rise, roar & flow


Each year, the Canadian Olympic Lab develops a theme to position the conversations it hosts. This is to help guide the process of becoming the best versions of ourselves when it matters the most, and inspire clear, takeaway actions. In the past we have explored ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, the Japanese philosophy of IKIGAI and now, in 2019, we are diving into the lessons and perspective WATER can provide us along our Olympic journeys.

This is an open invitation to discover, interpret, inspire, and use our imaginations to achieve what we set out to do together.

As a natural element, water understands, responds to and thrives in any environment.


The Tokyo 2020 experience will be an occasion beyond measure. It won’t be born of statistics, standards or linear calculations, but instead how you rise up each day in preparation, how you nourish your goals and provide for your journey. By giving life and meaning to your daily process, plan and dreams, your Olympic occasion will be defined.

We will rise …

… to the occasion as the best versions of ourselves.
… together, as a united Team Canada.
… prepared, as a high-functioning team.


Fierce confidence. Absolute certainty. True belief. These natural elements of preparation combine to generate a driving force; a roaring momentum so strong and deliberate it can re-shape landscapes and carve its own path. Freely let out by a united group at the Olympic Games, it is loud enough for the world to hear … and powerful enough for it to fear.

We will roar …

… with bravery and courage in expressing our true selves.
… with fierce confidence and certainty.
… with pride and honour.


There will be challenges, big and small. And to adapt, is to flow; to find the optimal way not with friction or conflict. It is to have a feeling of energized focus, full absorption and enjoyment in the process. It is fluid, logical motion that brings us in the zone, where we need to be in any moment, any situation – together.

We will flow …

… over, around and through obstacles with direction and purpose.
… with knowledge and clarity in our relationships and surroundings.
… to our destinations with ease and calmness.


The Gift of Water

Our collective vision at Olympic Lab 2019 will take focus by first looking back, by respecting where we came from, and the deep connection we all have with water; Earth’s most sustaining gift. As one of Team Canada’s most thoughtful leaders, Waneek Horn-Miller will guide you through an experience that will reveal your opportunity to rise, roar and flow not only into Tokyo 2020 but also into your individual life and the environment in which you live.


The Occasion

Along our individual journeys is a very clear, common pursuit: The Occasion. No matter who you are, what you believe or why you do what you do, Tokyo 2020 is our grand occasion to share. It bonds us. It shapes us. It gives us purpose. In her keynote closing address, your chef de mission and Canadian Olympic icon Marnie McBean will demonstrate how and why how each one of us can rise to our occasion – together, in our own ways.


Strength Uncovered

You are a high-pressure performer, but do you understand why? What exactly makes you strong? What precisely makes your teammates strong? Following the pre-requisite registration questionnaire, personal strength specialists Marie-Andrée Lessard and Laura Dowling will help you uncover, understand and tap into the best of you. This self-exploratory, interactive workshop will show you how to gain momentum in your strongest areas and drive productivity with teammates in preparation for Games.


Running the Rapids

If one thing is certain about the Olympic Games, it’s that everything is not certain. In their keynote address and introspective workshop, human performance experts Dr. Andy Walshe  and Jurgen Heitmann will show you how successful you can be in these unpredictable, fast-moving waters. It’s an opportunity to make uncomfortable feelings an advantage for you -- and learn to run the rapids with balance, when disruption happens.


Tokyo Living

Knowing your surroundings is a difference maker in performance. That’s why we brought your Tokyo surroundings to Olympic Lab 2019. This is your chance to test out your living arrangements, better understand your sleeping plan, heat-management strategies and daily travel realities. Be open and inquisitive about what your life will be like in Tokyo and take away the knowledge and confidence it will be the best it possibly can.



This panel discussion with experienced Olympic peers, including Kristina Groves and Anastasia Bucsis, will give you the chance to garner the specific wisdom, lessons and knowledge that prove invaluable to Team Canada – Games after Games. Hear about real-life difference makers. Tap into best practices. Know ahead of time what they wish they could have. Indeed, those who understand the way can help navigate your journey, and this is your exclusive opportunity to discover how.



Waneek Horn-Miller Photo

Waneek Horn-Miller

Waneek Horn-Miller is recognized as one of this country’s most important people in sport. She is an absolute leader in defining what Team Canada is, and what it can be, in her various roles over the years.

She is also the first Mohawk woman to compete in an Olympic Games.

Serving as co-captain of the first Canadian women’s Olympic water polo team, she helped lead the group to finish fifth at Sydney 2000. Since, she acted as assistant chef de mission for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games team and remains an integral part of the Olympic movement.

Her voice is steadfast, and her work is tireless in helping grow the self-esteem, wellness and education of young people through sport. Waneek is currently working with the Assembly of First Nations to do just that and sits on numerous boards and advisories as well.

She was inducted into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame this year.

Marie-Andrée Lessard Photo

Marie-Andrée Lessard

Marie-Andrée Lessard has been influencing the success of Team Canada at the Olympic Games for the past seven years. First as a beach volleyball athlete at London 2012, and since as a leader in Olympic Performance with the COC, it’s safe to say the Lasalle, QC native is driven by Games success.

Marie-Andrée knows the way in which an individual or a team experiences the Games is powerful – both in life and on the field of play. It’s with this in mind, the certified Strengths Finder coach helped develop the idea of Olympic Lab from its onset; to better prepare Team Canada in the very Games-specific way she has proven can translate into results when it matters. This year will be the Lab’s fourth edition.

Not only does Marie-Andrée understand the Olympic journey, she continues to experience it through different perspectives. Having started her athletic career in 1999, she remains Canada’s longest serving beach volleyball athlete.

Marnie McBean Photo

Marnie McBean

Marnie McBean is your captain for Tokyo 2020; your Chef de Mission, your teammate, your friend. Though her sport accolades make her a national icon, it’s her extensive Games experience(s), and passion for helping people reach their performance potential, that make her fundamental to Team Canada’s ongoing success.

Marnie has attended nine Olympic Games; as an athlete, media member or as a mentor.

She is one of our country’s most decorated Olympians; one of only two Canadians to win three gold medals at the Summer Games. Combined, her 12 World and Olympic medals prove she understands performance under pressure. Marnie has worked closely with five Canadian Olympic Teams – helping prepare emotionally and psychologically to achieve best-possible performances. She is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal. She is decorated with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and been appointed as an Officer to the Order of Canada. Marnie’s first book, The Power of More; How Small Steps Can Help You Achieve Big Goals continues to get reprinted.

Andy Walshe Photo

Andy Walshe

Dr. Andrew Walshe (Andy) understands elite human performance. For more than 20 years the Australian native has been focused on ‘de-mystifying talent’ by researching and training world-class individuals and teams. Currently the director of high performance at Red Bull, Andy works with hundreds of international athletes and other experts in their field to implement elite performance models. In fact, the seasoned speaker founded a two-day symposium; bringing together world-class talent to help illuminate our understanding of human potential. The Human Potential Red Bull conference is now in its third year, designed to challenge belief systems and shift the paradigm of what we think is possible. He also led the performance plan for Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking jump to Earth from the stratosphere in 2012.

Andy has designed internationally successful programs for members of the U.S Olympic Team and consulted for various sport institutes. He’s also worked with the Armed Forces, Fortune 500 companies, technology companies, artists and international athletes.



When it comes to your personal strengths, Laura knows how to identify and leverage them. In fact, it’s her job as a certified professional coach to help both individuals and teams leverage their talents to maximize performance goals. Enter: The Olympic Games … and you.

Laura’s approach to helping you reach your Olympic goals is grounded in a proven passion and in-depth knowledge of the Canadian high-performance sport system. And with international experience, both as an athlete and business leader, she understands what it means to foster a strong team culture. Prior to being a CSI Pacific Game Plan Advisor, Laura spent six years in the Kingdom of Eswatini, where she co-led a management consulting business and founded the Swaziland Hockey Association, while also contributing to many sport and community development programs. Her work now spans multiple industries.

Andy Walshe Photo

Kristina Groves

Kristina Groves is not only an incredible speaker and mentor, she is an absolute Canadian legend. Over her 23-year career the Ottawa native and long-track speed skater is three-times an Olympian and four-times a medallist; collecting multiple World Cup and World Championship titles along the way. Kristina knows consistent performance and is gracious enough to talk about it with you and share her Games experiences and Olympic-specific lessons.

An active environmentalist and advocate for youth education and healthier sport, Kristina is also a CBC Olympic commentator.



Jurgen Heitmann has always had a passion for pushing through human boundaries — serving organizations that explore the edges of human potential and team optimization. In more than three decades as a Special Operations leader, he built, led and innovatively shaped counter-terrorism teams and organizations across U.S. National Security and diplomacy areas. He has a clear ability to enable others to breakthrough their thresholds and works at the intersection of creativity, performance and mission.

Andy Walshe Photo


Anastasia Bucsis is a leader for Team Canada for many reasons. Her impactful work and mentorship, especially, has helped create a more inclusive sports landscape for Canadian athletes and coaches. The long-track speed-skating sprint specialist and Calgary native is a two-time Olympian with robust experience on the international scene. Anastasia carries an outspoken, courageous and active approach toward mental health and speaks from experience about how it can influence Olympic performance.


Travel will be booked so that everyone arrives for registration which runs from 1-3:30 PM on Tuesday, December 10th (with exception for those participating in pre-Lab Workshop) as the Olympic Lab will officially begin at 4 PM. Final sessions will wrap up at 5 PM on December 11, 2019. The full schedule can be found on the 2019 Edition page.

Team Leaders, Coaches, Mental Performance Consultants, and IST Leads will have the option to participate in pre-Lab Workshops starting at 9:00 AM on December 10th. These Workshops will cover the following sessions:

*Team Leaders:

  • 9:00 AM – 10:30AM: Pre-Lab workshop(s)
  • 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Tokyo Marketplace
  • 1:00PM – 2:00 PM: Tokyo Marketplace (con’t)
  • While these sessions are optional, we highly encourage Team Leaders to attend as it is an additional opportunity to meet with our Operations team to help with your Tokyo planning.
  • 1:00PM – 3:30PM: Registration & Arrivals Simulation

Coaches, MPC, IST Team Members:

  • 9:00 AM – 10:30AM: Pre-Lab workshop(s)
  • 10:30AM – 12:00PM: Pre-Lab workshop(s) part II
  • 1:00PM – 3:30PM: Registration & Arrivals Simulation

InterContinental Toronto Centre

All invitees are encouraged to stay at the official Olympic Lab hotel, including Toronto residents. Accommodation will be based on double occupancy at the InterContinental Toronto Centre Hotel. Alternatively, the option to book single rooms will be charged back later on at a rate of $105/night, subject to availability.

Canadian Olympic Team partner ATPI is happy to plan and book your travel. They will be contacting registered participants shortly after your confirmation of attendance.

If you choose to self-drive, please arrive by 2:30 PM to register before the 4 PM start time. The Canadian Olympic Committee will cover the cost of parking for the two days of the event, mileage at the rate of $0.55/km, or taxi/public transit fare to and from the hotel.

All self-arranged travel details (dates, times, flight numbers, arrival time by car) must be submitted to pgrandbois@olympic.ca as soon as confirmation of travel is available, and no later than November 26, 2019.

Expenses associated with your stay will be covered by the Canadian Olympic Committee for the duration of the Lab. Accommodation booked outside of the host hotel will not be eligible for reimbursement.

Travel to Toronto that is not booked through the COC travel agents, including car travel and associated parking costs, will be reimbursed for economy travel up to a maximum of $750.00, with receipts. Travel booked using any rewards programs (e.g., Air Miles or Aeroplan) will not be reimbursed by the COC.

All expense claims must be submitted by January 7, 2020. Due to our fiscal year ending on December 31, 2019, we will not be accepting any expenses submitted after the deadline.

Please indicate any food restrictions, allergies and/or preferences in your registration and we will do everything in our power to accommodate them with the hotel.

As part of your Olympic Lab participation waiver, be sure to stay informed about how the COC protects your rights as an athlete or coach through the use of imagery. Find our collective use agreement here.

If you have any questions, concerns, feedback or just want to send a note, please feel free to contact us at cdnolympicteam@olympic.ca.


Media Days is an opportunity for Tokyo 2020 hopefuls to raise their profiles through Team Canada’s digital platforms and major Canadian national media prior to the Games. Invited athletes will go through various content capture sessions over two days, including photography and videography as well as off-camera interviews.

On day one

On day one at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, athletes will meet with national media and Team Canada photographers, digital content producers, and representatives from social media platforms who will assist them in building their online brand on channels such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Live and banked content will be produced to engage Canadian fans in the lead-up to and during Tokyo 2020.

What's in it for the athlete?

  • Professional photographs in Team Canada clothing (headshots, power poses and dramatic profiles) that will be shared with the athlete, media, and Team Canada's social and digital channels;
  • Confirmation of the athlete’s official bio which will be showcased on olympic.ca / olympique.ca and shared with all media;

Is it time to Register?