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An amazing boost for five athletes thanks to an anonymous donor

An amazing boost for five athletes thanks to an anonymous donor

The Canadian Olympic Foundation on Thursday revealed details of the major financial support five Quebec athletes will receive: an annual grant of $20,000 for five years. It is therefore a total contribution of half a million dollars proposed by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

The lucky ones are snowboarding specialist Elliot Grondin, canoeist Sophia Jensen, freestyle skier Marion Thénault, boxer Tamara Thibault and diver Nathan Zsombor-Murray.

Eric Miles, head of sport at the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), explains that although the donor did not have any names in mind, he expressed a clear goal to the selection committee: $20,000. It was supposed to be a game-changer for the athlete in his Olympic preparations.

Furthermore, there is no commitment to performance or outcome, just as an injury results in a penalty. Athletes are required to continue to honor their agreement with their national team and remain committed to their sport, and can use the scholarship as they see fit.

List of scholarship award recipients

Elliot Grondin (snowboarder)

  • Silver medals (men) and bronze (mixed team), 2022 Olympics
  • Bronze Medal (Men) Worlds 2021
  • Three medals at the World Junior Championships

Sophia Jensen (kayak)

  • Bronze Medal (C-4 500m) 2023 World
  • Gold (C-4 500m) and Silver (C-1500m), 2022 World Championships
  • Eight-time U23 or World Junior champion

Marion Thénault (free skating)

  • Bronze medal (mixed team) and seventh place (women) 2022 Olympics
  • Three World Cup victories

Tamara Thibault (boxing)

  • Gold medals at the 2022 Worlds and bronze medals at the 2019 Worlds
  • Gold medals, Commonwealth Games 2022, Bronze medals, Commonwealth Games 2018
  • Gold medals, 2023 Pan American Games, and silver medals, 2019 Pan American Games
  • Fifth place, 2020 Olympics
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Nathan Zsombor-Murray (diving)

  • Bronze Medal (10m Synchro) 2022 World
  • Silver medal (10m synchronized), 2022 Commonwealth Games
  • Silver medals (10m and 10m synchro), 2019 Pan American Games Silver medals (10m synchro), 2023 Pan American Games
  • 5th place (10m synchronized) and 13th place (10m) at the 2020 Olympics

Often times, there will be agreements with sponsors that come with specific commitments or investments just for travel, or for training, those things, says Eric Miles. Here, the field is open for the athlete to choose what he wants, and what will help him in general in his life. It's really something special.