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Ryersonians at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

July 20, 2021
Tokyo 2020

Photo: David Edelstein

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are here! For decades, Ryersonians have played a huge role in how Canadian fans experience the Games and this year is no different. We had the pleasure of connecting with eight Ryersonians who will be involved in various capacities this year. 

From competing for Gold and keeping Team Canada safe from COVID-19, to sharing the Olympic experience on your TV screens and social media feeds, we can’t help but cheer for these amazing Ryersonians. Go Canada Go! 

Leslie Bradshaw

Leslie Bradshaw

Marketing ’12, Project Management ’19
Manager, Sport Partnerships at Canadian Tire Corporation

How will you be involved in the Olympics this year? 

I am currently the Manager, Sport Partnerships at Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC). My team manages CTC’s partnerships with the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees, working closely with both organizations to support their initiatives and collaborate on Tokyo 2020 activations for all Canadians and athletes. We also work with our internal teams — Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, and Sports Experts — to bring their Tokyo 2020 marketing campaigns to life. Keep an eye out for these campaigns on TV, social, digital, in communities across Canada, and within the Team Canada Olympic App and Canadian Paralympic web-app.

What are you most looking forward to?

These are the 4th Games I have worked on and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies are my favourite parts! The Opening Ceremony is the moment when all your hard work finally comes to fruition and you can see it come to life! The Closing Ceremony celebrates all that work and brings the Games journey full circle, and there’s the moment when the torch is passed to the next Host City and the process starts again!

Do you have a favourite memory related to the Olympics?

Far too many to choose from! Vancouver 2010 was where I fell in love with the Olympics — singing Oh Canada! in the streets with millions of fellow Canadians. If I had to pick just one, I would say the Sochi 2014 Women’s Hockey Gold Medal game — we all remember Canada’s goal-post save that led to our overtime win!

What sport(s) do you most enjoy watching? 

As a Ryerson Women’s Hockey Alumna, I biasedly most enjoy watching Ice Hockey. In Summer Games, aside from all the team sports, gymnastics would be my next fave!

Carly Clarke

Carly Clarke

Head Coach, Ryerson Rams Women’s Basketball
Assistant Coach, Canadian Women’s National Basketball Team

Photo: Chris Bender

How will you be involved in the Olympics this year? 

I will be Assistant Coach, women's basketball. Our team qualified for the 3rd straight Olympics in February 2020, so we are excited for the Olympics to officially be happening. Our first game is July 26!

What are you most looking forward to?

Outside of our team competing for a medal, and although it will look very different with the pandemic restrictions, I am most looking forward to experiencing the Olympic village and being surrounded by the best in the world in all sports. 

Do you have a favourite memory related to the Olympics?

One of the earliest Olympic memories that sticks out to me is watching Donovan Bailey win the 100m gold medal. I vividly remember where I was and the excitement of watching him win.

What sport(s) do you most enjoy watching? 

Outside of basketball, I love watching swimming and track and field. The short races with so much on the line are so exhilarating. 

Victor Findlay

Victor Findlay

Sport Media ’18
Play-by-Play Commentator, Men’s Field Hockey

How will you be involved in the Olympics this year? 

In Toyko, I will be the play-by-play commentator for Olympic Men's Field Hockey.

What are you most looking forward to?

After a long period of inactivity due to COVID, I'm thrilled to be covering athletes performing at the highest level of competition in the world again.

Do you have a favourite memory related to the Olympics?

Watching Andre DeGrasse go head-to-head with Usain Bolt at Rio 2016 will always stand out.

What sport(s) do you most enjoy watching?

I love watching almost any sport. Darts, golf, hockey, tennis, etc. Anything contested at a high level is interesting to me.

Dennis Graham

Dennis Graham

Occupational Health and Safety ’91, Environmental Urban Sustainability ’12
High Risk Manager and Covid Liaison Officer (CLO) Tokyo 2020, CBC/Radio-Canada

How will you be involved in the Olympics this year? 

I'm the Senior Manager of Health, Safety and Environment, Resiliency and Security, Technology and Infrastructures where I support our Transmission Division that maintains over 500 transmitter sites across Canada.  I also have been working since March 2019 with the Olympic Group preparing for these games.  In this role I am the High Risk Manager and Covid Liaison Officer (CLO) and work as part of a team that assessed all risks associated with employees working domestically and internationally in Japan for the Olympics and developed and implemented plans to ensure their safety. The pandemic obviously added more layers of complexity that needed to be considered as part of our preparations for the games. In my role as CLO, I'm responsible to ensure that all COVID protocols are communicated and followed by all Olympic coverage team members and to be the liaison between CBC/Radio-Canada and Tokyo 2020 officials and Japanese public health officials for and COVID related concerns.

What are you most looking forward to?

After getting into Japan....being part of an amazing team that will showcase Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athlete moments and accomplishments.

Do you have a favourite memory related to the Olympics?

For the Summer Olympics — as a kid — I was impressed by the slope of the Velodrome track on a school trip to Montreal's Olympic Stadium. More recently, Rio 2016 DeGrasse and Bolt finish during the qualifier for the men's 100 m final.

What sport(s) do you most enjoy watching? 

For the summer Olympics, I enjoy athletics and rowing.

Sarah Jenkins

Sarah Jenkins

Sport Media ’18
Digital Studio Producer, CBC Sports

How will you be involved in the Olympics this year? 

This will be my third Olympics with CBC, and the first time I’m overseeing a project which is very exciting for me. I’m the Digital Studio Producer, overseeing all content out of our digital content studio. I’ll also be producing our daily live show called “The Extra Hour” which will stream across all platforms. 

What are you most looking forward to? 

I’m excited to work with a new, young, and ambitious team. A lot of the people on the studio team will be working their first Olympics and getting to experience that with them is something very exciting. 

Do you have a favourite memory related to the Olympics? 

My second Olympics, I worked on Pyeongchang 2018 in the Olympic Primetime control room, and I was in the control room when Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won gold in ice dance. It was a magical moment getting to play a small role in bringing that moment to Canadians.

What sport do you most enjoy watching? 

I love watching Rugby 7s, I briefly produced the sport on television and it moves so quickly, and Canada has two very strong teams that will make for some great viewing.

Karen Sebesta

Karen Sebesta

Radio and Television Arts ’87
Executive Producer — 2020 Tokyo/2022 Beijing Paralympics + Special Events, Senior Producer 2020 Tokyo Olympics at CBC

How will you be involved in the Olympics this year?

I am an Executive Producer at CBC Sports and will be overseeing Olympic AM programming from 3:00 to noon ET. I will produce the Opening and Closing Ceremony shows and live sport from 6:00am to noon — Olympic Morning hosted by Andi Petrillo. This show will feature all the great sporting moments from Tokyo including Swimming, Gymnastics and Track and Field. Be prepared to get up early in Canada to see the track finals — Men's 100m Final goes at 8:50 on Sunday Aug 1!  

Also, I'd like to mention the Paralympics that follow beginning Aug 24. I will be the Executive Producer of CBC's coverage and we will have 3 shows a day showcasing these incredible athletes. 

What are you most looking forward to?

Working on the Olympics is an incredible experience that involves many, many talented people. Many of us work on the planning for over a year (and in this case...almost 2!) So, watching everyone's hard work come to fruition is exciting. I also help to bring many young people (including Ryerson RTA students and graduates) on to the project and it's wonderful to see the next generation of broadcasters and content creators emerging.  

Do you have a favourite memory related to the Olympics?

This will be my 11th Olympics in production and my 4th as a Senior Producer, so needless to say there have been many, many personal moments that are memorable. But, my first Olympics was in 1996 in Atlanta. To be around to see Donovan Bailey run 9.84 and win Gold (and then the Men's Relay team) was incredible. Now I get to work with Donovan on our track coverage and that seems pretty surreal at times. My second Olympics was in 1998, in Nagano, Japan. I worked on Host Hockey when all the NHLers played in the Olympics for the first time. Getting to be a part of that historical sports moment was also really cool, even though Canada didn't win.

What sport(s) do you most enjoy watching?

This is really an unfair question to someone who has worked in sports for 30 years. The sport I'm producing is always the most interesting! My job is to make that sport enjoyable for YOU all to watch. Any sport is interesting if it's covered correctly and the stories of the athletes are told well. But, currently as a fan I'm watching golf and F1, basketball and figure skating.

Stan Temming

Stan Temming

Sport Media ’18
Associate Producer, CBC

How will you be involved in the Olympics this year?

I'll be an Associate Producer for CBC's primetime broadcast coverage of these Olympics.

What are you most looking forward to?

One of my favourite things about the Olympics is the athletes that end up shining unexpectedly on the world's biggest stage. Penny Oleksiak was an excellent example in Brazil five years ago. I'm looking forward to seeing which Canadian heroes emerge out of nowhere and reacting to their unforeseen successes accordingly during our broadcast coverage.

Do you have a favourite memory related to the Olympics?

My favourite memory related to the Olympics happened during the first Games that I worked on in 2016. During one of the last days of our coverage from Brazil, we stopped showing the Olympics to broadcast The Tragically Hip's final concert in Kingston. Sitting in the control room and watching that show is something that I'll never forget.

What sport(s) do you most enjoy watching?

My favourite sports to watch that will be part of these Olympics are volleyball, rugby, golf and rowing.

Agnes Wong

Agnes Wong

Radio and Television Arts ’16
Social Media Community Manager, Canadian Olympic Committee

How will you be involved in the Olympics this year? 

For the Olympics this summer I will be on the ground in Tokyo, as the Social Media Officer for Team Canada. I will be working out of the Main Press Centre, following along as Team Canada athletes compete, sharing updates and medal wins on our social channels, along with interacting and engaging with fans. I'll be the eyes and ears of Team Canada fans, taking them on an exclusive journey though a unique Olympic Games! 

What are you most looking forward to? 

I'm looking forward to experiencing the Olympics in person for the first time, even though this time it will be vastly different compared to previous years.

Do you have a favourite memory related to the Olympics? 

I have two! The first one is when Crosby scored the golden goal at Vancouver 2010, and the second is the moment when Tessa & Scott realized they won gold after their free dance at PyeongChang 2018.

What sport do you most enjoy watching?

My favourite sports to watch during the Olympic Summer Games are gymnastics and swimming, and for the Olympic Winter Games, it's hockey.