Power couple, Eatons go on honeymoon finally!

Ashton and Brianne Play the Newlywed Game

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ArmoryTrack.com   on Yesterday, 06:23 PM


Though track and field’s most popular couple took their trip down the aisle over a year ago, the two weren’t able to find time for a honeymoon until this past October. Brianne Theisen-Eaton, a world indoor and outdoor championships silver medalist in the pentathlon and heptathlon, respectively, left the honeymoon planning to Ashton Eaton, who currently holds the decathlon world record and is a 2012 Olympic games gold medalist. They traveled to Dubai and Seychelles, two of the few remaining cities that their competitive travels haven’t already taken them to, and enjoyed the beaches, unique foods and a dessert safari over some Arabic dunes.

I caught up with the couple shortly after their trip, and decided it would be fun to play a round of the Newlywed Game with them. Check out how the two, who share the same occupation, coach and address, handle married life.

First Question. Who asked who out first?
Brianne: Our first official date was on Valentine’s Day. He asked me, but before that we were just hanging out as friends in the same friend group. I guess I don’t give him as much credit for it, as if we didn’t know each other at all, but technically he asked me out first.

Ashton: I definitely asked her out first. Our first date was during Valentines Day and I took her out to Olive Garden.

Were you surprised or expecting it?
Brianne: Because it was Valentine’s Day, I was expecting it. We were clearly heading toward a relationship so I was waiting for it.

Ashton: I don’t think surprised is the right word. I think she was more relieved. We were hanging out with the same group of friends and there was clearly an interest there, so after it was all said and done she asked me what took you so long?

Who spends more time in front of the mirror?
Brianne: Me for sure. Ashton is in and out and the longest he’ll be in there for is if he’s cutting his hair, which is annoying because sometimes he’ll leave the hair sitting on the floor.

Ashton: Brianne. One hundred percent Brianne. Every time we walk past a mirror I’ll glance over and catch her checking herself out.

Who is the messy one?
Brianne: When it comes to stuff lying around that would be me, but I like the kitchen to be clean and the counters to be wiped. He’s not dirty, but he’ll forget to clean those things. Also, when there’s dust on things it drives me crazy. He’ll say we don’t need to dust when I feel there’s a ton of dust on something.

Ashton: Brianne for sure. It’s definitely Brianne. In high school I used to be really messy and had clothes and things all over the place with no organization. That led to having a really bad habit of losing important things. But something happened in college where I developed this technique of just getting rid of everything that’s extra, so I only had what was essential and nothing could distract from what was important. That led to me becoming super clean and minimal.

You went to the same university, do the same event and obviously spend a lot of time together, so I assume you two have a lot of similarities, but what is your biggest difference?
Brianne: Our personalities are completely different. I’m more likely to get super impatient or get mad and blow up, but he’s more reserved. He doesn’t get really upset, and when he does he just gets quiet and won’t really say anything. So if he’s annoyed or frustrated he’ll just stop talking where as I’m complaining and voicing my opinion.

Ashton: The biggest difference in my opinion is Brianne is more impatient than I am. She is smarter than me, but she wears her emotions on her sleeve where I’m more likely to keep mine in. She also has a greater ability to plan ahead. I’m a little more instinctual. I do think things through, but in the end it all comes around to it just seems like a good idea and I can’t really tell you why, but she can always tell you why.

Who is more outgoing?
Brianne: He’s more outgoing and I’m more reserved.

Ashton: I would say Brianne is more outgoing. Growing up she’s been a lot more social and had a lot of friends, where as I had a smaller group of friends. Even to this day she’s willing to try more stuff, but actually if there’s a food she doesn’t think she’ll like she won’t try it. She won’t go skydiving and won’t do anything that she fears… you know what? I think I’m more outgoing. The thing is she’s more outgoing in social settings, but I’m more outgoing privately when it comes to things I want to do like skydiving or whatever. She’s a little more timid when she’s by herself.

What event will your children do?
Brianne: We’re both more speed and power athletes, so I can’t see them being distance runners. If not multi-event athletes then sprinters. I think the 400 is the event, but it’s hard to say.

Ashton: You know what? I bet you he or she would be the world record holder in the triple jump. I say that because I have a lot of speed and explosiveness and Brianne has a lot of robustness. Her joints handle impact very well, where as mine are a little more weak. So if there’s a combination of the explosiveness with the solidness then I see the triple jump being where they could excel because they could train more frequently on a higher level.

What track event best exemplifies your relationship; the 400 hurdles, long jump or 5K?
Brianne: 400 hurdles because they’re complicated. Our relationship isn’t complicated, but our lifestyles are. Sometimes in our lives things are going really smoothly, but there’s always hurdles that come up in life.

Ashton: 400 hurdles, no question. I say that because it’s an endurance event and in every relationship there’s always hurdles. Sometimes you get over them smoothly and your steps are on and sometimes your steps are off and it’s ugly, but in the end you still make it over and finish the race.

Who’s the better driver?
Brianne: We’re both going to say ourselves, but I can be impatient and sometimes get road rage really bad. So I’m probably a worse drive in that sense, but Ashton is awful with directions and never knows where to go. Also, if he’s talking to me while he’s driving, he’ll just blow by a turn that we were supposed to make. He can’t do two things at one time.

Ashton: I’m a much better driver than Brianne. She has the worst road rage imaginable and it wasn’t until this year that I found out why. I’ve visited her hometown a bunch of times and where she’s from is very small and very remote. Last summer we went camping with her parents there and we had to drive two and half hours to the campsite. During that time we probably saw five cars. So I complained to Brianne about her road rage for so long, but then I finally understood. If there’s a car in front of her she just gets pissed off and it’s because she grew up for 20 years never having to deal with it.

Do you two have any pet names for one another?
Brianne: I call him Ash and he calls me Bri.

Ashton: Yeah I call her Britree, Treeanne and any name that has Bri in the beginning and some made up ending.

What was the worst gift you’ve ever gotten from one another?
Brianne: He hasn’t given a bad gift. We don’t usually give things as gifts, more experiences, so we’ll do something like go out for a weekend of wine tasting or he’ll take me to the spa. I like that kind of stuff.

Ashton: I can’t give you an answer because I don’t know. I have no idea. Maybe it was a candle or something. When we were in college we would spend money on each other because we didn’t know any better, and after a while we got to the point where there wasn’t much left that we could give each other in that form. So when we started spending more time together. We realized we like doing fun and unique things together and decided that was a good gift.

Who’s the money saver and who’s the money spender?
Brianne: I would say we’re pretty equal. I like clothes and shoes and bags and he likes technology items like Xbox. Neither of us spends more than the other one and we’re both on the same page with saving and spending.

Ashton: Brianne has a very financial mind. She’s definitely more of the saver. The things that I get tend to be more expensive. I don’t necessarily like spending money, I like saving it more, but I do get things like Xbox games without a second thought. I have to try out anything technology related that peaks my interest.

How do you grab each other’s attention?
Brianne: I’ll start with, hey Ash? And his mom does it, too. He says that is the most annoying thing he can ever hear because he knows it’s going to follow up with something that he has to do. His mom did it to him all throughout growing up and now I do it. So I’m trying to stop saying that.

Ashton: To get her attention I’ll just say her name, but I’ll do it like a joke, like I’m completely helpless.

What is the most popular food dish at the Eaton household?
Brianne: Our most popular snack is greek yogurt. Our go to meal would be quinoa or couscous or chicken and vegetables because that’s easy and quick to make. We drink a lot of water and gatorade at practice, but drink a lot of fizzy water at home.

Ashton: Something with pasta or noodles is always my go to. Or it could be steak. We don’t cook it, but we always get Thai food and really like Thai noodles.

Read more: ArmoryTrack.com – News – Ashton and Brianne Play the Newlywed Game http://www.armorytrack.com/gprofile.php?mgroup_id=45586&do=news&news_id=294283#ixzz3HUoVu6gi

Jeff Huntoon hired to position of Combined Events and Jumps Coach for Athletics Canada

Jeff Huntoon and Derek Drouin  photo by Zach Hetrick

Jeff Huntoon and Derek Drouin photo by Zach Hetrick


Jeff Huntoon hired to position of Combined Events and Jumps Coach


Athletics Canada announced today the hiring of Jeff Huntoon to the position of Combined Events and Jumps Coach. Huntoon will work out of Athletics Canada’s Eastern High Performance Hub in Toronto, Ont.


Jeff Huntoon on joining Athletics Canada, “It’s a great opportunity at a very good time in my career to join Athletics Canada. Over the past few years it’s been a distinct privilege to be a part of some of Canada’s, arguably, greatest track and field moments. I look forward to assisting in the continued development of this momentum.”


Huntoon is the personal coach of Canadian high jumper Derek Drouin. On the international stage the Huntoon/Drouin duo combined for Olympic, World Championship and Commonwealth Games’ medals. He has also coached 5 Olympians in four different events, 5 national champions from three different countries and athletes to 6 national records.


“This is a great hire for Athletics Canada,” said Peter Eriksson, Athletics Canada Head Coach. “Jeff comes in with an impressive track record of international success in sprints and jumps. He will be an important asset to the East Hub and a great addition to the Canadian system as a whole.”


The Kenosha, Wisconsin native counts 25 years of coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level. Most recently he was associate Head Coach of Track and Field and Cross Country at Indiana University (2007 to 2014). With the Hoosiers he coached 5 NCAA national Champions, mentored 24 NCAA All-Americans performances and helped lead the Hoosiers to 12 individual and 2 team Big Ten NCAA Championships.




For more information:
Mathieu Gentès

Director, Public Relations & Corporate Services
Athletics Canada
613 260 5580 ext. 3303


Jeff Huntoon est embauché au poste d’entraîneur des épreuves combinées et des sauts


Athlétisme Canada a annoncé, aujourd’hui, l’embauche de Jeff Huntoon au poste d’entraîneur des épreuves combinées et des sauts. Huntoon travaillera au Centre de haute performance de l’Est d’Athlétisme Canada à Toronto, en Ontario.


Jeff Huntoon à propos de se joindre à Athlétisme Canada: «C’est une excellente occasion à un très bon moment dans ma carrière de me joindre à Athlétisme Canada. Au cours des dernières années, cela a été un immense privilège de faire partie de certains, sans discussion, des plus grands moments de l’athlétisme du Canada. J’ai hâte d’aider au développement constant de ce momentum.»


Huntoon est l’entraîneur personnel du sauteur en hauteur canadien Derek Drouin. Sur la scène internationale, le duo Huntoon/Drouin s’est uni pour remporter des médailles aux Jeux olympiques, aux championnats du monde et aux Jeux du Commonwealth. Il a aussi entraîné cinq olympiens dans quatre différentes épreuves, cinq champions nationaux de trois différents pays et des athlètes pour six records nationaux.


«C’est une excellente embauche pour Athlétisme Canada, a dit Peter Eriksson, l’entraîneur-chef d’Athlétisme Canada. Jeff nous arrive avec un impressionnant dossier de succès internationaux dans les sprints et les sauts. Il sera un atout important au Centre de l’Est et un excellent ajout au système canadien dans son ensemble.»


L’homme originaire de Kenosha, au Wisconsin, compte 25 ans d’expérience comme entraîneur au niveau de la division I de la NCAA. Plus récemment il a été entraîneur-chef associé d’athlétisme et de cross-country à l’Université d’Indiana (2007 à 2014). Avec les Hoosiers il a entrainé cinq champions nationaux de la NCAA,  a agit comme mentor pour 24 étoiles de la NCAA et il a aidé à conduire l’équipe à 12 championnats individuel et deux d’équipe du Big Ten de la NCAA.




Pour obtenir plus d’information:
Mathieu Gentès

Directeur, relations publiques et services corporatifs
Athlétisme Canada
613 260 5580 poste 3303


Athletics Canada announces new identity, launches new logo

Today Athletics Canada, the national governing body for track and field, cross country, road running and road racing, is extremely excited to launch its new logo as well as announce plans around the organization’s new identity.

Athletics Canada’s new bilingual logo comprises a full maple leaf surrounded by an oval track / running loop.

Rob Guy

Rob Guy

“In recent years the organization has grown and has set a new strategic direction of increasing participation and improving international performances in a positive sport atmosphere. Athletics Canada is an organization that offers opportunities for all people of all abilities; we are Athletics in Canada,” said Rob Guy, Chief Executive Officer. “We felt it was time for a new brand and a new logo to go with this new identity.”

The process to develop a new identity started almost a year ago and included submissions from the general athletics community.

Today’s launch is the first step in the organization’s identity makeover. In the coming weeks Athletics Canada will release iconic sport representations which, along with the main logo, will make up the overall Athletics Canada brand. January 2015 will see the final piece of the puzzle in the overhaul with the inauguration of a new website.

The full maple leaf and track / running loop logo identifies Athletics Canada in its simplest form. The complete identity is found in the visuals that form the overall brand. Together they articulate a visual system that best represents Athletics Canada, enhancing its value and continually building its profile.

The new brand includes a complete colour palette as well as usage and typography guidelines. The brand, along with the soon to be released website will serve as the cornerstone in Athletics Canada’s communication and marketing strategy for years to come.


Athlétisme Canada annonce une nouvelle identité, lance un nouveau logo

Aujourd’hui, Athlétisme Canada, l’organisme national de régie pour l’athlétisme, le cross-country et la course sur route, est extrêmement excité de lancer son nouveau logo ainsi que d’annoncer les plans à propos de la nouvelle identité de l’organisation.

Le nouveau logo bilingue d’Athlétisme Canada se compose d’une feuille d’érable complète entourée d’une piste ovale / boucle de course.

«Dans les récentes années l’organisation a grandi et a établi une nouvelle direction stratégique pour augmenter la participation et améliorer les performances internationales dans une atmosphère sportive positive. Athlétisme Canada est une organisation qui offre des occasions pour tous les gens de toutes les capacités; nous sommes l’athlétisme au Canada, a dit Rob Guy, chef de la direction. Nous croyons que c’est le moment pour une nouvelle marque et un nouveau logo pour aller avec cette nouvelle identité.»

Le processus pour établir une nouvelle identité a débuté il y a presque un an et a inclus des soumissions par la collectivité générale de l’athlétisme.

Le lancement d’aujourd’hui est la première étape dans la transformation de l’identité de l’organisation. Dans les prochaines semaines Athlétisme Canada annoncera des représentations sportives emblématiques qui, avec le logo principal, composeront la marque globale d’Athlétisme Canada. Janvier 2015 verra le dernier morceau du casse-tête dans le remaniement avec l’inauguration d’un nouveau site Internet.

Le logo de la feuille d’étable complète et la piste / boucle de course identifie Athlétisme Canada dans sa forme la plus simple. L’identité complète se trouve dans les images qui forment la marque globale. Ensembles elles articulent un système visuel qui représente le mieux Athlétisme Canada, améliorant sa valeur et bâtissant constamment son image.

La nouvelle marque inclut une palette complète de couleurs ainsi que des directives d’utilisation et de typographie. La marque, avec le nouveau site Internet qui sera bientôt lancé, serviront de pilier dans la stratégie de communication et de marketing d’Athlétisme Canada pour les années à venir.


Plans for Toronto track centre scrapped

Phylicia George   photo by Claus Anderson

Phylicia George photo by Claus Anderson

TORONTO – Plans to redevelop the Toronto Track and Field Centre for the 2015 Pan American Games have been scrapped, leaving Canada’s top sprinters outraged.

And delays in replacing the centre’s indoor track at York University have left the athletes literally out in the cold.

A spokesman for the Pan Am Games organizing committee confirmed Friday that the plans, which included building a new weight room and meeting rooms, and extending the straightaway of the indoor 200-metre track at York, have been cancelled.

“We remain hopeful that the expanded legacy component for the track and field centre will happen post-Games,” said Teddy Katz, the chief spokesman for TO2015.

It’s bad news for Canada’s top sprinters, who are preparing for the Games in a tiny, cramped room at York.

“We had this expectation coming into the year where we thought, ‘This is going to be so amazing, we’re going to have an indoor facility, we felt like we were really being taken care of, Pan Ams are coming so everything is going to be great, and it’s going to be the perfect setup for Rio (2016 Olympics),” said hurdler Phylicia George.

“But it’s been the total flip of that where we’re kind of out on our own, like ‘Figure things out for yourself, and get it done however you can get it done.’ It’s frustrating. We try not to harp on it every day, because that’s the reality of the situation, I still have to train, I still want to go to Pan Ams and compete well, I can’t be sitting down and crying about it.

“We’re doing what we can to make sure we can be ready. But is it optimal situation? No, not at all.”

George, who was sixth in the 100-metre hurdles at the 2012 London Olympics, trains year-round at York with a national training group that includes Olympic bronze medallist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, and the members of Canada’s men’s relay team that won bronze at the 2013 world championships.

A small room inside the fieldhouse — a building that has barely changed since the days Ben Johnson and Angela Issajenko powered down its track — is where they lift weights, receive massages, soak in ice baths and hold meetings. There can be a couple dozen people squeezed in at one time.

There is one squat rack and one lifting platform, so there’s invariably a lineup to use it, George said.

“When it’s really busy, it can get pretty chaotic,” said Dontae Richards-Kwok, a member of Canada’s relay team. “That’s our weight room, that’s where we have our meetings, that’s where we have the treatment people come in. . . we can have two therapists doing massages, and our coaches might be in there, all our backpacks and stuff. You can imagine with 20 people in the room, that’s only 20 feet by 10 feet maybe, it can get pretty hectic.”

Adding to their frustration, problems with the resurfacing of the indoor track have delayed its opening, so the sprinters have been training on another outdoor track at a different location in the city, which they often share with the Toronto Argonauts. They would normally move indoors at the first sign of cold weather.

“It’s frustrating,”George said. “You want to know that you can be training at your best, and putting your best in, and it just kind of seems like when these things are planned or done, it wasn’t well thought out, and the athlete’s ability to train wasn’t necessarily taken into consideration.”

George said they haven’t been informed when the track might re-open. The group is leaving for St. Kitts for a warm-weather camp Nov. 20, and she said worst-case scenario is they wouldn’t be back inside before then.

The $45.5-million CIBC Stadium is beside the fieldhouse and will host track and field for both the Pan Ams and Parapan Ams. It’s jointly funded by the federal government and York University but is owned by the City of Toronto.

“York University representatives did participate in conversations about enhancements to the Toronto Track and Field Centre but there was no formal agreement, project plan or budget to move forward,” university spokesperson Joanne Rider said in an email. “We are open to exploring potential enhancements following the Games.”

Katz couldn’t specify the reasons for pulling the plug on the fieldhouse expansion, which Athletics Canada officials applauded when the plan was unveiled two years ago.

“I completely understand (the athletes’) frustration,” said Athletics Canada CEO Rob Guy. “Here’s these athletes who have put their lives on hold, and are trying to win medals for Canada, and there’s this great opportunity there and there’s as many questions as answers right now.”

The timing of the upheaval, Guy added, couldn’t be worse.

“Brutal. Brutal,” he said. “We’ve got Pan Am Games where we’re being asked to have our best athletes, and the best prepared they can be, and we’ve got a world championships in Beijing in August, and Rio is 650-some odd days away, and we’ve got these issues. It’s not good.”

The July 10-26 Pan Am Games and Aug. 7-15 Parapan Games, which are being held at venues across southern Ontario, are expected to cost about $2.5 billion, including security, transportation and the athletes village.

By Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press


Meet two Canadians who believe winning is their only option.

Meet two Canadians who believe winning is their only option

By Callum Ng

Purple and white are uniquely familiar to

decathlete Damian Warner.

Western University’s distinctive hues are indelibly

associated with the hypoxic cloud of hard running

workouts at Don Wright Track.

And four thousand kilometres to the west,

Oregon’s green and yellow represent collegiate pride for

heptathlete Brianne Theisen-Eaton, who spends her time

toiling at legendary Hayward Field.

Splashed on either side of the continent, the colours could not be more distinct. Yet both combinations have this in common: they adorn places where the first true goal is to win.

Canada’s Damian Warner, right, winner of the men’s decathlon and Canada’s Brianne Theisen, winner of the women’s heptathlon, pose for the media after the Hypo Meeting in Goetzis, Austria, on Sunday, May 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)” data-medium-file=”http://cdnolympic.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/bte_warner_austria.jpg?w=556″ data-large-file=”http://cdnolympic.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/bte_warner_austria.jpg?w=1131″ />

Oregon’s Brianne Theisen dries off her shot put in the rain as she prepares for the shot put portion of the heptathlon during the first day of the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., Wednesday, June 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)” data-medium-file=”http://cdnolympic.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/bte_oregon.jpg?w=294″ data-large-file=”http://cdnolympic.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/bte_oregon.jpg?w=598″ />

For Theisen-Eaton and Warner, the fall of 2014 is when the march to Olympic glory truly begins. Both captured Commonwealth Games gold medals this summer and took extended breaks. Now, with 667 days to the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony, it’s time to go back to work.

“From here on out I think it’s safe to say I want to win everything,” says Theisen-Eaton from her home in Eugene, Oregon, before laughing. But not nervously. The 25-year-old isn’t afraid to proclaim her expectations. “In Rio I want the gold medal,” she says, a possibility backed up by her silver from the 2013 World Championships.

Russia Athletics Worlds

Theisen-Eaton did her first heptathlon the summer between ninth and 10th grades, encouraged by her coach with the Saskatoon Track Club. She cried afterwards. Yet her score was high and enough evidence to coax her into trying again.

After a decorated NCAA career, seasons in which she did up to five heptathlons, the exhaustion behind those high school tears hasn’t abated. Seven events over two days requires a minimum of three weeks to recover from. It ends with the distance run. “Going into the 800 you’re always saying to yourself, ‘Why do I do this, this isn’t fun, I want to retire, this is too stressful, I’m nuts’” Theisen-Eaton explains. And in the somewhat humorous and maniacal way athletes can be, “As soon as you’re across the finish line you’re like, ‘That was awesome I can’t wait to do it again.’”

Except after London 2012 when Theisen-Eaton considered never doing it again. The contrast between collegiate domination and Olympic anonymity weighed on the Canadian, who finished 11th. Again, she paraphrases her thoughts: “The Olympic year I went in there and nobody knew who I was, I thought “What’s the point?”

If it’s not a medal why does it even matter? – Brianne Theisen-Eaton on London 2012

Brianne Thiesen

She left London incredibly shaken. The return to her training duo in the fall of 2012 with then-fiancé and US Olympic champion Ashton Eaton (who curiously is Warner’s main competition in Rio) marked a memorable shift. Eaton carried the weariness of a successful Olympic year. Brianne immediately announced her restlessness to storied coach Harry Marra. “I had a fire, I want to win medals I want to be in contention or I’m not going to have fun and I should just quit,” she recalls.

At the world championships in Moscow, one year after London, Theisen-Eaton finished with heptathlon silver. She calls it her latest breakthrough.

Damian Warner won a bronze medal in Moscow, a more incremental improvement on his fifth place from London 2012.

A basketball player in high school Warner only started decathlon in 2010. “My first decathlon we had this whole plan, it just poured rain and it was windy and cold. Nothing went according to plan,” he says looking back. But Warner stuck with it and is now mentioned next to Ashton Eaton as one of the best multi-event men in the world. Warner shot into the decathlon elite starting from 2011 World Championships where he was 18th to this summer’s win in Glasgow.

Britain Commonwealth Games

Like Theisen-Eaton, his sole Olympic experience outside of podium contention was enough.  “It’s either you’re going there to just be there and I’ve done that before I don’t want to do that again or you go there to win and that’s the goal,” says Warner. To close the gap from his current best score of 8512 to Eaton’s world record 9039 Warner believes his best opportunities lie with the long jump, pole vault and 400 metre run.

Long-time Western coach Vickie Croley oversees Warner’s jumping and says he has the ability to win. She also applauds self-belief. “We need our Canadian athletes to have that kind of confidence,” she comments during a conversation last month.

He’s not looking at going to Rio and finishing behind Ashton Eaton he’s looking at going and winning gold – coach Vickie Croley on Damian Warner

Theisen-Eaton and Warner are preparing an entire continent apart for Rio, with the 2015 World Championships the next major step (Warner also hopes to do the ‘dec’ at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games).

It may be a tired sporting adage to always be training for gold. Yet the fresh resolve and unabashed confidence from two of Canada’s top athletes is becoming more common, and happily on the summer stage where it is sorely needed.

By Callum Ng

Writer + Broadcaster, current Senior Writer/Producer for Olympic.ca – Dreamer, doer and raconteur. Find what you love.

Other Posts By: Callum Ng

Liz Gleadle takes third at World Continental Cup in Marrakech

Liz Gleadle by Claus Andersen

Liz Gleadle by Claus Andersen

It took her three rounds to come to life, but when she did Barbora Spotakova showed her class to take the expected eight points for Europe in an event that’s only twice been won by non-Europeans.

After missing 2013 to have her first child, the world record-holder completed her near-perfect comeback season to become the first Czech to win the women’s javelin at the World or Continental Cup.

She produced her best effort of 65.52m, an African all-comers’ record, in round three to relegate South Africa’s Sunette Viljoen to second place, just where she finished four years ago.

Spotakova had trailed the four-time African champion by almost a metre at half way, 62.17m to Viljoen’s 63.16m, and when the South African improved to 63.76m, she responded with her best throw of the contest.

The two-time Olympic champion has won seven contests this year, including the European Championships in Zurich last month, and was beaten just once, by Canadian record-holder Liz Gleadle at the Birmingham IAAF Diamond League meeting in August.

That performance secured Gleadle’s place on the Americas team for Marrakech and the 25-year-old did her continent proud this evening, picking up six points in third place with a best of 61.38m.

In 2010, it was Australian Kim Mickle who finished third for the Asia-Pacific team, but this time the Commonwealth Games champion and Moscow world silver medallist had to settle for fourth with a throw of 61.33m, while Germany’s European bronze medallist Linda Stahl, the world No.2 this year, was fifth, well short of her best with 60.14m.

Matthew Brown for the IAAF

Canada goes to Marrakech

Derek Drouin by Claus Andersen

Derek Drouin by Claus Andersen

Two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games headliners of the Continental Cup IAAF

August 27, 2014

OTTAWA - Ten Canadian athletes were named to the Americas team that will go to Marrakech, Morocco, for the 2014 Continental Cup of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which will take place on September 13 and 14. As headliners of the team, are the recent Commonwealth Games gold medalists Derek Drouin of Corunna, Ont., And Sultana Frizell of Perth, Ont.Athletes are selected for this team invitational in each region of the IAAF. Representatives of the Americas were invited by considering the international rankings.

Derek Drouin will compete in the high jump, following a season in which he set the Canadian record, clearing 2.40 meters.

Sultana Frizell

Sultana Frizell

Sultana Frizell, who carried the Canadian flag at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, will compete in the women’s hammer throw.

The new Canadian record holder, Jessica Furlan of Regina, Sask., Will race in the 3000 meter steeplechase female.

Liz Gleadle

Liz Gleadle

Elizabeth Gleadle of Vancouver, BC, will participate in the women’s javelin throw. She finished fifth at the Commonwealth Games, and has improved his Canadian record twice.

Matthew Hughes of Oshawa, Ont., Made a breakthrough last season, ranking sixth in the men’s 3000 meter steeplechase at the World Championship, thanks to a Canadian record. Hughes finished fourth at the Commonwealth Games.

Cam Levins

Cam Levins of Black Creek, BC, will run the men’s 5,000 meters. He won the bronze at the Commonwealth Games in the men’s 10,000 meters.

Christabel Nettey of Surrey, BC, won the bronze medal at the Commonwealth during the women’s long jump Games. She will represent Canada and the Americas in the same event at the Continental Cup.

Jessica O’Connell of Calgary, Alta., Will compete in the women’s 3,000 meters. She participated in the same event at the Commonwealth Games.

Charles Philibert-Thiboutot appreciates crowd   photo by  Rita Ivanauskas

Charles Philibert-Thiboutot appreciates crowd photo by
Rita Ivanauskas

Charles Philibert-Thiboutot, of Quebec City, QC, has had a great season. He concludes with an appearance in the men’s 1,500 meters. This will be his first experience at a major international event on the world stage.

Nicole Sifuentes of Winnipeg, Man., Won bronze at the World Indoor Championships this season, and finished fourth at the Commonwealth Games. Sifuentes compete in the women’s 1,500 meters.

Continental Cup IAAF, formerly known as World Athletics Cup, held every four years.

For more information on the Continental Cup in 2014, whose schedule of Canadians in action, please click here .


Alysha Newman closes CWG with Canada’s 17th track and field medal

Alysha Newman

Alysha Newman

Athletics closes at Commonwealth Games; Alysha Newman adds bronze to total medal count of 17  

Glasgow, SCO - Alysha Newman of Delaware, Ont., won the bronze medal today bringing the Canadian total at the 2014 Commonwealth Games to 17; 5 gold, 2 silver and 10 bronze.

On the rainiest day the track has seen since opening the competition at Hampden Park on July 27th, Alysha Newman finished with the bronze medal clearing 3.80 metres in the pole vault. “You know, everyone was in the same conditions. I did what I could and I got third so I am happy; I am leaving with a medal,” comments Alysha. “My first Commonwealth Games, 20 years old, I think that is pretty good. My expectations were to win, whatever that height was going to be I wanted to win and it didn’t happen but that’s ok. Whatever the building blocks are I have to build from those and I am going to do that.”

In the women’s 5000-metres Jessica O’Connell of Calgary, Alta., finished 10th in 15:45.33.

4x400m women by Claus Andersen

4x400m women by Claus Andersen

The women’s 4×400-metre relay of Audrey Jean-Baptiste of Montreal, Que., Fawn Dorr of Marten River, Ont., Noelle Montcalm of Belle River, Ont., and Chanice Taylor-Chase of Ajax, Ont., finished fifth in 3:32.45. “We had a group of excellent athletes who were young and inexperienced and they did really well,” comments Event Group Coach Anthony McCleary. “Audrey ran a great leg, her first year on an international team; Fawn and Noelle ran excellent, and then Chanice closed with a strong anchor leg. These girls can do a bit down the road and I am looking forward to working with them.”

Shai Davis,Crystal Emmanueal and Kimberly  Hyacinthe  by Claus Andersen

Shai Davis,Crystal Emmanueal and Kimberly Hyacinthe by Claus Andersen

The women’s 4×100-metres relay team of Crystal Emmanuel of East York, Ont., Kimberly Hyacinthe of Lachenaie, Que., Phylicia George of Markham, Ont., and Khamica Bingham of Caledon, Ont., raced to a fourth place finish in 43.33 seconds. “This is just the start of the women’s 4×100 program and I think we did an amazing job,” comments third leg runner Phylicia George. “Once we get next year and a few years under us we will be on the podium. We dream big, we aim high, we really felt like we could win a medal here so it is a little bit disappointing, but we are going to keep working so next year Pan Ams, Worlds, Olympics we are going to get on the podium.”

4x100 CWG by Claus Andersen

4×100 CWG by Claus Andersen

In the men’s race Gavin Smellie of Etobicoke, Ont., Aaron Brown of Toronto, Ont., Dontae Richards-Kwok of Toronto, Ont., and Andre De Grasse of Markham, Ont., did not finish the race after an exchange went too long on the last pass. “I felt like our first legs were really strong,” notes Dontae. “I think it is important to get our zones right and we just had a miss-communication and I don’t know if he left early or maybe I was coming in to slow.”


Overall the Canadian team is coming home with 17 medals; “The team performed above expectations,” explains Head Coach Peter Eriksson. “I am pleased with the team, their performances and all of the staff. Even though the competition was tougher then what we saw in Delhi we saw performances at a higher level. This is a young team and they are hungry to do more.”


17 Medal Winners

Name Event Hometown
Gold -    
Derek Drouin

Sultana Frizell
Jim Steacy
Brianne Theisen-Eaton
Damian Warner

High Jump

Hammer Throw

Hammer Throw



Corunna, ON

Perth, ON

Lethbridge, AB

Humboldt, SK

London, ON

Silver -    
Diane Roy

Jessica Zelinka

T54 1500m


Sherbrooke, QC

London, ON

Shawnacy Barber

Alexandre Dupont

Julie Labonté

Cameron Levins

Michael Mason

Tim Nedow

Christabel Nettey
Alysha Newman

Kate Van Buskirk

Angela Whyte

Pole Vault

T54 1500m

Shot Put


High Jump

Shot Put

Long Jump

Pole Vault


100m Hurdles

Toronto, ON

Clarenceville, QC

Ste-Justine, QC

Black Creek, BC

Nanoose Bay, BC

Brockville, ON

Surrey, BC

Delaware, ON

Toronto, ON

Edmonton, AB

For more information click here.


Emily Hooper

Coordinator, Marketing and Communications, Athletics Canada
Media Attaché, Commonwealth Games Canada

Medal Count now at 16 for Canadian Track and Field Team in Glasgow

Cam Levins

Shawnacy Barber, Cameron Levins and Angela Whyte all win Bronze at Commonwealth Games  

Glasgow, SCO - Three bronze were added to the Commonwealth Games medal haul today bringing the total Athletics (Track & Field) count at the Games to 16. Shawnacy Barber of Toronto, Ont., Cam Levins of Black Creek, B.C., and Angela Whyte of Edmonton, Alta., all made their way onto the podium.

Shawn Barber

Shawn Barber

Shawnacy Barber opened the competition winning bronze in the pole vault clearing 5.45 metres. “Well I hoped to be on the podium and I got that done so I am very happy with that,” comments Shawnacy. “I think between maybe four of us out there we all had a chance at silver and gold but it always comes down to the day.”

Cam Levins by Claus Andersen

Cam Levins by Claus Andersen

In the men’s 10000-metres Cameron Levins flew down the home stretch for the bronze medal in 27:56.23; just behind Cam was Mohammed Ahmed of St. Catharines, Ont., for sixth in 28:02.96. “I started tying up the last 50 metres,” notes Cam. “I was hoping they wouldn’t catch me but they did and I hopefully will learn from that. I am so happy to be on the podium; this is my first time. I hope I can only do better from here but I will enjoy this moment and go back and train harder.”

Angela Whyte and Melissa Bishop   photo by Claus Andersen

Angela Whyte and Melissa Bishop photo by Claus Andersen

Angela Whyte ended the night with a podium finish in the women’s 100-metres hurdles crossing the line in 13.02 seconds. “The time wasn’t the greatest, I have been struggling all year long and to tell you the truth I was down on myself, I didn’t look too hopeful (for a medal),” comments Angela. “My team mates, they really had a lot of faith in me and I just had to fight. I fought for 13.02; which is not something that is normal. You can’t be mad with a medal from Commonwealth Games and I am just always happy to represent Canada and do the best that I can.”

In the women’s 800-metres final Melissa Bishop of Eganville, Ont., finished eighth in 2:02.61. “I had a great two days, the ultimate goal was to get to the final and anything else is a bonus. I am happy to be here, hope it is a building block for things to come.”

Matt Hughes

Matt Hughes

In the men’s steeplechase Matthew Hughes of Oshawa, Ont., led the Canadian contingent with a fourth place finish in 8:21.88. “You know I thought my prep and fitness coming in was good,” notes Matt. “I told myself at the start of the games I would be disappointed with anything but a medal. Not to put too much pressure on myself because I’m so young in the sport, but I don’t want to be one of those people that just is happy to be here, in top 5 or top 10, I am here to win a race.”

Chris Winter of Vancouver, B.C., finished sixth in 8:29.83 and Taylor Milne was disqualified after the race.

In the women’s discus final Julie Labonté of Ste-Justine, Que., finished 12th with 52.30 metres. “I had a good warm up throw but I don’t think it would have been enough to get top eight,” notes Julie. “My throws were not consistent, it was like there was a wall in front of me! It didn’t go as well as I thought it was going to.”

Qualification Rounds

In the women’s 4×400-metre relay the team of Audrey Jean-Baptiste of Montreal, Que., Fawn Dorr of Marten River, Ont., Noelle Montcalm of Belle River, Ont., and Chanice Taylor-Chase of Ajax Ont., finished third in their heat in 3:31.02 for an automatic qualification into tomorrows final.


Daundre Barnaby of Brampton, Ont., Philip Osei of Toronto, Ont., Brendon Rodney of Toronto, Ont., and Michael Robertson of Williamstown, Ont., were disqualified after they thought they had placed second in their heat. The disqualification was Rule 170.19; starting outside of the takeover zone.


The women’s 4×100-metre relay team of Crystal Emmanuel of East York, Ont., Kimberly Hyacinthe of Lachenaie, Que., Phylicia George of Markham, Ont., and Khamica Bingham of Caledon, Ont., placed third for the automatic qualification in 43.66.

The men’s 4×100-metre relay team also qualified by finishing second in their heat. Gavin Smellie of Etobicoke, Ont., Aaron Brown of Toronto, Ont., Dontae Richards-Kwok of Toronto, Ont., and Andre De Grasse of Markham, Ont., clocked 38.41 seconds.

Aside from the relays, tomorrow will feature Alysha Newman of Delaware, Ont., in the women’s pole vault along with Jessica O’Connell of Calgary, Alta., in the women’s 5000-metres.

For more information click here.

Emily Hooper
Coordinator, Marketing and Communications, Athletics Canada
Media Attaché, Commonwealth Games Canada

3 more medals for Canadian trackstars

Diane Roy   photo by Claus Andersen

Diane Roy photo by Claus Andersen

Diane Roy takes Silver; Alexandre Dupont and Christabel Nettey claim Bronze in Glasgow


Veuillez cliquer ici pour la version française


Glasgow, SCO - The Canadian track and field team won three more medals today in athletics competition at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland. Diane Roy of Sherbrooke, Que., won silver, Alex Dupont of Clarenceville, Que., and Christabel Nettey of Surrey, B.C., picked up bronze medals. To date Athletics Canada has won a total of 13 medals; 5 gold, 2 silver and 6 bronze.


Diane Roy aggressively led the women’s wheelchair 1500-metres race but was edged at the finish line by Angela Ballard of Australia who finished in 3:59.20. Roy was a close second in 3:59.55.”I’m happy with my race, I’m not happy with the result,” said Roy. “It was hard to be in front the whole way, but it was a good thing because there was a lot of rain and when you are behind, you receive a lot of water. I started to sprint with 400-metres to go, maybe I started to sprint too soon, it killed me at the end.”


Alex Dupont by Claus Andersen.

Alex Dupont by Claus Andersen.

In the men’s wheelchair 1500-metres Alex Dupont raced to bronze in 3.23.62. “These Games have been amazing. This is the only event where our medals count like everyone else’s so it’s an amazing opportunity for us.” Alex adds; “I’m very, very happy. The wet track for us changes the game completely. I know for runners it does too, because it’s slipperier, but for us it can go from being the very best athlete to the worst.”


Josh Cassidy of Ottawa, Ont., placed sixth in 3:27.24 after getting out to a fast start. “It felt good until I was trying to max out and it was just slipping,” said Cassidy. “I obviously have more to figure out when it comes to max sprints during the rain.” He adds; “The crowds were awesome in there and it’s really exciting to be a part of this Canadian team again. I’m really looking forward to the big one, Rio, and Pan Ams before that, so all these are just great stepping stones to work things out for the big ones that matter most.”


Cristabel Nettey   photos by Claus Andersen

Cristabel Nettey photos by Claus Andersen

In the women’s long jump Christabel Nettey of Surrey, B.C., registered a best jump of 6.49-metres to secure bronze, and the third track and field medal of the day. ”The rain was hard to adjust to, but coming into only my second major Championship and medalling I can only grow from that,” said Nettey. “I am happy to bring the medal home for Canada. Adjusting to the rain and the wind, medal ceremonies and all that waiting, it was hard but that is just track and field and you adjust. Unfortunately I couldn’t get it done today (for gold) but I am still happy.”


Noelle Montcalm   photo by Claus Andersen

Noelle Montcalm photo by Claus Andersen

In the women’s 400-metres hurdles Noelle Montcalm of Belle River, Ont., placed fifth in the final. “It went pretty well. I went slower than my qualifying time by two-hundredths, but still a respectable time for me, so I’m pleased with how it went,” comments Noelle. “I was happy with my stride pattern, my race pattern. I tried to stick with them, but being in lane two I had a good look at everybody. It’s hard to stay focused in your own lane when you see the rest of the lanes moving ahead, so I just tried to remain in my own lane and finish as fast as I could.”

Chanice Taylor-Chase of Ajax, Ont., did not finish the race.


Angela Whyte of Edmonton, Alta., won her heat of the 100-metres hurdles in 13.33 seconds to secure her spot in tomorrow’s final. Phylicia George of Markham, Ont., finished fifth in her heat in 13.66 and does not advance to the final.


Julie Labonté of Ste-Justine, Que., qualified for the women’s discus final tomorrow with a throw of 50.32-metres.


Kimberly Hyacinthe of Lachenaie, Que., qualified earlier in the day for the women’s 200-metres final clocking 23.14 seconds in her semi-final. She went on to finish seventh in the final in 23.11 seconds. Shai-Anne Davis of Richmond, B.C., and Crystal Emmanuel of East York, Ont., did not advance into the final, clocking 23.48 and 23.40 respectively in the semis.


In the men’s 200-metres Andre De Grasse of Markham, Ont., and Brendon Rodney of Toronto, Ont., did not advance to the final with times of 20.73 and 20.89 respectively in the semis. Gavin Smellie of Etobicoke, Ont., qualified for the final with a run of 20.54 seconds. In the final Gavin finished eight in 20.55 seconds. ”It was a great experience being in the final but at the same time you still want to make something happen,” commented Gavin. “Lane one was a bit tough, I have to take it as it is. Only thing to do now is to move on and stay motivated. We’ve got the relay tomorrow.”

Melissa Bishop of Eganville, Ont., qualified for tomorrow’s 800-metres final placing second in her semi-final in 2:01.86. Jessica Smith of North Vancouver, B.C., did not advance with a time of 2:04.42.


A look at tomorrow

Gavin Smellie, Aaron Brown of Toronto, Ont., Dontae Richards-Kwok of Toronto, Ont., and Andre De Grasse will step into action in the heats of the men’s 4×100-metres.

Tomorrow will also see the heats of the women’s 4×100-metres, women’s 4×400-metres and men’s 4×400-metres.


The men’s 3000-metres steeplechase will feature three Canadians; Matthew Hughes of Oshawa, Ont., Taylor Milne of Guelph, Ont., and Chris Winter of Vancouver, B.C.

The men’s pole vault final will see Shawnacy Barber of Toronto, Ont., enter action.

Lining up in the men’s 10000-metres final will be Mohammed Ahmed of St. Catharines, Ont., and Cameron Levins of Black Creek, B.C.


For more information click here.




Emily Hooper
Coordinator, Marketing and Communications, Athletics Canada
Media Attaché, Commonwealth Games Canada