Nearly 300 athletes flock to Ottawa U in search of Olympic Glory
Young, talented athletes packed into the gymnasium at Ottawa U Sunday in search of Olympic glory.
The athletes' endurance, speed, power and strength was tested at the RBC Training Ground's talent search program. The event, held in Ottawa for the first time, gives local athletes - no matter what sport they are involved in - the free chance to show their stuff before officials and coaches from 14 Olympic sports.
"That's my dream and that would be really cool to be among the top runners and to be on tv and to be known," said 15-year-old Skye Pellerin about her Olympic aspirations. "It's cool to see all of the good runners and new people and I want to come back next year."
The goal of the event is to bring new athletes into Canada's Olympic talent pool and to provide financial support to those athletes already excelling. Athletes deemed to have Olympic potential will advance to an Ontario regional final in Toronto on June 2, 2018, or begin further one-on-one testing with specific sports.
"What we are looking for are athletes with a wide range of abilities from aerobic, to speed, strength and coordination. The mental aspect is important, too," said Diana Deek, a Canoe and Kayak coach in Ottawa.
Tania Banbi won this program in 2016. At the time, she had retired from track and field due to financial constraints.
"This could be anyone," she said. "I definitely didn't think it would be me."