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RBC Training Ground seeks out Calgary’s future Olympic athletes

Calgary’s next generation of athletes are putting their physical fitness to the test in the hopes of capturing their Olympic dreams at this weekend’s RBC Training Ground talent search.

The Canadian Olympic Committee event is entering the eighth year of its free program that puts athletes aged 14 to 25 years-old through strength, power, endurance, and aerobic fitness testing to find prospective Olympic stars.

From sprinting, to jumping, and the famous ‘beep’ test, several participants including 23-year-old Matteo Larratta pushed themselves to the limit.

“The coaches here are all amazing, they’re the best in their fields here in Canada and I’d love to continue working with them,” he said.

“If you think you have the potential to be an athlete, you've got a passion for a sport. This experience could change my life so I came out here to give it a shot, you never know what will happen.”


Others like 17-year-old Payton Sheehan have big goals to compete in triathlons and achieve a scholarship at the NCAA level.

She says it’s not just about her level of physical fitness, but also her mental toughness.

“You don’t just have to be good, sometimes it’s about dedication,” said Sheehan.

“Everyone here is really nice, especially the instructors and athletes here looking for new friends, they’re all offering some pretty great advice.”

The RBC Training Ground has already found and funded seven Canadian Olympic medalists, many of which are now competing in sports they never considered in the first place.

The RBC Training Ground has already found and funded seven Canadian Olympic medalists, many of which are now competing in sports they never considered in the first place.

Local Olympian ambassadors like Eden Wilson attended Saturday’s event to help motivate the next generation.

She now competes as bobsledder and is hopeful to earn a spot on Team Canada for the upcoming 2026 Winter Olympics.

“It's really important to me to see the next generation come through just because I believe in the value of sport and what it can do for you as a person and what it can do for your life,” Wilson said.

“When it comes to opportunities, things like travelling, meeting new people that you would have never got to see and having these experiences, this can never happen without this type of support.”


Sam Effah, a two-time Canadian 100m sprint champion agrees. He says funding programs like this are essential to taking athletes to the next level.

“I wish I would have had this when I was younger, but we have athletes here now that get to see their Olympic heroes here,” he said.

“Don’t put any pressure on yourself, just try your best. You may get identified by a sport that you never even knew you were good at so just come with an open mind, have fun, and you never know because it could be you that’s chosen.”

Since its inception in 2016, the RBC Training Ground program has tested more than 12,000 athletes across Canada with over 1,600 athletes being identified by national sport organizations as having Olympic potential. Top Stories

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