Go Canada Go!

By Emily Ridlington, Sports Media Canada Special Correspondent and International Olympic Committee Young Reporter

Today was my first day out in the field. In the early evening I stopped in at a Team Canada gathering. Canada has sent 51 outstanding young athletes to compete in 13 events. There are 35 males and 16 females.

Excited Young Canadian Athletes


Clad in their black, red and white uniforms, the young athletes listened to their Chef de Mission Beckie Scott speak about her experience at previous Olympic Games. Scott is a three time Olympian and a double medallist. She was the first North American woman to win a medal in cross-country skiing.

“We are Team Canada,” she told the athletes, adding “great things happen when people come together.”

Scott knows what it’s like to be under a lot of pressure and says it’s normal for the athletes to be both nervous and excited. After spending 11 years on the Canadian national cross-country ski team, she still remembers what one of her mentors told her many years ago.

“You don’t know what you can do but you don’t know what you can’t do,” Scott says.

Many of these athletes have competed at Canada Games and some have participated in international events. Still you can see a look of wonder and excitement in their eyes not fully knowing how important the event is that they are participating in. As the first group of Canadian athletes to participate in a Winter Youth Olympic Games they are paving the way for other athletes to come after them.

From talking to people on buses and in various venues, I have found everyone expects Canada to excel at winter sports.  Among the Young Reporters I have somehow become the lady in the know on most winter sports. Hopefully I can fulfil everyone’s demands. Throughout my time in Innsbruck, I plan to try and cover our Canadian athletes as much as I can but also plan to document what obstacles athletes from other countries are facing.

As the young Canadians start participating in their respective events, the athletes should keep in mind advice from Scott: “Anything is possible.”