Welcome to the CAN Fund Athlete Blog!
This is where Canadian Athletes will be posting as they train and prepare to represent Canada on the World Stage! Keep up to date on when and where our athletes are training and competing!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Girl Power!

From October 9-10, a judo world cup event for women was held in Baku, Azerbaijan.  The team consisted of six women ranging from former Olympians to young Olympic hopefuls.  On the first day of the event, our light and middle weight girls took charge. Joliane Melancon (Canadian Athletes Now Fund Recipient) and Stefanie Tremblay both placed top seven in the under 52 kilogram division while Myriam Lamarche finished fifth in the under 63 kilogram division. On the second day of the event, the women’s judo team finished strong by wrapping up the competition with 3 medals.  Kelita Zupancic (Canadian Athletes Now Fund Recipient) took gold in the under 70 kilogram division and Amy Cotton and Marylise Levesque took third in the under 78 kilogram category.  Way to go girls!

Sasha Mehmedovic - Judo

Thursday, October 28, 2010

KARA LANG - Soccer

Business or Pleasure?

When traveling with the national team I always check “business” as the purpose of my visit on my customs forms. Not because I don’t enjoy these trips- don’t get me wrong, I love having the opportunity to travel to such cool places and play the game I love with some of my closest friends. But at the end of the day- we’re not here for a vacation. This is our job, our livelihood. And while its not ALL work and NO play, it’s definitely A LOT of work.

Our schedule on an average day involves waking up around 8:00am, breakfast, a morning training session, lunch, maybe a quick afternoon nap, another training session, dinner, treatment for any injuries or knocks and then we’re in bed before 11:30. About once a week we’ll get an afternoon, and sometimes if we’re lucky a whole day off. But after 6 days of non-stop training we’re usually spending this time recovering.
There have been many situations where we’ve traveled to some pretty cool places and only seen the airport, the hotel, and the stadium before getting back on the plane to come home. Once in a while we’ll have a day where the whole team takes an afternoon to explore a major tourist attraction. In China it was the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square. In Rio it was Christ the Redeemer. In Rome we saw The Coliseum and The Vatican City and here in Mexico the Mayan Ruins were the big attraction. These are always pretty fun activities, but they’re usually organized on a very tight schedule. We’re given a few hours on our own before we have to be back on the bus to head back to the hotel for dinner.

Every meal we eat is prepared at the hotel and it’s always a set menu. Whether we’re in Japan, France, Thailand, Mexico, or the U.S – the food for us is always the same. Exploring and testing the local fare is never an option when you’re training or preparing for a tournament. Indulging in a dish off a food cart on the street in Bangkok is not worth the risk of getting sick and not being able to play. As much as I like to daydream about living Anthony Bourdain’s lifestyle – traveling around the world, experiencing so many different cultures through their food – I don’t. We travel for one reason and that’s to play soccer.

We’ve been in Cancun, Mexico for almost 3 weeks now and we’ve had the same thing at breakfast, lunch and dinner-every day. Mexican is one of my favorite types of food. There’s nothing better than authentic Guacamole and fresh Pico de gallo! But Pasta, rice, steamed vegetables, chicken or fish (I opt for the vegan options in this case), and potatoes have basically made up the menu here for us since day one. We’re all beyond sick of the food, but we know it’s necessary. No margaritas on the beach for us!

And speaking of the beach… it’s very rare that we show up to training camp to find out that we’re staying at a resort on the beach. We’re usually at the hotel closest to the stadium, or at whatever hotel chain happens to be sponsoring the event. Logistics and convenience are always the main priority. But when a tournament is held in a vacation hot spot like Cancun, I guess there’s no way of avoiding it – every hotel here is a resort! When we rolled up to our hotel here I honestly though there was a mistake and our bus driver had taken a wrong turn somewhere. This is literally paradise.

We definitely lucked out this time and we know it. It’s a little bit of a tease waking up and looking out your window at the waves crashing on the beach, knowing that you can’t go in the sun because you need to rest up for a training session or game later that day. But we’re definitely not complaining – even if we only get to enjoy the view. We’ve stayed in some pretty dodgy places over the years (Olympic Qualifying in 2008 was in Juarez, Mexico, the murder capital of the world. Google it – that place is crazy!) Needless to say, we’re all very grateful to be staying in Cancun right now.

It’s been almost non-stop preparations for this tournament since August. We’ve trained and competed in Italy, Germany, at home in Canada, and now Mexico. We’ve been together as a team for over two months straight and finally the first game of the tournament is here. We’re all very excited to get the tournament underway tomorrow when we play Trinidad and Tobago. We’re going to take this one game at a time, but we definitely have our sights set on getting to that championship game and qualifying for another World Cup

Below is a link to the schedule of our games being aired in Canada on CBC. Please tune in- Your support means the world to us!


Let’s Go Canada!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

CONNOR TARAS - Canoe/Kayak

Medals Medals, Medals and More Medals!

Canoe Kayak Canada recently sent their biggest team ever to the Pan American Championships in Mexico, City.  They sent a junior team, U23 team, and a Sr. Team that consisted of almost 50 athletes. It was a very successful trip with medals in almost every event. Some highlights were CAN FUND recipients Emilie Fournel in the k-1 500m and Kia Byers in the K-1 200m who came home with silver medals and Steven Jorens with a Bronze medal in the k-2 1000m with his partner Angus Mortimer and Adam VanKoeverden with a bronze medal in the K-1 1000m. Racing was very difficult at an altitude of 2240m and not to mention the revenge that Montezuma had on about 50% of the team but all in all the event was lots of fun and a great way to finish off the season. This event was also a qualifying event for the Pan American Games next year in Guadalajara, Mexico which is a qualifier for the 2012 Olympics in London, England. Canada qualified every boat for next year which is another exciting addition to the medal haul! 

Pan American Championships were the end of a long season for the Sprint/Canoe Kayak athletes.  Everyone will go home now for a few weeks.  Some will take 1, 2 and for some people 3 weeks off before we start preparing for next year which will be begin the journey to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England! Wooo! May I also be so inclined to add that CAN FUND has already helped more than half our team kick of that journey to 2012!

Next stop or I guess I can say first stop on the tour for 2011 is Fall Training Camp in our home away from home Indian Harbour Beach, Florida.  I personally am very pumped and know that the whole team is as well for next year.   Look out World because we’re coming!!! 

From your CAN Fund athlete rep for sprint Canoe/Kayak and two time Canadian Athletes Now Fund recipient, as they say in Mexico or maybe it’s just Arnold Schwarzenegger that  says it, Hasta la Vista! Stay tuned for more updates to come!

Connor “Connorbomb” Taras
Sprint Canoe/Kayak

Friday, October 15, 2010

BENOIT HUOT - Paralympic Swimming

Hey everyone, we just got back from India at the Commonwealth Games. Canada did so well and it was an exciting time again. I did what I wanted to do by winning my first Gold Medal at Commonwealth Games. It was a great moment for me. I am now in Florida getting ready for an other swim meet in Rio de Janeiro next week. Season is almost over and we will have a couple days off when we get back. Thank you every for the support back home.

Have a good weekend



Here I am, Robin Randall from Team Canada Mens' Water Polo, live in Calgary, Alberta.  Today marked the first snowfall of the year, and yet again we all thanked our respective supreme beings that we train indoors.  We have been following the Commonwealth Games on CBC and were proud of our fellow athletes and the success that they had there.  Unfortunately Water Polo is not a part of the Commonwealth Games as yet, but work is being done to secure a spot for us in future Games.  Congratulations from all of the mens' Water Polo training centre in Calgary!   We've had a bit of an update on our potential travel plans for this season, and as usual they are extensive.  We are going down to Southern California for five days in November (that will be a welcome break from the snow!) as well as Brazil in January for our World Championship Qualifications (another reprieve) and Hungary in February for the Volvo Cup and joint training with the four-time Olympic Champions.  That's four consecutive Olympic Championships - but who is counting? 

That's all for now from Calgary!  Thanks for reading!  

Your goalie,
Robin Randall
Fulfilling your goaltending needs
Since 1987

Thursday, October 14, 2010

DAVID SNIDER - Badminton

Hello everyone,

Well the competition portion of the Games ended for me today. I lost out in the second round to the third seed from Malaysia 21-12, 21-13. The Malaysian was a tough opponent for me because he is tall player with great deception around the net and a hard smash. This made it difficult to generate points. Although the scores do not indicate a very close match it was my best match of the tournament I believe. I say this because I went out with a clear tactical plan and I stuck to it the whole way throughout the match. This seems simple but for me it is a big step because I will play tend to play in a fearful mode when I am playing strong opponents. What I mean by a fearful mode is that I will play my most comfortable game style. This is all good when I am playing weaker opponents, however, for stronger opponents they can adapt to my style quickly and this makes the match challenging for me. So back to what I was saying before, I went outside of my comfort zone in this match and committed to playing the proper strategy to win. Although this means that I was committing a few more errors than I am used to, it was great to see my game plan taking shape in the rallies. For instance, by hitting higher lifts  from the net into the draft it affected my opponents ability to smash and thus allowing me to anticipate more because I did not need to worry as much about his smash. So for me this match was a great first step for me to test out this new approach to the game. I am proud of myself for doing this against such a difficult opponent in such a big setting. Now I need to put these things into practice each time I step onto court. For the rest of the trip I plan to train hard with my coach and hopefully I will also get a chance to go see the Taj Mahal.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Boxing Canada sent 5 men to compete at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, they are Yves Ulysse Jr (64kg), Alex Rynn (60kg), Custio Clayton (69kg), Samir El Mais (91kg) and Didier Bence (91+kg) The team went 5-5 collectively in the tournament, with Samir El Mais of Windsor, Ontario coming the closest to winning a medal but losing a tough fight to Stephen Simmons of Scotland 7:4 in the quarter-finals. This wraps up the competitive season for the elite men's team. National Championships will be December 5-11 in Quebec City.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

DONNA VAKALIS - Modern Pentathlon

This time of year we are re-entering the season, after taking some weeks off after the World Championships in China in September; however the season was off with a bang, having pentathletes from across the country competing in the Fencing Canadian Senior National Championships last weekend in Gatineau (October 1st - 3rd):  we had one female pentathlete finish 6th and seven pentathletes (men's and women's) finish in the top 25!  On the same weekend many of us also competed in the Ontario Provincials Championships, which were hosted by Milton/Guelph.  We had a small but strong turnout including athletes from the U.S. Three members of the National Team competed, taking the top Senior and Top two Junior positions. Not a bad way to open the 2010-11 season. 

Pentathletes are often also competing in non-pentathlon single sport competitions such as cross-country and shooting and fencing and swimming: this month there are several national team pentathletes who are travelling around Canada and the U.S..  I will select from the most important of these events and results to report on.  And looking ahead, the first pentathlon competition of the new season will be the Pan Am Championships in Rio in November.

Monday, October 11, 2010

JOHN HASTINGS - Canoe/Kayak Slalom

Alberta Bound

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

After gorging on Turkey and relaxing with the family for the last couple of days, I think I am ready for my journey out to the Kananaskis River and Canmore, Alberta for the first training camp of the year. Coach Michal has sent the schedule for the camp and at first glance it is looking tough. Although unplanned, I think eating those extra slices of pie and the dark meat this past weekend was a good idea!
I am looking forward to heading out west, especially Canmore. The Rocky Mountains are beautiful, and the fact that we are approx. 1.35km above sea-level will come with some physiological benefits. I am also looking forward to returning to the Kananaskis River, our primary training ground while there. Although it will be frigid, the +1 km of continuous whitewater (with gates) makes for great early season training. I was also informed that there are going to be lots of youngsters ripping around at this camp. I am looking forward to seeing these new faces and meeting everyone! 

Pictures and stories from the camp to come soon, stay tuned.