Heather Moyse: An Olympian for all seasons
Heather Moyse may be a double Olympic champion in bobsleigh but it is her experience as a top Canadian rugby player that she will be sharing with the young athletes in Nanjing.
Canadian Olympic champion Heather Moyse could equally well be a role model for the Youth Summer and Winter Games. Among her many achievements she counts two Olympic gold medals in the women’s two-man bobsleigh, won with driver Kaillie Humphries on the sliding tracks at Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014. Indeed, the pair are the only women to have defended the women’s Olympic bob title. But in addition to being one of the world’s best brakemen, Moyse is also a top international rugby player.
Playing in the three-quarter line as a winger or a centre, she has been in the Canadian national team since 2004. In 2006 and 2010 she was the top try-scorer at the Women’s World Cup, where Canada took fourth and sixth place respectively.
She also plays rugby sevens, which is being introduced to the Olympic programme in Rio 2016 and will be trialled at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing. In the Hong Kong 7s in 2008 Heather scored no less than 11 tries, helping take her team to the final. Just a few months before defending her Olympic bob title in Sochi, she played in the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow where she and her team-mates were once again runners-up.
On top of all of this, in 2012 Moyse also tried her hand at cycling, competing in the Pan-American Cycling Championships, where she placed fourth in the 500m and fifth in the match sprint.“Help, assist, and guide”
Her successes on the rugby pitch prompted the International Rugby Board (IRB) to ask her to act as an Athlete Role Model for the young athletes in Nanjing.
“I’m honoured and excited to be selected as an Athlete Role Model at what is such an exciting time for rugby and the Olympic movement,” says Moyse. “To be considered someone who is worthy of representing not even just a country but going to this international level and being a role model for all of these athletes, is pretty amazing. Rugby shares the same values as the Olympic Movement, with a mission to inspire young people around the world to participate in sport and to have fun.”
Talking about her role, Moyse explains: “I’m not sure what format it will be, but I would hope that I will have an opportunity to be sitting in on a Q&A. I think when athletes are given the opportunity to ask questions on things that concern them the most that is where the most benefit can be achieved.
“The questions could range from ‘How do you make those next steps?’ to ‘What is your training regime?’ The athletes are at an age where it will be eye-opening to me to know the concerns that are going through their minds right now, so if there’s any way I can help them, assist them or guide them through some of their choices and decision-making I will be pleased to do so.”