July 23rd is a big day for the 371 athletes and 131 coaches on Team Canada. They’ve trained countless hours and made many sacrifices to represent Canada at the Olympic Games, and now Canadians will come together over the next two weeks to cheer them on as they compete in Tokyo!
I’ve always loved watching the Olympic Games. When I was younger, I made sure my whole family was paying close attention and kept up to date on our athletes. I put my small chalkboard in the living room and used it to track Team Canada's progress. I made sure to add sketches, doodles and the names of athletes that stood out, which I'm sure my family appreciated. Today we have our smartphones for instant access to the results, but I think my chalkboard method would still hold up.
Petro-Canada is a long-time supporter of the Canadian Olympic Team, the Canadian Paralympic Team and the Coaching Association of Canada. Every year through the Fuelling Athlete and Coaching Excellence Program (FACE) we select 55 up-and-coming athletes and their coaches from across Canada to receive a FACE grant. These grants come at an important time for young athletes when they’re training to represent Canada at the Paralympic or Olympic Games but don’t yet qualify for government funding. Since 1988 we have given over $12 million in financial support to athletes and coaches.
We also know that even with funding, athletes can’t do it on their own. They need the support of a whole community, including their coaches and family.
Great coaches keep their athletes going through training, dedication and motivating words that stick with them as they reach for that podium. Below are a few inspiring examples.
Families are there to cheer you on, be there during the tough times and celebrate your success. As part of our Canadian Athlete Family Program, starting with the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, we implemented a ticketing program that ensured family members of athletes competing at the Games could be there in the stands rooting for their loved ones. We’re supporting families differently this year by sending cheer boxes so they can still celebrate and cheer on their athletes from home.
This year is a big milestone for the FACE program: a record 41 FACE recipients in 22 different sports are part of Team Canada. Stay connected with their journey through Petro-Canada’s Facebook and Instagram accounts as they compete in Tokyo. Good luck to them and to all of Team Canada at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games!