Victoria’s Wendy Pethick named top Canadian sports scientist by Own the Podium – Canadian Sport Institute Pacific

Message from Victoria Times-Colonist, October 25, 2020
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Only the Tokyo Olympics were postponed, not the humidity. It is still waiting.

Canadian athletes can thank Wendy Pethick if they acclimatize well to the summer temperatures of over 30 degrees predicted next year in Japan for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Plus one delayed by the pandemic.

The Director of the Canadian Sport Center-Pacific (sic) Performance Lab, located at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence on the Camosun College intercity campus, was named Canada’s Sport Scientist of the Year 2020 by Own the Podium.

The award, inaugurated in 2019, is in its second year. There were five nominees. Physiologist Pethick was honored this week at the annual Own the Podium Sport Innovation Summit. The summit took place practically this year. Own the Podium is the program created in 2004 to raise more Canadian athletes to the Olympic and Paralympic podiums. It is funded primarily by the federal government with additional funds provided by the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Olympic Foundation and the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

Pethick is considered a world leader in the study of thermoregulation, the process by which the body maintains its core internal temperature. When it comes to the Summer Games, it’s basically about keeping an athlete’s body temperature at a moderate temperature in hot conditions. Pethick has extensive knowledge and teaching experience in physiology, exercise physiology, and measurement and evaluation in these areas. Her work is transferable beyond mere sport and she has also been involved in projects with the RCMP, the Canadian Coast Guard and the British Columbia Forest Service.

“Wendy is a true unsung heroine of Canadian sport [study and preparation]Said Andy Van Neutegem of Victoria, Director of Performance Science, Research and Innovation at Own the Podium.

“His work is very important as we approach Tokyo. She is a very deserving winner of this award.

Up to 75 of the Canadian athletes slated to compete next summer at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are based on the island, and Pethick has worked with most of them, with particularly close ties to the rowers, the triathletes and wheelchair rugby players.

The graduate of the Masters in Exercise Physiology from the University of Victoria is not a bad athlete. Pethick placed in the top 10 for women 55 and over at the New York, Chicago and Berlin marathons.

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