Mike Hassard - Canada's Future Olympic Hopefuls

Watching the dramatic silver medal finish by Canada's Simon Whitfield reminded me of how exciting televised sport can be.

It also made me think ... how many more years does Simon have left in him to carry the torch for Canada's Triathlon Team? Who is coming from behind to replace him?

The call for more support of our Olympic team is always a call for more money. Although money is important, this will only benefit the athletes already in the chute for the next Olympics.

What about Canada's future athletes ... where are they going to come from? Kelowna you say?!

The week before the 2008 Kelowna Apple Triathlon I was an observer at the Triathlon Camps co-ordinated by Sue Morrison for Kids and Teens . .. what an amazing site. Children riding their small bikes, parents cheering them on , under the careful eyes of successful triathlon coaches.

The kids camp was full again this year with a strong support from athletes from Kelowna and out of town. The Teen camp was 70% full. Another great turn out.

Sue mentioned the Apple Triathlon Camps are one of the countries most successful, bringing families from all over Canada into Kelowna the week before the event to train on swimming, biking and running techniques. They also spend time teaching how to transition between each event. A program like this is the gate way from recreational Triathlon to the elite category.

From what I saw the key to future athletes is not just money ... it is about a love of the sport you play, the support of your family and coaches willing to give their time.

The Future of Canadian Olympic Gold is alive and well in Kelowna!

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