A Canadian athlete stands atop the podium. You cheer from your couch, your heart full of pride – for athlete and country. Your kids (or you) run around the living room reenacting the medal winning performance yelling, “Go Canada!”
You watch the post-event press conference with rapt attention, soaking up the athlete’s every word to questions like, “How does it feel? What went through your mind when you saw that you won?” The athlete replies with exhilaration: “I’m so thrilled, happy and excited! That was the best performance of my life! It was amazing! It was perfect!” Such comments are often followed by, “I couldn’t have done it without my team! I’m so thankful for everything everyone has done to help me get here, my parents, my coach, my support staff, it really was a team effort!”
Your curiosity is piqued, but the press moves on to other questions and soon the screen fades to slow motion glory shots of the athlete’s performance and then, a commercial. You slide up to the edge of your seat. Hey wait, you think, What do you mean “my team, my support staff”? You scratch your head, wondering, “Who are these people? What do they do? TELL ME MORE!!”
With a super fancy name like Integrated Support Team (IST) it’s a wonder you don’t already know everything there is to know about what these oft hidden experts do daily to help propel Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes to the top of the podium.
Fear not! We understand and we’re here to help.
Welcome to The IST Lowdown: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Integrated Support Team and MORE!
In this four-part series, the COPSI Network will take you on a deep dive into the inner workings of ISTs across the country: who they are, what they do, and how they do it. We’ll explain the specialized skills they have, how they use them and why they are so essential to Canadian athletes. We’ll fill the void and unravel this mysterious IST, once and for all.
The countdown to Beijing 2022 is on! By the time the Olympic and Paralympic Games begin, you will be well-versed in all things IST and never again be left shouting at your TV (or phone, or tablet) wondering just who all of these amazing people are.
Stay tuned… it’s going to be a wild ride!
About the COPSI Network
The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (COPSI Network) provides world-leading training environments to elite athletes and coaches across Canada. The team of experts delivers sport science and medicine, coaching, research and innovation, education and Game Plan services to power podium performances and help Canada win more medals. The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network includes four Canadian Sport Institutes (Pacific, Calgary, Ontario and Québec) and three Canadian Sport Centres (Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Atlantic).
Jessie Davis, Marketing & Communications Specialist
Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba