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Olympian Sarah Mitton cheers on young athletes at national talent search

Olympic shot putter Sarah Mitton cheered on aspiring athletes at the Canadian Olympic Committee’s open talent search in Halifax on Saturday. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC - image credit)
Olympic shot putter Sarah Mitton cheered on aspiring athletes at the Canadian Olympic Committee’s open talent search in Halifax on Saturday. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC - image credit)

Young Nova Scotians with hopes of competing on the world stage received some extra encouragement from Olympic shot putter Sarah Mitton.

More than 200 aspiring athletes registered for the Canadian Olympic Committee's open talent search at the Canada Games Centre in Halifax on Saturday. The event, called RBC's Training Ground, is one of many across the country.

Participants completed five challenges showcasing skills such as strength, endurance, power and speed to see if their talents translate to Olympic sports.

"The athletes have a chance to be in front of a ton of coaches from the Atlantic provinces," said Nova Scotia's Mitton, who is fresh off a gold medal at the world indoor championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

"It really just gives them a platform to get noticed so they can kind of start their own journey. It's just really cool to be a part of that," she said.

Between cheering and snapping pictures, Mitton, 27, said she wanted to tell the athletes to just do their best. She wanted them not to get discouraged if they fell short the first time, she said.

More than 200 young athletes from Nova Scotia participated in challenges that focused on strength, endurance and speed skills.
More than 200 young athletes from Nova Scotia participated in challenges that focused on strength, endurance and speed skills.

More than 200 young athletes from Nova Scotia participated in challenges that focused on strength, endurance and speed. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC)

Participants run during the final challenge, the beep test, at the Canada Games Centre in Halifax.
Participants run during the final challenge, the beep test, at the Canada Games Centre in Halifax.

Participants run during the final challenge, the beep test, at the Canada Games Centre in Halifax. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC)

"It's incredible to have somebody like Sarah Mitton in here cheering them on," said Evan MacInnis, national technical director with RBC Training.

"I couldn't imagine if I was a kid who had any athletic aspirations and I'm going to meet someone who is a world champion at an event like this in Halifax," he said.

Athletes who are identified as highly skilled are chosen to compete in a national event against others from across the country later this year.

The program is in its ninth year and has found and funded 13 Olympians and seven Canadian Olympic medallists, according to its website.

Organizers of the event said the challenges showcase skills that can easily translate to Olympic sports.
Organizers of the event said the challenges showcase skills that can easily translate to Olympic sports.

Organizers of the event said the challenges showcase skills that can easily translate to Olympic sports. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC)

But, if you don't make it to the Olympics, Mitton said, there are still several positives to training as an athlete.

"Sports really have a big effect on your confidence," she said. "They make you a really great leader."

Mitton will represent Canada at the Olympics this summer in Paris. She competed in her first Olympics in Tokyo in 2021.

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