UBC to Send Record-Setting 29 Athletes to Olympics/Paralympics

A record number of Olympic and Paralympic athletes, coaches, and staff were sent off to Rio from UBC Wednesday afternoon and UBC’s incoming President and Vice-Chancellor Santa J. Ono made sure they were sent off in style.

Before a large crowd at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre of UBC athletes, dignitaries, and staff Professor Ono presented the UBC Olympians and Paralympians with a commemorative bowtie to bid them well in their quests for gold.

“Just getting a chance to compete on the world stage is a tremendous achievement,” said Professor Ono from the podium. “When you consider the training and the academic work our current and former students are putting in, or are about to put in for those just enrolling at UBC, they are already winners.”

Also on hand was Canadian Olympic Committee President Tricia Smith, herself a UBC alumnus. Smith began her rowing career on UBC’s varsity teams and parlayed her skill and love of the sport into four Olympic appearances.  While at the podium she shared a quote with UBC’s current Team Canada from the founder of the modern Olympics, Baron de Coubertin.

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”

Also taking part in the ceremony were UBC’s Vice President of Students Louise Cowin and UBC’s incoming Senior Athletics Director Gilles Lepine.

Here is the list of all the athletes, coaches, and support staff making up UBC’s Team Canada. The number is a record amount for a Canadian university.

UBC participants attending the event:
Byron Green (Athlete) – Wheelchair Rugby
Travis Murao (Athlete) – Wheelchair Rugby
Yuri Kisil (Athlete) – Swimming
Martha McCabe (Athlete) – Swimming
Emily Overholt (Athlete) – Swimming
Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson (Athlete) – Swimming
Markus Thormeyer (Athlete) – Swimming
David Carter (Athlete) – Men’s Field Hockey
Taylor Curran (Athlete) – Men’s Field Hockey
Gordon Johnston (Athlete) – Men’s Field Hockey
Ben Martin (Athlete) – Men’s Field Hockey
Mark Pearson (Athlete) – Men’s Field Hockey
Keegan Pereira (Athlete) – Men’s Field Hockey
Matt Sarmento (Athlete) – Men’s Field Hockey
Scott Tupper (Athlete) – Men’s Field Hockey
Tom Johnson (Coach/Support Staff) – Swimming
Steve Price (Coach/Support Staff) – Swimming
Andrea Wooles (Coach/Support Staff) – Cycling
Navin Presad (Core Medical) – Canadian Olympic Committee
Tricia Smith – President, Canadian Olympic Committee

UBC participants unable to attend the event:
Hillary Janssens (Athlete) – Rowing
Max Lattimer (Athlete) – Rowing
Lauren Wilkinson (Athlete) – Rowing
*Maria Bernard (Athlete) – Track and Field
*Lucas Bruchet (Athlete) – Track and Field
Evan Dunfee (Athlete) – Track and Field
*Elizabeth Gleadle (Athlete) – Track and Field
Inaki Gomez (Athlete) – Track and Field
*Mike Mason (Athlete) – Track and Field
Ben Thorne (Athlete) – Track and Field
Jamie Broder (Athlete) – Women’s Beach Volleyball
Blair Bann (Athlete) – Men’s Volleyball
Jeff Sauve (Coach/Support Staff) – Men’s Field Hockey
Nikola Girke (Athlete) – Sailing
Luke Ramsey (Athlete) – Sailing
Janice Hanan (Coach/Support Staff) – Swimming
Eugene Liang (Coach/Support Staff) – Swimming
Ron Mattison (Coach/Support Staff) – Swimming
Adam Parfitt (Coach/Support Staff) – Rowing
Andy VanNeutegem (Coach/Support Staff) – Wheelchair Rugby
Gerry Dragonmir (Coach/Support Staff) – Athletics
Paddy McCluskey (Coach/Support Staff) – Athletics
Trent Stellingwerff (Coach/Support Staff) – Athletics
Bob McCormick (Medical Director) – Canadian Olympic Committee
Dory Boyer (Core Medical) – Canadian Olympic Committee
Don McKenzie (Coach/Support Staff) – Canoe/Kayak
*Met Olympic qualification, but team selection is pending.

UBC Olympic and Paralympic history

  • UBC athletes have participated in the Olympics since the 1928 Games in Amsterdam (Harry Warren, track and field)
  • UBC won its first medal in 1932 in Los Angeles (Ned Pratt, bronze in doubles rowing)
  • UBC Olympians have won 66 medals: 19 gold, 22 silver and 25 bronze
  • UBC Paralympians have won 56 medals: 24 gold, 13 silver and 18 bronze
  • UBC’s most decorated Olympian is Kathleen Heddle with three gold and one bronze in rowing
  • UBC’s most decorated Paralympian is Walter Wu, whose 16 medals in swimming include eight gold

Rowing has the highest all-time UBC representation of all sports; 73 UBC athletes have brought home 45 medals in rowing.

Swimming news courtesy of UBC Swimming & Diving.

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Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently working on her M.A. in …

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