2018 The Year That Was: Olympic Winter Games Retrospective

Summing up an Olympic Games with a list of names and numbers is an impossible task. From first to last there is a uniquely human story attached to each, and it seems unfair to tally the wins and losses as data alone – it diminishes their weight. So, while we take this year-end glimpse back at what athletes from CSI Calgary accomplished in 2018, let’s take a moment to remember their journeys as much as the score.

Read more: 2018 The Year That Was: Olympic Winter Games Retrospective

Embrace Your YYC Olympic Spirit this Winter

The day after the November 13th plebiscite on whether Calgary should bid to host the 2026 Olympic Winter Games the newspaper headlines were unceremoniously defeatist: ‘Calgary No Longer an Olympic City.’

True, the outcome of the vote was decisive – a majority of Calgarians did not support the bid. But to the 46 percent who voted yes, nothing could be further from the truth.

Russell Reimer, founder and President of Calgary-based Manifesto Sport Management says that 46 percent represents much more than just a yes for the Games.

“In today’s polarizing political culture, 46 percent of the people voting in favour for something is as close to a unifying vision as could be achieved,” he says, adding, “There were countless, fractional reasons to say no, but for those who voted yes, there was one compelling reason – they believed in something bigger, a chance to do something uniquely Canadian.”

The headline that could be in the newspaper now is: ‘Calgary to host 2018-2019 Olympic Winter Games’. In fact, Calgary hosts the equivalent of an Olympic Winter Games over 15 weeks every winter, running 8-10 World Cups and World Championships for every international winter sport federation every single year.

Remarkably, since 1987, Calgary has hosted 221 World Cups and World Championships in winter sport. That sounds like an Olympic city to me.

For those still reeling from the vote, fret not – the Olympic spirit is indeed alive and well in this city. To get your Olympic fix this winter, come out and support Canada’s best athletes as they compete at home against the world. WinSport, the Olympic Oval, the Canmore Nordic Centre and Lake Louise are on deck this year for an impressive, packed winter sport schedule:

• November 2-4, 2018: ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup at the Olympic Oval
• November 24-25, 2018: Men’s Alpine Skiing World Cup at Lake Louise
• November 30-December 1, 2018: Women’s Alpine Skiing World Cup at Lake Louise
• December 7-8, 2018: VIESSMAN Luge World Cup & Team Relay World Cup at WinSport
• December 14-15, 2018: Junior Luge World Cup at WinSport
• January 12, 2019: FIS Freestyle Moguls World Cup at WinSport
• February 4-10, 2019: BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon at the Canmore Nordic Centre
• February 15-16, 2019: FIS Freeski & Snowboard World Cup Half Pipe at WinSport
• February 22-24, 2019: IBSF World Cup Bobsleigh and Skeleton at WinSport
• March 2-3, 2019: ISU World All Round Speed Skating Championships at the Olympic Oval

That Calgary remains an international epicentre of winter Olympic sport is a significant achievement, thirty years on. The legacy of the ’88 Games is woven into the fabric of this city in ways that most of us cannot define, explain, or even know to be true, but there is no denying the games’ profound influence. Yes or no, we are an Olympic city and that will always be so.

“The beauty of Calgary is that the Olympics have never left this city,” exclaims Reimer. “The ‘88 Games have continued to shape this city for thirty years, whether people are aware of that or not.”

For more information on all of these great events check out WinSport’s dedicated website for all things Olympic in glorious YYC: https://winsport.ca/cheeroncanada/

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo by: Dave Holland @csicalgaryphoto

Show Me the Money!

Reading the book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki, which advocates financial literacy and independence, was an illuminating experience for alpine skier Manny Osborne-Paradis. The four-time Olympian was 20 years old at the time and he says it opened his eyes to the importance of understanding and managing his own finances.

He shared the book with his teammates, including Erik Guay and John Kucera, and they would sit around after training talking about avoiding debt and how to save as much money as possible. This initial introduction to investing basics galvanized Osborne-Paradis’ commitment to being financially responsible throughout his career.

Now, at 34, Osborne-Paradis is staying on track by participating in a new online course offered by Game Plan.

The 12-week customized course for current and former athletes provides the fundamental skills of investing and includes an 8-week crash course with RBC Dominion Securities Investment Advisor, John Hastings, followed by a 4-week stock market competition, with real cash prizes, using an interactive - How the Market Works - stock market simulation game.

The course covers the fundamentals of building and managing an investment portfolio using lectures, videos, online references, and guest speakers to articulate the specific learning material. The objective of the course is to provide participants with practical investment management skills and then test these skills in stock market competition and provides participants with both conceptual and theoretical learning as well as practical applications.

Hastings, an alumni from the National kayak team and perennial Game Plan Summit Financial Literacy presenter, says the course is unique because it’s tailored to athletes, who don’t typically have consistent cash flow or standard investment opportunities due to trust requirements.

“The idea is to provide athletes with a basic oversight on investing, teach the importance of planning and prepare them for retirement,” he explains. “We also help them identify their goals and objectives.”

This is the first time that Game Plan, powered by Deloitte, has offered the course online and because of that it has become one of the program’s greatest successes so far, with 70 active and retired athletes registered.

Osborne-Paradis says that he’s taking the course to learn the ‘ins and outs’ of the different sectors of the market. “It’s about knowing more than normal soundbites,” he says. “Everyone has their soundbites, but nobody knows what they really mean.”

One of the best features of the course is getting an objective, unbiased opinion – a rare thing in the world of investing where advisors can be inclined to sell certain products to earn commissions. “It gives me an impartial view,” says Osborne-Paradis. “And it directs me to have a better conversation with my broker, I ask better, more valuable questions.”

The class about investing in bonds stands out to Osborne-Paradis so far. “I didn’t know anything about bonds, and I didn’t know why you would want one,” says the 11-time World Cup medalist. “They are boring as sin and there’s nothing sexy about them, but they definitely have a place in your portfolio.”

This kind of insight is helping Osborne-Paradis and other athletes improve their knowledge base and make better financial decisions, which will prove to be invaluable when the time comes to move on from sport.

“The sporting life has a finite timeline, you don’t know when it will end,” says Osborne-Paradis, as he embarks on his 15th season on the World Cup circuit. “Having a savings plan is opportunistic and it helps you bridge the gap from one career to another. It’s about being smart and financially responsible.”

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary: @csicalgary
Written by Kristina Groves: @kngrover
Photo by: Pentaphoto


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