Team Canada’s Tokyo 2020 Olympians & Paralympians encourage students to #BeAChampion

Joey Duck
Classroom Champions
3 min readSep 21, 2021

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During the Olympic and Paralympic Games we were witness to some of the most magical sporting moments in an athlete’s life. It just so happens that we were lucky enough to chat with some of those athletes fresh from Tokyo. Throughout the Games, Team Canada Champion Chats held four Tokyo 2020 Live Chats in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Classroom Champions.

For these special Live Chats, Team Canada athletes spoke about their journey and experiences at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with the goal of empowering children to embrace what it means to #BeAChampion.

However, it wasn’t just the athlete guests who could speak to their Olympic and Paralympic experiences. Hosts of the Live Chats were 9x Paralympic gold medalist Benoit Huot and 2x Olympic gold medalist Donovan Bailey.

“It really is such an honor to host these live chats,” said Huot. “To be able to talk to athletes directly after this monumental moment in their lives and hear their stories is inspiring. It is so important for kids to hear not only the stories of success, but the challenges too, the bounce backs and the hard work it took for these athletes to succeed.”

So who joined us?

We were joined in the Olympic Chat by newly crowned Olympic Champions in Rowing Andrea Proske and Madison Mailey, Olympic gold medallist in Weightlifting, Maude Charron, Skateboarder Annie Guglia, Swimmer Markus Thormeyer and Boxer Tammara Thibeault.

Teammates Madison and Andrea even brought a very special item with them to the chat to show everyone!

In the Paralmypic Live Chat host Benoit Huot chatted to Canadian flag bearer and silver medalist in the women’s Judo 52kg Priscilla Gagne, C4 Paracyclist Marie-Claude Molnar, men’s 100m Backstroke S13 silver medalist Nicolas Guy Turbide, women’s discus thrower Renee Foessel, Paracyclist Joey Desjardin and Sitting Volleyball player Jolan Wong.

The athletes were asked some very interesting questions from students within our community. We had some wonderful questions including how the athletes coped with nerves, what their favorite dinosaurs were, how the athletes prepared for a competition with such a strange build up to the Olympics as well as if they preferred burritos or burgers!

Teachers, parents, and students can still recap on all of the chats by heading to the Team Canada Champion Chats Youtube page — we would certainly recommend watching them!

Team Canada Champion Chats, a partnership between the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and Classroom Champions, is a national education program designed to empower Canadian students to focus on themes including embracing challenges, mental health, diversity and inclusion, achieving goals, and ultimately become a champion in their community.

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Joey Duck
Classroom Champions

Joey is a former British track & field athlete who now works for Classroom Champions as Marketing Coordinator.