At the CSIO Tokyo 2020 Celebration, the talk of the party wasn’t the food (although delicious) or the speakers (although inspiring). It was something up, way up, in the rafters – the 20 new athlete banners, celebrating the CSIO-affiliated athletes who brought home medals from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Arranged like the Olympic and Paralympic podiums, in the order of Silver, Gold and Bronze, the banners were the first thing Celebration attendees noticed when entering the S&C gym. They featured many of the standout performances of the Games, including the Women’s Soccer Team’s emotional Gold Medal, Andre De Grasse’s triumphant 200m race, Damian Warner’s fierce Olympic decathlon long jump, and of course Maggie Mac Neil’s memorable surprise upon discovering that she had won Gold.
Guests also had the opportunity to also see the affiliated medallists permanently recognized on the CSIO Wall of Honour, installed in the hallway leading to the gym. Among those were two new special plaques for most-decorated Canadian Olympian Penny Oleksiak and most-decorated male Canadian Olympian Andre De Grasse.
CSIO would like to thank TI Group for doing an excellent job of the creative, production and install of the Tokyo 2020 banners. We would also like to thank many of our National Sport Organization partners and the Canadian Paralympic Committee for kindly supplying the images for the banners.
The Tokyo 2020 banners, which followed the Rio 2016 and Pyeongchang 2018 banners, are not just nice decorations – they help inspire the current and next generation of Canadian Olympians and Paralympians - another way CSIO aspires to elevate people and their performance. CSIO Strength and Conditioning Coach (Apprentice) Christine Camozzi has noticed this while working with athletes: “In conversation, I often hear athletes talking about the desire to one day see their face up on a banner at CSIO more than any other accomplishment.”
“While it is incredibly inspiring to see the podium accomplishments of the athletes that we work with,” said CEO Debbie Low, “the banners are a daily reminder for all staff and athletes at CSIO that sport has the power to change the world.”
CSIO’s purpose is “Elevating People and Performance” – and sometimes we like to do that literally.
Photos: Canadian Sport Institute Ontario / Michael P Hall.