Climbing Escalade Canada joins RBC Training Ground to find new Olympic talent

Jan 10, 2023

Canadian athletes between the ages of 14 and 25 have the chance to be scouted by thirteen Team Canada sports for free, including Speed Climbing.

Climbing Escalade Canada is excited to join the RBC Training Ground program on its 8th season! CEC will use the RBC Training Ground benchmark testing to identify talent in Speed Climbing.

Developed in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Olympic Foundation, and with support from the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network, RBC Training Ground is a nation-wide talent identification program dedicated to finding and funding Canada’s future Olympians.

At each qualifying event, participants from a wide range of sport backgrounds perform speed, strength, power, and endurance benchmark testing in front of National Sport Organizations (NSO) partners. Following the National Final later this year where 100 hopefuls will compete, the top 30 athletes will be selected as RBC Future Olympians to receive funding, mentorship, and other resources to pursue their Olympic dreams.

“While some participants are looking to re-energize or boost an Olympic dream in a sport they are already pursuing, others participate with the hope of being discovered and directed toward an Olympic sport they may have never considered,” said Evan MacInnis, Technical Director for RBC Training Ground. “But they all rely on raw athleticism and determination to attract the attention of our sport partners and are excited to see where this program can take them.”

“For CEC, this is an incredible opportunity to discover talents within the climbing community, but also outside of it, looking for athletes with high potential in Speed Climbing,” said Andrew Wilson, High Performance Director for Climbing Escalade Canada.

Since its inception in 2016, RBC Training Ground has tested 12,000 athletes across Canada, with more than 1,600 athletes being identified by National Sport Organizations as having Olympic potential – many in a sport they had never considered.

Thirteen athletes who were discovered and funded through RBC Training Ground have competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Beijing 2022 Olympic Games, bringing home a collective seven medals. Among them are program alumni Jerome Blake (Silver Medallist in Athletics – Relay 4x100m), Kelsey Mitchell (Gold Medallist in Track Cycling – Women’s Sprint) and Marion Thénault (Bronze Medallist in Freestyle Skiing – Mixed Team Aerials), the latter two of whom did not have experience in their Olympic sport before attending an RBC Training Ground event.

For more information on the program, consult or contact Andrew Wilson at

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