Milk builds strong bones and teeth, which is probably one of the reasons 20 of Canadas top up-and-coming athletes are smiling so widely. That and the $10,000 bursary that each received from the Pure Determination Fund, which is sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Canada in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee.
The funding is part of an $800,000 commitment made by the DFC in 2002 to help athletes that are close to the podium realize their Olympic dreams. To qualify, athletes had to be ranked between sixth and 15th in world standings in individual sports, or between sixth and 12 th in team sports, and be chosen by a selection committee comprised of athletes and representatives from the DFC and COC. Candidates also have to be with national teams or their development groups, and must earn less than $75,000 a year in gross income.
This year the majority of the bursaries went to winter sports athletes, with the 2006 Olympic Winter Games approaching in Torino.
Two Whistler halfpipe prospects qualified Mercedes Nicoll and Crispin Lipscomb, both current national champions and top World Cup performers. Vernons Tom Velisek, the national champion for snowboardcross, also qualified.
Other athletes include:
Lindsay Alcock, Skeleton
Patrick Biggs, Alpine Skiing
Francois Bourque, Alpine Skiing
Michael Brown, Swimming
Craig Buntin, Figure Skating
Jillian DAlessio, Kayak
Dana Ellis, Athletics
George Grey, Cross Country Skiing
Mellisa Hollingsworth, Skeleton
Devon Kershaw, Cross Country Skiing
Regan Lauscher, Luge
Valérie Marcoux, Figure Skating
Christine Robinson, Water Polo
Romina Stefancic, Rowing
Warren Shouldice, Freestyle Skiing
Stephanie St-Pierre, Freestyle Skiing
Warren Tanner, Freestyle Skiing
Helen Upperton, Bobsleigh