Centre helps athletes transition to life after sports
When the cheering fades and the athletic career is over, what's next for Canada's Olympians?
That's where the Canadian Sports Centre at the Olympic Oval comes in.
The centre currently supports over 400 athletes, some of which are still active and some of which are in transition to life after sports.
After spending years focused in one direction, athletes are suddenly faced with finding a new passion, which can be a shock to the system, says life services manager Cara Button.
"It takes awhile and takes some soul-searching," says Button.
After 13 years with the National Alpine Ski team, Emily Brydon continues her charity work with the Emily Brydon Youth Foundation, which provides financial assistance to Elk Valley youth so they can pursue sports, arts, education and other positive pursuits.
Brydon is also a full-time student.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist hockey player Colleen Sostorics is three weeks into a new job.
And water polo's Nathaniel Miller is now a new father married to an Olympic athlete. Retirement made sense financially, but Miller says he's considering returning to the sport and is currently "testing the waters" with the centre's support.
The centre also provides academic and career counselling along with resume writing and other work skills support, just like any job centre.
Button says there is also some individual counselling available, where transitioning athletes can work with others in the same situation.
"It's difficult for them to ask for help, but their peers are doing the same thing and they realize they are not alone and this is normal."