Olympic bobsled champ Alysia Rissling visited Hudson’s Hope School on April 27 for Classroom Champions, following the community celebration event at Bert Ambrose Elementary School in Fort St. John.
Rissling arrived in style and good humour, entering the building in a T-rex costume.
Each month, Rissling live-chats with classrooms, sharing her Olympic experience to give kids advice on setting goals and overcoming adversity. It’s her first year taking part in the scholastic program.
Students asked Rissling what she fears most about the sport.
“My first year, I crashed twelve times, last year I crashed zero times, and this year I crashed four times,” said Rissling,
“I do fear crashing. I don’t necessarily fear hurting myself, but watching my teammates get hurt.”
It’s certainly not for the faint of heart, says Rissling, stressing that courage and perseverance are important qualities for athletes to have.
Rissling, from Edmonton, made her debut at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, finishing sixth with teammate Heather Moyse in the two-woman bobsleigh event.
Having played soccer and basketball in college, Rissling says Canadian soccer star Christine Sinclair was someone she looked up to, even sharing the same jersey number: 12.
“I started bobsledding at 23 years old, it was one the few sports I could pick up and still get pretty far with it,” said Rissling of her time at the University of Alberta, where she completed a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology.
“I still wanted to be an athlete.”
Tom Summer is a Hudson’s Hope correspondent for the Alaska Highway News. Email your news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.