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Team Canada celebrates Olympic Day at the Centre Sportif du Stade Olympique in Montreal, Que. on Friday, May 31, 2019 (Photo: Johany Jutras/COC)Johany Jutras/COC
Johany Jutras/COC

Canadian Olympic Foundation Unveils 6th Edition of Future Olympians Fund Award Recipients

Canadian developmental road cyclist Kiara Lylyk says her favourite aspect of her sport is that a place on the podium can be achieved by effort, hard work and practice.

And the 19-year-old Guelph (Ont.) native definitely makes sure to get her practice hours in.

Earlier this year, Lylyk made her way to the Netherlands to compete in road races to experience the various international routes she’ll bike over the years on her journey to one day represent Team Canada at the Olympic Games.

“I love to ride my bike and the work ethic comes naturally,” the NextGen athlete and Paris 2024 hopeful says. “I’m looking forward to the day when my consistent work translates to not just being on the start line of a big race, but being competitive to cross the line first.”

As a developmental athlete in 2022, Lylyk represented Canada at the UCI World Championships in the junior women’s road race in Australia. 

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the Canadian Olympic Foundation is able to dedicate resources toward Next Gen athletes, like Lylyk, and their coaches through the Future Olympians Fund (FOF) Award. 

The Future Olympians Fund launched in 2013 with the goal to support high-level athlete-coach relationships to propel the next generation of Olympians and their coaches forward on the pathway to the podium. The award grants athlete and coach recipients with $5,000 each for two years. In the past 10 years, 48 athletes and 54 coaches have benefitted from the fund. 

“The Future Olympians Fund is pivotal in helping me learn and progress by being able to say yes to big opportunities. I can race my bike around the world and gain the experience I need to one day pursue the Olympic Games!” said Lylyk.

Athletes can use the award funds to support their high-performance training expenses such as equipment and development costs to advance the pursuit of their Olympic dreams. 

In past years, Future Olympians Fund resources have also been used to provide coaching development opportunities, and employ and retain more full-time high-performance coaches. Research has shown that investment in the strong coach-athlete relationship was viewed as the most crucial and non-negotiable factor in winning an Olympic Medal or producing a personal best performance. 

“I am honoured to have been recognized with this Award and grateful for the financial support,” said cross country skiing coach Zachary Hill. Hill trains Next Gen skier Maeve MacLeod in Revelstoke, B.C., as well as Alexandra Luxmoore, a 2022 FOF Award recipient. 

“For the athletes, the pursuit of high performance skiing comes at a high cost in terms of both travel and living expenses and the financial award greatly helps both Maeve and Alexandra manage those costs better.”

Congratulations to the 2023 Future Olympians Fund Award recipient athletes and coaches!

Athlete RecipientHometown Coach RecipientSport
Chance BerryBrampton, ONPatrick ShawBasketball
Grace DafoeCalgary, ABNicholas SimpsonSkeleton
Emma FriesenEdmonton, ABYvan DarsignyWeightlifting
Tye IkedaCalgary, ABDave WoolridgeShooting
Kiara LylykGuelph, ONRichard WoolesCycling
Maeve MacleodRevelstoke, BCZachary HillCross Country Skiing
Talia NgThornhill, ONMario SantosoBadminton
Nicholas ZhangNorth Vancouver, BCVictor GantsevichFencing