2015 Year in Review

As 2015 ends, the Canadian Sport Institute (CSI) Calgary has chosen to look back on some of the success stories of the past year.

We have compiled a list of the top five athlete performances of 2015. We began with a long list of athletes who achieved excellence by winning a medal at a major event. The staff then voted from the list based on a criteria of athletic excellence combined with the impact that the CSI Calgary had on the athlete’s performance.  


Cowntdown of the Top 5 CSI Calgary performances from 2015 

#5  McKeeveGolden as he Adds tLifetime MedaHaul
Brian McKeever, along with guide Erik Carleton, won the para-nordic 20-kilometre race at the IPC World Championship. No stranger to winning, McKeever has won 13 Paralympic medals in his illustrious career.

#4  NeCanadiaTakes SpeeSkatinTeatUnprecedented Level

Ted-Jan Bloemen set the 10,000m World Record and was an integral part of the Team Pursuit that won World Championship silver. The previously Dutch competitor has only competed for Canada for one year, taking advantage of his dual citizenship to compete wearing red and white.

#3  WrestleGathers Medals aMultiplMajoChampionshipsGeneviève Morrison won bronze at the United Wrestling World Championships and gold at the Pan Am Games. The 48kg wrestler’s results earned an Olympic berth for Canada.

#2  MultiplWorlChampionshiMedals
Denny Morrison continued his speed skating dominance with two World Championship medals, finishing second in both the Team Pursuit and 1500m.

#1  BiathloHistory is Made!
Nathan Smith won World Championship silver to become the first Canadian male ever to win a World Championship medal in biathlon. Smith also won the men's 12.5-kilometre pursuit race at a World Cup in 2015, becoming only the second Canadian ever to capture World Cup gold.

Further to our athletes’ success, the CSI Calgary has had many other successes in 2015. The CSI Calgary has continued to exhibit leadership in a variety of areas. Here are a few highlights:

 We increased the number of full-time employees embedded in the daily training environment, which has a direct impact on athlete preparation
Game Plan - For the past 20 years, Calgary has been a leader in delivering Life Services to athletes and coaches. The re-launch of the Game Plan program and new partnerships with the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Sport Canada allows us access to more resources to deliver the program

We hosted the first ever Paralympian Search, a Canadian Paralympic Committee initiative to identify the next generation of Canadian Paralympic athletes

We hosted a new Strength and Power Performance Course twice during the year, offering aspiring coaches the chance to learn through interaction and mentorship

We increased our involvement in Own The Podium’s (OTP) NextGen Development Pathway to include bobsleigh, freestyle slopestyle, speed skating, luge, wrestling and men’s alpine

Skate Canada moved their home base to the CSI Calgary, taking advantage of having a training facility and services all under one roof

Three CSI Calgary team members are leading their respective areas in OTP’s National Sport Science Sport Medicine Advisory Committee (NSSMAC), an initiative to share knowledge to provide National Sport Organizations the best support possible

 The CSI Calgary is proud of the direct impact that our staff continues to have on many of the world’s best athletes. Our goal is always to strive for excellence. With the 2016 Olympic Games on the horizon, we continue to move forward with relentless determination.

Heretaamazing 2015 with greaathletic accomplishmentand great things tcome in the neyear!

LimitsPushed 2015


Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler


Partner, Wrestling Canada, Game Plan, Cross-Country Ski Canada, Performance Services, NextGen, Sport Canada, Strength and Conditioning, Canadian Olympic Committee, Skate Canada, Biathlon Canada

Calgary Roughnecks Find Value in Comprehensive Testing

The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSI Calgary) is excited to be part of a new venture with the National Lacrosse League’s (NLL) Calgary Roughnecks. The Roughnecks were at WinSport on November 27 to undergo testing at the CSI Calgary in preparation for the upcoming season, which gets underway on January 2.

The Roughnecks are breaking ground as the first team in the NLL to undergo comprehensive testing that is common for Olympic athletes. CSI Calgary Strength and Conditioning Coach Chris Osmond works with the Roughnecks organization and encouraged the team to take advantage of the high performance facility and staff’s extensive knowledge. He says, “The team chose to perform preseason testing at the CSI Calgary this year to take their performance to the next level. They want to invest in their players by giving them access to world leading sport science. They believe that this venture will pave the way for elevated performance this season and for years to come.”

Calgary Roughnecks General Manager and Director of Business Operations Mike Board was on site for the full day of testing. He agrees with Osmond, adding, “We wanted to centralize what we do for our fitness testing and this facility provided the opportunity to have everyone together on the same day. It is good for us as an organization and it is also a team building concept.”

Although it has never been conducted before by any NLL teams, the Roughnecks organization sees the value in preseason testing because, Board notes, “It allows us to get ready for the season knowing the players’ fitness and training zones. We are looking to find out how fit our guys are and where we need to take them. This data allows us to do that, and it is something that we have not been able to do before.”

Moving forward, CSI Calgary Exercise Physiologist Kelly Quipp will work to provide interpretation of the players’ test results. She will then offer training recommendations to elevate the conditioning level of the team for the upcoming season. This feedback will be enhanced by Osmond, who will create a training plan that can be adapted for each player.

Of the team’s first time utilizing the CSI Calgary services, Board emphasizes, “The experience has been fabulous. It’s efficient – the flow and timing of everything is very impressive. The players’ feedback was positive and the medical team was very happy.”

Best of luck in the season to the Calgary Roughnecks! The CSI Calgary looks forward to hosting you again next preseason.


Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

Partner, Sport Science Solutions, WinSport, Biomechanics and Performance Analysis, Exercise Physiology, Performance Services, Canadian Sport Institute Calgary Team, Kelly Quipp, Calgary Roughnecks

Maximizing Weight Cutting Strategy to Enhance Performance

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary (CSI Calgary) Performance Dietitian Kelly Drager has been leading her field through an innovative project with members of the Canadian Wrestling Team. The project has been funded through Innovations 4 Gold (I4G), an applied sport research program led by Own The Podium.

Drager and CSI Calgary Strength and Conditioning Coach Mac Read, with help from Research and Innovation Lead Erik Groves, have been gathering information to determine an ideal way for wrestlers to lose weight for competition weigh-ins, while minimizing the impact that it has on their performance. The data set that has been collected so far is from three different competitions (Pan-American Championships, PanAm Games, and World Championships) and according to Drager, could have a significant impact on performance and provide “progress for the sport.”

Their research aims to give athletes a performance plan that they can use to take the guesswork out of cutting weight. This should reduce stress on weigh-ins and thus place more emphasis on performance. Of the results, Drager says, “We are now starting to see trends within weight categories. It is beneficial to have a bandwidth for each weight category, creating specific guidelines.”

The team has tracked athletes’ weight and urine specific gravity (level of hydration) during weight cutting. The data shows how they rebound from weigh-ins to competition time. These weight cutting curves can help athletes use consistent, predictable plans at major events. Currently, Read and Drager are observing what is happening during regular training. By monitoring the athletes’ heart rate, rate of perceived exertion, weight, and urine specific gravity, they are able to identify what is normal during training weeks.

This project is particularly exciting because as Drager says, “It is very applicable to other weight category sports such as judo. Preparing these athletes for enhanced performance is the goal.”

Long-term, this project will also be useful to developmental athletes who will be able to recognize that performance, not weight cutting, is the main goal of the sport. For younger athletes, Drager wants to promote “better health, growth and bone development.”

Ultimately, this data set will help Canada’s top wrestlers have stronger performances on the international stage. However, more importantly, Drager emphasizes that it “is going to help ensure better development and health of athletes.”

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

Sport Science Solutions, Research and Innovation, Wrestling Canada, Performance Services, Nutrition, Kelly Drager, Canadian Sport Institute Calgary Team, Strength and Conditioning, Fuel for Gold, Mac Read, Erik Groves

Turkeys Take Over

Turkeys are popping up everywhere at the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary! Fortunately, it is all for a worthy cause.

The CSI Calgary is delighted to be taking part in the Calgary Food Bank’s #YYCTurkeyChallenge, tweeting a picture of an athlete dressed as a turkey every week prior to Christmas. With each tweet, CSI Calgary is challenging both the athlete’s National Sport Organization and a CSI Calgary partner to donate to the Food Bank. Internally, the CSI Calgary is also challenging its own employees to donate with a goal of raising $2,000.

The Calgary Food Bank is a non-profit organization dedicated to gathering and distributing quality emergency food to those in need and relies solely on the support of the community. In the past year, 141,271 people came to the Food Bank for assistance. #YYCTurkeyChallenge will have a significant impact on these efforts as the Food Bank is able to distribute five dollars worth of food for every dollar that is donated.

The challenge has already started, with four-time Olympic medallist Denny Morrison successfully challenging Speed Skating Canada and THE Downtown Sports Clinics on November 24. On December 1, three-time Olympian Manuel Osborne-Paradis challenged Alpine Canada and Alberta Sport Connection.

The unique #YYCTurkeyChallenge began in 2014, when Scott Schroeder from EFW Radiology came up with the concept and engaged Dr. Jan-Willem Henning in the project. Henning wore the turkey suit on his rounds through the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, while Dave Kelly of Kelly Brothers Productions and Jim Button from Village Brewery staged a frozen turkey rescue. Their efforts raised almost $30,000 in donations towards the purchase of food at a critical time for the Calgary Food Bank.

Keoma Duce, Development Coordinator for Organizational Giving at the Food Bank, is enthusiastic about the CSI Calgary’s participation. She says, “So far CSI Calgary is the first organization to grab on to the Turkey Challenge in 2015. We are excited about the prospect of raising awareness and donations, but we are also looking forward to raising the profile of the CSI Calgary and the athletes. It is important to us that the athletes receive recognition for their efforts. We hope that other organizations see what CSI Calgary is doing and join in the fun. Who doesn’t like to see a grown up in a turkey suit?”

Keep your eyes peeled because you never know where a turkey will pop up next! To donate to the Calgary Food Bank, visit the CSI Calgary Food Bank Page.

Denny Morrison Video

Manuel Osborne-Paradis Video


Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Brittany Schussler: @BSchussler
Photo by Dave Holland: @csicalgaryphoto

Alpine Canada Alpin, Community Engagement, Alberta Sport Connection, Calgary Food Bank

CSI Calgary Welcomes Tanya Dubnicoff to Cycling Centre

Media release
Calgary, AB, November 19, 2015 – The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary is pleased to announce Tanya Dubnicoff as the Cycling Centre Calgary Athlete Development Lead effective January 4th 2016.

Tanya will be coaching and leading the development of the cycling programs from development to performance athletes in the disciplines of road, track, mountain, cross and para-cycling.

Tanya Dubnicoff brings a wealth of athletic and coaching experience to the program. As an athlete, she was World Champion, world record holder and three-time Olympian in a career spanning over 25 years.

Tanya’s passion for cycling transferred into coaching after her retirement from the sport in 2000. Tanya spent the next 13 years building cycling programs in Canada and the United States.

Tanya’s versatility as a coach has allowed her to become involved with all age groups and cycling disciplines. For a decade, she thrived on being the only female coach at the international level. She has helped athletes of all levels achieve success and has guided them to National Championships, World Championships and Olympic Games.

Tanya is a two-time Olympic coach and one of Canada’s Olympic medal-winning female coaches, leading the Women’s Team Pursuit to a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Post 2012, Tanya shifted her focus from assisting athletes in competitive sport to sharing her knowledge for building relationships and achieving success through facilitation, public speaking, and executive coaching. Her message builds confidence and identifies how a coach, a corporation, or anyone in a leadership role can “Lead with Purpose.”

Tanya is excited to be back coaching athletes, where her true passion lies. Tanya is joining an already successful team with the mandate to help athletes ride to their potential and to build programs that cultivate future champions.

For more information on the Cycling Centre Calgary, please visit: http://www.csicalgary.ca/athlete-development/cycling-program 

About the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary

The Canadian Sport Institute provides world-leading Olympic and Paralympic training environments to elite athletes and coaches across Alberta. With the support of our partners, our team of experts delivers sport science and medicine, coaching and life services to power podium performances and help Canada win more medals. For more information, please visit: www.csicalgary.ca

Annie Gagnon
Manager, Communications
Canadian Sport Institute Calgary
Phone: 403.202.6815
Cell: 613.262.9644
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Copyright © 2013 Canadian Sport Institute Calgary | All Rights Reserved | Photo Credit : Dave Holland