CSIO Staff Supporting Team Canada at the Parapan Am Games

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) proudly supports Team Canada and its athletes, coaches, and support staff at Major Games, including the 2019 Parapan Am Games in Lima, Peru. Beyond working with 57 CSIO affiliated athletes participating in the Games in the daily training environment, at camps, and at competitions, CSIO supports Team Canada be providing many of our expert practitioners to work or volunteer at the Games. CSIO believes having these hands-on multi-sport and major Games experiences are invaluable opportunities for staff to challenge themselves, learn, and grow in a different environment, as well as see the athletes we work with in action on the world stage.  

CSIO is also proud to have six staff members on the ground in Lima supporting Team Canada at the Parapan Am Games in various roles:           

Learn more about each of their roles at CSIO and their journey to the Games below:
 

Remo Bucci, RMT, SMT(C)

CSIO Job Title: Registered Massage Therapist
Role at Parapan Am Games: Massage Therapist – Para Athletics

Tell us about your career journey.

An injury while working in construction changed my career path and opened up a new world of opportunities. I had gone through different therapies during my recovery and for me, it was massage therapy that was best to help me and led to my career change. I went back to school and became a Registered Massage Therapist in 1995 and then became Certified in sport massage in 2000. From there, I was able to be involved with the 2001 Canada Games in London, Ontario which led to making the Core Medical team in 2003 for FISU Games in South Korea, the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games, and the 2006 Torino Olympic Games. I had developed links with Athletics Canada and began working with them, which led to becoming part of their IST for Para Athletics for years. This included working at camps and major competitions. In 2014, an opportunity at CSIO became available to work as a contractor with Swimming Canada and in 2015 with Cycling Canada. In 2016, positive changes at Athletics Canada led me to become an employee of CSIO and work with all three of the teams in their daily training environment, camps, and competitions. In large part, this wouldn’t have been possible without the Legacy that was left behind after the 2015 Toronto Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.

When did you start working for CSIO?

November 11, 2014 – I remember because it was Remembrance Day, and I was working on an athlete and stopped to observe the moment of silence.

What has been your journey to get to the Parapan Am Games?

Because Athletics Canada wants support staff to go back and forth between working with able-bodied and para athletes, I was able to attend the Rio Olympics, and now I will go to the these Parapan Am Games. I also haven’t experienced a multi-sport para Games since the 2011 Parapan Am Games in Guadalajara, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to be involved on the para side again.

What does it mean to you to be going to the Parapan Am Games?  

It’s so great and exciting. I love how being part of Team Canada at a multi-sport Games really fosters a family atmosphere and support network - at the practitioner level and across all of the various sports. You get a sense that there is this security net and you have other teams supporting you too.

What do you hope to learn?

I am excited to learn more about the people and culture. I’ve heard great things about the volunteers and Peruvian people from the athletes who have come back from Pan Ams, so it’s something to look forward. I am also looking forward to learning something new. I am not sure what it is just yet, but I always learn something new at a multi-sport Games.

What’s one of your favourite moments working in sport?

My first multi-sport Paralympic experience was at the 2004 Paralympics in Greece, Chantel Petitclerc won 5 gold medals at those Games. As part of Core Medical team, I was stationed with Athletics and you had to stay at the venue for most of the time because the village was at least 45 minutes away. When Chantel won her 4th gold, the Finals had been at 8:00pm or 9:00pm, and then she had to go through media, doping control, and finally therapy. She didn’t get to me until around 10:30pm, there was no warm-up tent and the only lights were the track lights. We had to be quick and she helped me pack up, and then we raced to the last bus which was at 11:00pm. It was my first Paralympic experience, and you have this veteran multi-medal athlete who helped me out because I helped her out. The cherry on top of a wonderful experience was she gave me a picture showing her 5 medals with a signed personalised message as a thank you.

Another great memory was in 2006 at the Torino Olympics. I was the only Massage Therapist on the Core Medical team, and I had three villages to travel between. It was a great experience going back and forth between the different venues/villages and interacting with athletes and support staff. Since my heritage is Italian it was also great getting into the Italian culture.

Before Remo left for Lima, he took part in our new video feature Take 5 – where we asked him five rapid fire questions! 

 

 

Dr. Kim Coros

CSIO Job Title: Sport Medicine Physician
Role at Parapan Am Games: Doctor, Core Team + Para Athletics

Tell us about your career journey.

Sports have always been an important part of my life. While I’m not the most talented individual athlete, I’ve always worked well in teams. Through sport, I’ve met some of my best friends, experienced some of my most memorable moments, and learned some of life’s most important lessons. By the time university came around, it was clear that I would never be a high performance athlete, but I still loved sport (and it wasn’t uncommon to find me studying in the bleachers while one of the varsity teams was practicing). I moved into more of a support role – volunteering as an athletic trainer and working as a sport coordinator (all the while continuing to study). Eventually, I began working with a varsity team where one of the athletes had a physical impairment. I was so inspired by her drive and positive outlook. She was one of the best athletes on the team and the only obvious disability she had compared to her teammates was that she wasn’t able to put her hair in a ponytail (a job I took very seriously)! Her impairment introduced a new element of creativity to sport for me. It was then that I realized I didn’t just want to work in sport, I wanted to work in sport for individuals with disabilities!

Why did you get into your profession?

After I did my undergraduate degree in Kinesiology, I applied to continue my studies in prosthetic and orthotic design, biomechanics, and medicine. I ended up accepting a position at medical school (thinking I would get to wear scrubs all day). Once there, I spent the next few years trying to figure out which type of doctor works with athletes who have disabilities. I spent some time shadowing family physicians (including those who do sport medicine), orthopedic surgeons, rheumatologists, neurologists, and ultimately found physiatry. I then completed my Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Toronto and went on to get my CASEM (Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine) diploma. Ultimately, I found a way that my knowledge, creativity, and teamwork skills best fit into sport – para sport! Now, I hope to be able to support athletes to have the same type of positive experiences with sport that I have had.

When did you start working at CSIO?

I started working at CSIO as a medical resident volunteering to do annual physical pre-participation exams for the wheelchair basketball team. I started as staff officially in 2015 (and hope to continue for many years to come)!

What is your role at the Parapan Am Games?

I will be providing medical coverage to the Core Team – primarily Para Athletics and later Para Badminton. My job will be to help keep everyone healthy, so they are able to compete to the best of their abilities.

What was your journey in getting selected to be part of Team Canada’s support staff at the Parapan Am Games?

I started off volunteering to provide medical coverage for local events (Sporting Life 10k, Mississauga Marathon, OFSAA Track & Field). In 2015, I acted as a venue lead for Sitting Volleyball at the Parapan Am Games in Toronto. Later, I was able to volunteer for the Invictus Games. I became the East Hub Physician for Athletics Canada, and now will be headed to Lima to help with the Para Team!
 

What does it mean to you to be part of Team Canada’s support staff at the Parapan Am Games?

As a little girl, I dreamed of representing Canada at a Major Games. This experience is a dream come true! I think most people consider Major Games including the Parapan Am Games as a pinnacle in an athlete’s sporting career. The same is true for support staff! I am proud to be able to use my strengths to enable athletes to have their best possible experience competing for our country (and without as many direct eyes on me…which always made me nervous)!

What do you hope to learn / experience at Parapan Ams?

I am looking forward to seeing some of the less frequently broadcasted para sports in action. I am always interested in learning from other team members and seeing how others creatively problem solve various impairments, so that I can bring that knowledge back to the benefit of my local athletes and patients. Finally, I’m looking forward to some inspirational performances that capture the work ethic, integrity, and enjoyment that made me fall in love with sport in the first place!

Favourite moment working in sport?

I’ve had a lot of memorable moments within sport. Being part of a winning team is always fun, but some of the most powerful moments in sport I’ve experienced have come from the quiet reflection when things don’t go as planned, and some of the most exciting moments have come from “wins” that don’t make it to the top of the podium. Overall, I’m looking forward to helping each athlete compete to the best of their abilities, and I think my favourite moment working in sport is yet to come!
 

Take 5 with Dr. Kim Coros…

What are you most excited for at Parapan Ams?

Estoy muy emocionado de aprender = I’m most excited to learn! I’m looking forward to learning more about different sports and classifications, learning from other team members, and learning the athletes’ stories. I could also use some Spanish lessons!

If you could share one piece of advice to a young sport science / sport medicine practitioner wanting to work in high performance sport, what would it be?

Start locally and get some experience, then just keep doing what you love!

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from the amazing team around me – athletes, integrated support team members, friends, and family. When you work within a team that is passionate about success, it’s contagious and it really makes the experience much more meaningful.

What impact has CSIO had on your career?

Working at CSIO has given me the chance to work with high volumes of high-performance athletes and support staff who are among the best in the world. I believe it is in large part the experience I have gained working at CSIO that has led to the opportunity to attend the Parapan American Games in Peru.

Describe CSIO in 1 word.

Passion. Everyone I come across at CSIO has one thing in common – passion. Passion for sport, passion for our country, and passion for pushing the limits of knowledge and technology to support our athletes in achieving their best possible performances.

 

Melissa LaCroix, MSc. CAT (C)

CSIO Job Title: Sport Physiologist
Role at Parapan Am Games: Physiologist, Wheelchair Rugby

 

Tell us about your career journey.

7 years ago, following my Masters program, I pursued an internship opportunity out West at Canadian Sport Institute Pacific (CSIP) as a Sport Physiologist. Soon after my internship I transitioned into a full-time role as the Lead Physiologist for Wheelchair Rugby Canada, along with supporting a number of other National and Provincial teams. In December 2018, I moved to Ontario to work at CSIO, where I continue to work with Wheelchair Rugby Canada and many other sports.

Why did you get into your profession?

As a former athlete, I have always been passionate about the science and physiology behind training and the individuality of athletes. Being a sport physiologist, my professional ikigai is to find innovative ways to help athletes reach their full athletic potential.

When did you start working at CSIO?

I have been part of the CSIO team for 8 months and was previously at CSIP for 7 years.

What is your role at the Parapan Am Games?

My role at the Games is to support the Wheelchair Rugby Canada athletes on and off the court in their physical preparation, recovery (nutrition, hydration, workload), and thermoregulation management.

What does it mean to you to be part of Team Canada’s support staff at the Parapan Am Games?

It is an honour to be part of the Team Canada support staff. I am grateful for the opportunity as very few get to experience a Major International Games and support our Canadian athletes on a world stage.

What do you hope to learn / experience at Parapan Ams? 

Gain knowledge and experience on how to best support the athletes and staff in a multi-sport Major Games environment.

Favourite moment working in sport?

It is always extremely rewarding watching an athletes’ hard work in the daily training environment pay off and come to fruition on and off the playing field, in testing and competition.

My favourite sporting moment with Wheelchair Rugby Canada was when they beat the USA in a dramatic game to win the Gold medal at the 2015 Parapan Am Games in front of a sold-out hometown crowd in Toronto.

 

Take 5 with Melissa LaCroix…

What are you most excited for at Parapan Ams?

Feeling the excitement throughout the village, celebrating the athlete success as a Canadian Team, learning from the missed opportunities, but mostly celebrating and appreciating what all of the Parapan Am athletes are capable of doing despite the challenges they have to overcome in their daily life.

If you could share one piece of advice to a young sport science / sport medicine practitioner wanting to work in high performance sport, what would it be?  

Find a good mentor that works in high performance sport and work just as hard at developing your communication and interpersonal/softs skills as you do your sport science knowledge. Your ideas and knowledge are only as good as your communication skills and ability to connect with athletes, coaches, and staff.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Being surrounded by elite athletes, coaches, and experts in their field who share a similar passion and commitment in reaching their goals, pushing their limits, and the limits of sport science.

What impact has CSIO had on your career?

Working at CSIO provides me the opportunity to collaborate and learn from other very passionate and knowledgeable experts. I am challenged every day by my colleagues, coaches, and athletes on how to be a better teammate, physiologist, and person both at work and in life.

Describe CSIO in 1 word.

World class.

Krista McHardy, RMT, CAT(C), ATC

CSIO Job Title: Athletic Therapist
Role at Parapan Am Games: Athletic Therapist, Men’s Wheelchair Basketball

Tell us about your career journey.

After completing my Master’s degree in Athletic Training at Temple University in Philadelphia, I spent the next 7 years working for Temple Orthopedics contracted to a high school covering all of their sports, as well as one morning per week in the clinic assisting the surgeon with casting, post-op suture removal, etc. In 2013, I moved back to Canada and began working at CSIO with the Wheelchair Basketball Canada National Academy program. In 2016 after the Rio Paralympics, I became the full-time therapist at Wheelchair Basketball Canada’s National Training Centre working with both the development athletes in the Academy and the Senior National Teams.

Why did you get into your profession?

I grew up watching football, and often found myself watching what was happening on the field and sideline when athletes got hurt more than the game itself. It was a natural progression from there.

When did you start working at CSIO?

September 2013 as a contractor, hired full-time December 2013.

What is your role at the Parapan Am Games?

Athletic Therapist with Men’s Wheelchair Basketball.

 

What was your journey in getting selected to be part of Team Canada’s support staff at the Parapan Am Games?

Selected by Wheelchair Basketball Canada.

 

What does it mean to you to be part of Team Canada’s support staff at the Parapan Am Games?

It’s exciting to be part of the Team supporting our athletes and representing Canada. Like many of the athletes who have worked their way through the development programs to get to this point, I’ve also worked my way up alongside them, so there is a sense of accomplishment for myself as well.

What do you hope to learn / experience at Parapan Ams? 

Just being part of the bigger team – getting the opportunity to meet people from other sports and learn from them.

Favourite moment working in sport?

2009 when the Philadelphia high school I was working at won both the Boys and Girls Basketball Pennsylvania State Championships for the first time in League History.

Take 5 with Krista McHardy…

What are you most excited for at Parapan Ams?

It’s my first multi-sport Games experience, so I’m excited to be part of a bigger team with other sports
If you could share one piece of advice to a young sport science / sport medicine practitioner wanting to work in high performance sport, what would it be?  

Be open to possibilities even if it’s not what you think you wanted. I never thought I would work in para sport - when I was deciding where to do my Master’s degree I had an interview lined up at the University of Illinois to do an Assistantship with Wheelchair Basketball, then coached by Mike Frogley. I opted to go to Temple University instead and 9 years later ended up working at the newly formed Wheelchair Basketball Academy under the direction of Mike Frogley, which ultimately brought me to the Parapan Am Games.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Mostly from the athletes and coaches. When I see how hard they work it motivates me to do what I can to help support that.

What impact has CSIO had on your career?

CSIO has supported my growth as a therapist and provided me the opportunity to collaborate with other sports science practitioners, which in turn, has raised my ability to help our athletes.

Describe CSIO in 1 word.

Support.


 

Lindsay Musalem, MSc

CSIO Job Title: Sport Biomechanist
Role at Parapan Am Games: Games Performance Analysis Specialist, Core Team + Para Athletics and Wheelchair Basketball

Tell us about your career journey.

I started working for CSIO in 2012 as a sport science intern. After completing my Master’s degree at UofT, I returned to CSIO as a Biomechanics Researcher for Wheelchair Basketball and as the Sport Lab Manager. Over the next three years, I completed multiple research projects, funded by OTP’s Innovation 4 Gold grants for Wheelchair Basketball and Diving. Now working as a Biomechanist with Athletics and Diving, I work with both able bodied and para athletes day to day and continue to try to innovate to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury of athletes.

Why did you get into your profession?

I have always had a passion for sport. Having worked with Wheelchair Basketball for 4 years, I developed an interest in para sport and trying to improve the process of equipment design and selection.

When did you start working at CSIO?

I started working at CSIO in 2012.

What is your role at the Parapan Am Games?

I am working with CPC as a Games Performance Analysis Specialist. I will be working with multiple sports including Para Athletics and Wheelchair Basketball.

What was your journey in getting selected to be part of Team Canada’s support staff at the Parapan Am Games?

I was recruited by CPC after having worked at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto.

What does it mean to you to be part of Team Canada’s support staff at the Parapan Am Games?

It’s very exciting to get to attend another Major Games with multiple teams I have worked with. Watching our Canadian athletes compete at the highest level, after seeing all the work they have put in, is always an incredible opportunity.

What do you hope to learn / experience at Parapan Ams? 

I hope to help athletes and coaches as much as I can in Lima and learn everything I can in preparation for Tokyo 2020.

Favourite moment working in sport?

My favourite moments working in sport have been seeing athletes progress from junior or development teams, to senior national teams and achieving incredible results on the international stage.

Take 5 with Lindsay Musalem…

 

What are you most excited for at Parapan Ams?

I’m looking forward to getting to work with both sports that I work with day-to-day, as well as sports I haven’t had the chance to work with yet through CPC. I have learned a lot by seeing how other sports operate.

If you could share one piece of advice to a young sport science / sport medicine practitioner wanting to work in high performance sport, what would it be?

Keep learning constantly. You can learn something from everyone you meet: athletes, coaches, and other practitioners.

 
Where do you draw inspiration from?

Other than my family, I gain inspiration from people I work with: athletes, coaches, and practitioners alike. Seeing others work hard and overcome adversity to achieve their goals is pretty inspirational.

What impact has CSIO had on your career?

CSIO has given me the opportunity to work with multiple sports and has allowed me to merge my research interests with day-to-day sport science work. I have had the opportunity to really put research into practice with some of the best athletes in the world.

Describe CSIO in 1 word.

Dedicated.

 

Please note: Dr. Dilkas was unavailable to provide answers prior to departing for the Parapan Am Games.

 

About Canadian Sport Institute Ontario

Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) is a non-profit organization committed to the pursuit of excellence by providing world-class programs, services, and leadership to high performance athletes and coaches to enhance their ability to achieve international podium performances. CSIO offers athletes a range of sport science and sport medicine services including nutrition, physiology, biomechanics, strength & conditioning, mental performance, sport therapy and life services. CSIO also delivers programming and services to National and Provincial Sport Organizations and coaches to work towards building a stronger sport system in Ontario and Canada.

CSIO services approximately 700 high performance athletes and 250 coaches, at its main facility at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, its satellite location at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, and in daily training environments across Ontario. CSIO is part of a larger network of 4 institutes and 3 multi-sport centres across the country known as the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network, working in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee. CSIO is further supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Sport Canada, Own the Podium, and the Coaching Association of Canada, along with the National and Provincial Sport Organizations within the sector. www.csiontario.ca  

 

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Media Contact:

Laura Albright, Manager, Communications & Events
Canadian Sport Institute Ontario
Tel: 416.596.1240 Ext. 238
Email: lalbright@csiontario.ca
www.csiontario.ca

 

Photo: ​Remo Bucci

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