RBC selects 50 elite athletes to join its national Olympic program

Opportunity to gain work experience, receive financial support and serve as community ambassadors

TORONTO, Nov. 30, 2015 /CNW/ - For many young people starting out in the workforce, the difficulty in finding that first job can be challenging - lack of experience, skills and opportunities. For elite-level athletes who have spent most of their life focused on sport, it can be daunting. Understanding these pressures, RBC welcomed 50 athletes to its workforce as part of the RBC Olympians Program.

"For a competitive amateur athlete, it can be incredibly difficult to balance the need for training with the reality of making a living," said Mary DePaoli, Chief Brand and Communications Officer, RBC. "We are proud that the RBC Olympians Program can provide athletes with the time they need to focus on their sport while offering career guidance and advice to realize their goals whether it's representing Canada on the world stage or preparing for life after sport."

Established in 2002, the RBC Olympians National Program recognizes the need for elite athletes to have a flexible work environment that provides practical job skills and compensation while offering a schedule that allows athletes to remain focused on training and competing. For those athletes transitioning out of sport and into the workforce, the career skills and experience can help prepare them for success off the podium. Since 1947, RBC has been the longest-standing supporter of Canada's Olympic Team and has hired approximately 300 current and retired Olympic and Paralympic athletes through the RBC Olympian Program, with more than 15 becoming full time employees.

"I am truly thankful for the opportunity RBC has given me," said Sarah Wells, RBC Olympian and 2012 London semi-finalist. "I am very passionate about sharing my story and being an RBC Olympian means I have the opportunity to connect with people across the country, gain valuable work experience and have the time to focus on my training in preparation for Rio 2016."

The Program enables athletes, from both summer and winter sports, to work on RBC initiatives and engage as community ambassadors to speak about their experiences and the Olympic values of commitment, excellence, teamwork and leadership to audiences across the country. Returning to the RBC roster are well-known Canadian Olympians Patrick Chan (Figure Skating), Jennifer Botterill (Hockey), Brad Jacobs (Curling) and Mark Oldershaw (Canoe/Kayak).

The RBC Olympians for 2015-2017 are:

British Columbia

  • Zach Bell, Cycling
  • Ryan Cochrane, Swimming
  • Will Dean, Rowing
  • Kim Gaucher, Basketball
  • Trevor Hirschfield, Wheelchair Rugby
  • Martha McCabe, Swimming
  • Mercedes Nicoll, Snowboarding
  • Doug Vandor, Rowing
  • Philip Wright, Field Hockey


  • Anastasia Bucsis, Speedskating
  • Cassie Hawrysh, Skeleton
  • Marc Kennedy, Curling
  • Brady Leman, Skiing
  • Carla MacLeod, Ice Hockey
  • Joshua Riker Fox, Modern Pentathlon


  • Jessica Campbell, Ice Hockey
  • Brad Jacobs, Curling
  • Colin Mathieson, Wheelchair Racing
  • Tyler Mislawchuk, Triathlon
  • Jill Officer, Curling
  • Robbi Weldon, Paralympic Cycling


  • Brianne Barry, Wrestling
  • Jennifer Botterill, Ice Hockey
  • Jamie Broder, Beach Volleyball
  • Jason Burnett, Trampoline
  • Patrick Chan, Figure Skating
  • Joel Dembe, Wheelchair Tennis
  • Becky Duke, Ice Hockey
  • Sam Effah, Track and Field
  • Jayna Hefford, Ice Hockey
  • Oluwasegun Makinde, Track and Field
  • Tyler McGregor, Sledge Hockey
  • Mark Oldershaw, Canoe - Sprint
  • Melissa Bishop, Track and Field
  • Kevin Rempel, Sledge Hockey
  • Sarah Wells, Track and Field
  • Eric Woelfl, Rowing


  • Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny, Canoe
  • Caroline Calvé, Snowboard - Alpine
  • Marc-Antoine Gagnon, Freestyle Skiing
  • Charline Labonté, Ice Hockey
  • Caroline Ouellette, Ice Hockey
  • Marie-Philip Poulin, Ice Hockey
  • Karine Thomas, Swimming

Atlantic Canada

  • Luke Couture, Badminton
  • Luke Demetre, Bobsledding
  • David Durepos, Wheelchair basketball
  • Louis Fortin, Para-Nordic Skiing
  • Jillian Saulnier, Ice Hockey
  • Hannah Vaughan, Kayak

About RBC and Amateur Sport
RBC supports amateur sport in communities across Canada, from recreational to competitive activities, and from grassroots to elite-level athletes. At the grassroots level, RBC is committed to supporting programs which help kids and youth develop the confidence and skills they need to enable them to play, and become happy, healthy and active for life.  RBC is proud to be the longest-standing corporate supporter of the Canadian Olympic Team, since 1947, as well as a premier sponsor of Hockey Canada. Visit www.rbc.com/sponsorship.

RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2014, we contributed more than $111 million to causes around the world, which included $65 million in donations, $35 million in sponsorships and $11 in community investments.


For further information:

Jackie Braden, RBC Brand Communications, 416-974-6286, jackie.braden@rbc.com

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