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Okanagan athletes try out for chance to become Olympians

RBC Training Ground searches for next Canadian Olympians
It's the chance of a lifetime for more than 200 Okanagan athletes hoping to compete on the world stage.

It’s the chance of a lifetime for more than 200 Okanagan athletes hoping to compete on the world stage.

Athletes between the ages of 14 and 25 from around the Okanagan are putting their skills to the test in the national RBC Olympic Search.

“We are putting them through a series of four tests: strength speed power and endurance,” said Courtney Hasse of Royal Bank of Canada.

“And then we have Olympic coaches who are looking for athletes for their programs.”

READ MORE: 3 young Edmonton athletes identified in Olympic talent search

“We are just trying to measure athleticism and match them up with sports that are looking for those qualities,” said Kurt Innes of the RBC Training Ground program.

To keep them motivated, RBC Olympians who went through the program themselves were on sight to cheer on the Olympic hopefuls and give them a few pointers.

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“I was here [in 2016] doing this and now I’m back as an ambassador to help motivate these guys and let them know I did it and you can do it too,” said Jerome Blake, RBC Olympian.

READ MORE: Prospective Olympic athletes getting evaluated in Winnipeg

That coaching is what the athletes need to push themselves to their limits.

“If I could do any sport in the Olympics, I would do cycling, I think,” said Olympic hopeful Max Morgan. “I just got a road bike and it’s all I can think about.”

“I’m here to try out,” said another Olympic hopeful, Leah Twiddy. “I do a lot of sports so I want to see if I have something.”

If chosen, the athletes will work with coaches to master their chosen sport. Only 100 competitors in the country will go to the finals in Winnipeg, Man., to compete to become future RBC Olympians.