Did you know that 18 of the 314 athletes representing Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympics were engineering grads?
With fifteen universities and colleges represented, you might have a couple of things in common with one of these top athletes.
To help you learn more about these exceptional individuals that represented Canada in a variety of sports, I have created a handy infographic to introduce them.
I also reached out to a few of them to get a behind-the-scene look at their training, techniques, and advice for aspiring Olympians. You can find this Q & A below the infographic.
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Q & A with some of our Canadian Engineering Grad Olympians
Read the question and answer sessions below by pressing the "+" button.
4 Things I Learned About the Olympics & Our Athletes
- Engineering women were very well represented in Rio. Although women make up less than 1/5 of graduating engineers, they represent nearly 2/5 of engineering grad Olympians at Rio in 2016. Programs that help the advancement of women in sport, such as CAAWS, may definitely contribute to this success.
- 52% more Canadians competed in the Summer Olympic Games - Canada sent 206 athletes to the Winter 2010 games in Vancouver, and 314 to Rio Olympics. This was news to me as I always thought that Canada had more athletes qualify for the Winter Games. But, with 3x more events at the Summer Olympics, there are simply more opportunities for Canadians to compete. However, even with fewer events, Canada does better from a medal perspective at the Winter Olympics (26 @ Vancouver vs. 22 @ Rio).
- It takes your full attention and typically 10+ years of experience with the sport - Although there are outliers like Megan Lukan (mentioned above) who have been playing a few short years and landed a spot on the women's rugby team, most athletes have nearly a decade or more of experience. They have excellent working knowledge of a variety of components in their life that support their success - coaching, sleep, nutrition, training, and teamwork.
- Engineering grads who become Olympians don't often return to pursue an engineering career - After competing in the Olympics as one of the top athletes in the world, there are many opportunities in Canada or abroad to train the next group of Olympian or competitive sports enthusiasts. It can be hard to return to (or begin) an entry-level engineering job when the allure and pay can be much more attractive in his/her sport.
What did you think about the Rio Olympics and/or our engineering athletes? Let us know in the comments below.
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