui avoir donné accès aux meilleures installations et de l’avoir aidé à progresser aussi loin dans son sport.

Maintenant qu’il fait partie de l’équipe Prochaine génération de ski acrobatique Canada, il a accès aux services de l’ICS Calgary. Selon Miranda Sallis, directrice des services de performance à l’ICS Calgary, l’équipe est bien appuyée et a pour objectif d’aider les athlètes comme Finnian à faire partie de l’équipe nationale.

« L’équipe de parc à neige et de demi-lune de Prochaine génération a une équipe de soutien intégré complète autour d’elle, financée par Freestyle Canada et en partenariat avec l’ICS Calgary », explique Mme Sallis. « Ils ont adopté un cheminement du développement très important et ils souhaitent accélérer le processus pour améliorer le classement national des athlètes d’ici les deux prochaines années », ajoute-t-elle.

Pour l’instant, Finnian se concentre à faire cette transition et il travaille aussi fort que possible, tant dans la demi-lune qu’à l’extérieur, pour pouvoir la faire. Pendant l’été, il travaille à temps plein à la boutique de location de WinSport, où il s’entraine également tous les jours. « WinSport est pratiquement ma deuxième maison », plaisante-t-il.

Pour un jeune athlète avec des objectifs aussi ambitieux, Finnian est un jeune homme plutôt détendu. Il adore ce qu’il fait, il se concentre à être le meilleur et travaille fort pour y arriver. « Je suis un homme facile à vivre et ordinaire », dit-il. « Il n’en faut pas beaucoup pour me rendre heureux. »

Institut canadien du sport de calgary: @csicalgary
Rédigé par Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo crédit: FreestyleCanada.Ski

Finnian Young is Ready to Soar

When native Calgarian Finnian Young was in local ski racing lessons as a youngster he kept getting into trouble for doing too many jumps, which annoyed his coach. Instead of scolding him for his high-flying ways, his mother switched him to freestyle skiing instead.

Now Young, 19, is the newest member of Canada’s NextGen freestyle halfpipe team and his goals in the sport soar as high as he does. “I want to go to the top,” he says. “Olympics, X-Games. I’ve wanted to be a pro-skier since I was four or five years old.”

Young’s beginnings in the sport were typical for the youngest child – mostly chasing his two older brothers down the slopes. “I remember always trying to do their jumps. At the time my parents wanted me to stop doing that,” he laughs.

But it was clear early on that Young was meant to fly and no one was going to stop him. His brothers showed him the way and he was hooked. Once his competitive nature took hold, he progressed further in the sport. “I’m the one who took it to the next level,” he says.

Young honed his skills for seven years at the WinSport Academy, a snow sport centre for athlete development located at Canada Olympic Park. The Academy is designed to foster academics, athletic development, skill acquisition and social, emotional and cognitive development and it helps athletes progress to their national competition potential.

“The Academy has a really high-quality program,” says Young and he credits the program for providing access to the best facilities and with helping him progress so far in the sport.

Now that he’s on the NextGen team with Freestyle Canada, Finnian has access to CSI Calgary services. According to Miranda Sallis, CSI Calgary Manager of Performance Services, the team is well supported with the goal of helping athletes like Young make the National Team.

“The NextGen park and pipe team has a full Integrated Support Team (IST) around them funded by Freestyle Canada in partnership with the CSI Calgary,” explains Sallis. Adding, “They have adopted a very strong development pathway and are looking to accelerate these athletes to national rankings within the next two years.”

For now, Young is focused on making that leap, and he works as hard as he can, in and out of the pipe, to get there. He works full time in the summer at the WinSport rental shop, while also training there every day. “WinSport is pretty much my second home,” he jokes.

For a young athlete with such lofty goals, Young is a pretty laid-back guy. He loves what he’s doing, he’s focused on being the best and works hard to achieve that. “I’m an easy going, simple guy,” he says. “It doesn’t take much to make me happy.”

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo by: FreestyleCanada.Ski

Outstanding Player Supports Next Gen Athletes

Bo Levi Mitchell is no stranger to fast-paced high-risk sport, and the injuries that can result from them. When injuries happen, return to play is the primary focus. Professional athletes have access to top-of-the-line para medical treatments, but this is not always the case for other high performance athletes. This is where Mitchell has decided to lend his support – to CSI Calgary Next Gen athletes in high risk mountain sports.

The Calgary Stampeders quarterback joined the elite club of Canadian Football League athletes last year when he received the 2016 Most Outstanding Player award and was recognized as Shaw’s CFL Top Performer for 2016. As part of the program, Mitchell was given $25,000 from Shaw Communications to donate to his charities of choice. Mitchell decided he would like to play a part in helping younger athletes receive pre-injury baseline assessments and post injury treatment. “I know the expertise required to bring an athlete back to their sport after injury and I’d like to be able to help them move forward to pursue their dreams.” Concussion and knee injuries are two of the rehabilitation areas in which he is most interested.

With football’s potential for acute unforeseeable injuries, Mitchell knows what it takes to fully recover. He has chosen to invest in Next Gen athletes because he sees their aspirations and knows the impact he can make by increasing their access to resources. “I’m mesmerized by the guts and athleticism in these young athletes in sports like Ski Cross, Freestyle, Slopestyle and Alpine skiing,” says Mitchell. “I have a ton of respect for them as I watch their speed and the elements they battle in their sports.”

“We are so appreciative that Bo Levi has chosen to support these Next Gen athletes in their quest to reach the next level,” says Dale Henwood, CSI Calgary President and CEO. “Injuries can prove to be a costly venture when working towards return to sport. This donation will make a difference.” Some of the services CSI Calgary can provide athletes include baseline testing, physiotherapy, expedited MRIs, concussion tools and proper muscular skeletal assessments.

Originally from Katy, Texas, Mitchell and his wife have been in Calgary since 2012. Active members in the Calgary community, they are involved with many charitable causes in Calgary and Southern Alberta. True role models, the Mitchells take pride in giving back. Among their initiatives to improve our community, they work with YouthLink, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Police Recreational Youth Mentoring Experience, and Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research. Mitchell also hosts 10-15 kids at every home game through Bo’s QB Club.

Last November Mitchell was also awarded the Herm Harrison Memorial Award for the second straight year, given to a Calgary Stampeders player who distinguishes himself in the field of community service.

CSI Calgary thanks Bo Levi Mitchell for his generosity and would also like to congratulate the Mitchell family on the birth of their daughter last week.

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Lisa Thomson


The Best of the Best: 2016 Year in Review

2016 was a memorable year in the world of sport. The 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games were the major highlight and there were exciting performances in winter sport too – keeping us hungry for more leading into the next Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2018.

Although there were many great stories to choose from, below are a selection of human interest and performance stories coming out of CSI Calgary:

5. Mike Sametz: Young Upstart Para-cyclist Wins Bronze in Rio

In a Paralympic sport typically dominated by older athletes in their thirties and even forties, this 20-year old cyclist has risen through the ranks quickly, winning a bronze in the Individual Time Trial at the 2016 Paralympic Games. His first international podium result came at the 2015 ParaPan Am Games with a silver medal, which led to his first ever World Cup medal, a bronze at a 2016 World Cup in Belgium.

4. Tara Whitten Overcomes All Odds with an Amazing Recovery and Performance in Rio

After a serious and bizarre crash on her bike during a ride in Rio at a training camp in March, Whitten made a remarkable recovery from a concussion and a broken bone in her neck. Whitten was able to train on an adapted bike, designed and built by a CSI Calgary exercise physiologist allowing her to ride in an upright position to protect her neck. Over a 10-week period Whitten was able to build up her endurance enabling her to compete successfully one week after her brace came off. Several weeks later she dominated the National Championships and qualified for Rio. Whitten placed 7th in the Individual Time Trial – a fantastic result by an athlete who persevered through injury with fierce determination.

3. Ivanie Blondin: Mass Start Star

Blondin originally started out in short track speed skating, honing her ability to skate in a pack. This experience has served her well in a new long track speed skating event that is now on the Olympic program – the Mass start. She beat her Dutch rival, Irene Schouten, at the World Single Distance Championships, bringing home the gold medal. Blondin is skating successfully again this fall, with two gold and a silver to date in the ladies Mass start.

2. Bloeman Wins Prestigious Oscar Mathisen Award

Transplanted Dutchman, now Canadian, Ted Jan Bloemen has been a boon to the men’s long track speed skating team. In 2015 he broke his former countryman, Sven Kramer’s, longstanding world record in the 10,000m by almost five seconds. For his efforts, Bloemen won the 2016 Oscar Mathisen Award for the most outstanding speed skating performance of the season worldwide. He is the 5th Canadian to win the award in 57 years. Bloemen has continued to lead the men’s distance team, winning silver in the 10,000m and bronze in the Team Pursuit at the 2016 World Single Distance Championships.

1. Wiebe Wrestles her Heart Out

One of the most enduring images of a Canadian athlete from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio is that of Erica Wiebe, standing atop the Olympic podium with a gold medal around her neck, singing Oh Canada, tears streaming unabashedly down her face. The gold medal performance by Wiebe was an outstanding example of preparation, execution and confidence. Always one to wear her heart on her sleeve, Wiebe’s performance was dominating and inspiring.

Other Noteworthy Stories from the CSI Calgary:

Rio Olympic and Paralympic Performances: Medals won by CSI Calgary supported athletes include Allison Beveridge, Stefan Daniel, Jennifer Kish, Stephanie Labbe, Kirsti Lay, Alister McQueen, Mike Sametz and Ashley Steacy

Comeback from Injury: Two notable athletes that are making a comeback for the 2016-2017 winter season are alpine skier Dustin Cook, who tore his ACL/MCL in 2015 and speed skater Denny Morrison, who narrowly survived a motorcycle crash in 2015 and a stroke in 2016.

Talent Transfer: Kate O’Brien and Kirsti Lay both transferred into cycling from other sports, both qualified for Rio Summer Olympics with Kirsti winning a Bronze medal in the Team Pursuit.

Luge Podium Sweep: Alex Gough and Kim McRae won Silver and Bronze at Lake Placid World Cup, followed up by Gold in the Team Relay.

Historic Biathlon Bronze: The men’s Biathlon team won Canada’s first ever World Championship Relay medal in the heartland of the sport in Oslo, Norway.

Assistant Chef de Mission: Carol Huynh, CSI Calgary Next Gen Wrestling Coach and 2008 Olympic Champion, joined Team Canada in Rio as an Assistant Chef de Mission.

CBC All Stars: Six CSI Calgary alumni were broadcasters in Rio: Blythe Hartley, Clara Hughes, Kyle Shewfelt, Mike Smith, Mark Tewksbury and Kelly VanderBeek.

Humphries’ Podium Streak Continues: Kaillie Humphries and Melissa Lotholz won Silver at the Bobsleigh World Championships.

New Bobsleigh Star: Cynthia Appiah set a bobsleigh start record at her first ever World Cup with new partner Kaillie Humphries.

New at the CSI Calgary in 2016

Game Plan Networking Events: CSI Calgary held two Game Plan networking events, at Crescent Point Energy with more than 75 current and alumni athletes attending each event.

Sharing Knowledge: 15 CSI Calgary professionals presented at the 2016 OTP SPIN Conference.

Concussion Research: Launch of the KINARM robot, research by Dr. Brian Benson, CSI Calgary’s Director of Sport Medicine, supported by CSI Calgary, OTP, WinSport, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Mitacs Acelerate-OTP post-doctorate scholar research award for Dr. Tara Whitten.

Education: Strength and Power Performance Course delivered in May.

Coaching Support: CSI Calgary became a regional hub for coaching delivery with a new D2L platform.

New Lead: Tanya Dubnicoff, one of the most decorated cyclists in Canadian history joined CSI Calgary in January 2016 as CSI Calgary Cycling, Athlete Development Lead.

Recognition: CSI Calgary staff recognized for their achievements – Phil Abbott wins a Petro Canada Coaching Excellence Award for work with Paralympic cyclist Mike Sametz; Kelly Ann Erdman, February 2016 position paper titled ‘Nutrition and Athletic Performance: Position of Dietitians of Canada’, published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American College of Sports Medicine.

Practicum and Internship: CSI Calgary supported 13 practicum students and one internship position, working to integrate CSI Calgary knowledge and experience, teaching students, coaches and sport science professionals in the fields of Strength and Conditioning, Sport Science, Biomechanics and Nutrition, to help put Canadians on the podium.

Technology: CSI Calgary launched Edge 10, a web-based platform to capture, monitor and store daily training environment and para medical information. Users include NSFs, athletes, coaches and Service Providers.

New Programs: NextGen programs for Ski Cross, Freestyle Park and Pipe.

Partnerships: ASDC & CSI Calgary partnered to support a new Para Sport Training Program.

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

Un joueur étoile appuie les athlètes Prochaine génération

Bo Levi Mitchell connaît bien le sport dynamique à haut risque et les blessures qu’il peut entraîner. Après une blessure, le retour au jeu est l’objectif principal. Bien que les athlètes professionnels aient accès aux meilleurs traitements paramédicaux, ce n’est pas toujours le cas pour les autres athlètes de haut niveau. Bo Levi a donc décidé d’appuyer les athlètes Prochaine génération de l’Institut canadien du sport Calgary qui participent à des sports de montagne à haut risque.

L’an dernier, le quart-arrière des Stampeders de Calgary a rejoint le club de l’élite des athlètes de la Ligue canadienne de football alors qu’il a reçu le prix du joueur par excellence de 2016 et a été nommé Joueur par excellence de la LCF en 2016 par Shaw. Dans le cadre du programme, Shaw Communications lui a remis 25 000 $ pour qu’il en fasse don à l’organisme caritatif de son choix. Bo Levi a décidé d’aider les athlètes plus jeunes à recevoir des évaluations de référence avant la blessure et des traitements après la blessure. « Je sais que l’expertise est nécessaire pour ramener un athlète à son sport après une blessure et j’aimerais aider les athlètes à progresser dans la réalisation de leurs rêves. » Il s’intéresse particulièrement à la réadaptation pour les commotions cérébrales et les blessures aux genoux.

En raison des risques élevés de blessures graves imprévisibles du football, Bo Levi comprend les efforts nécessaires pour arriver à un rétablissement complet. Il a choisi d’investir dans les athlètes Prochaine génération parce qu’il voit leurs rêves et sait qu’il peut faire une différence en améliorant leur accès aux ressources. « Je suis fasciné par le courage et les capacités athlétiques des jeunes athlètes qui font du ski cross, du ski acrobatique, du slopestyle et du ski alpin, explique Bo Levi. Je les admire énormément quand je vois leur vitesse et les éléments qu’ils doivent affronter dans leur sport. »

« Nous sommes très reconnaissants de l’appui de Bo Levi envers les athlètes Prochaine génération souhaitant atteindre le niveau supérieur, indique Dale Henwood, Président et chef de la direction de l’ICS Calgary. Les blessures peuvent s’avérer être une aventure coûteuse lorsqu’un athlète travaille à son retour au sport. Ce don fera une différence. » Parmi les services que l’ICS Calgary peut offrir aux athlètes, on retrouve des tests de référence, de la physiothérapie, un processus d’examen par IRM sans délai, des outils d’évaluation des commotions cérébrales et des évaluations musculosquelettiques appropriées.

Originaires de Katy au Texas, Bo Levi Mitchell et sa femme vivent à Calgary depuis 2012. Membres actifs de la communauté de Calgary, ils s’impliquent auprès de plusieurs organismes caritatifs à Calgary et dans le sud de l’Alberta. Redonner est une grande fierté pour les Mitchell qui sont de véritables modèles à suivre. Leur collaboration avec YouthLink, les Grands Frères Grandes Sœurs, le programme Police Recreational Youth Mentoring Experience et le Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research sont quelques-unes de contributions pour améliorer leur communauté. Grâce au Club du quart-arrière de Bo, il invite de 10 à 15 enfants à chaque partie jouée à Calgary.

En novembre dernier, Bo Levi a également reçu pour la deuxième année consécutive le Herm Harrison Memorial Award, décerné à un joueur des Stampeders de Calgary qui s’est démarqué pour son travail communautaire.

L’ICS Calgary remercie Bo Levi Mitchell de sa générosité et voudrait féliciter les Mitchell pour la naissance de leur fille, la semaine dernière.

Institut canadien du sport de Calgary : @csicalgary
Rédigé par Lisa Thomson


Copyright © 2013 Canadian Sport Institute Calgary | All Rights Reserved | Photo Credit : Dave Holland