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Going for the gold

A number of Smith students were at this summer’s Olympic Games.
Adriana Leon (left) and Quinn celebrate at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Adriana Leon (left) and Quinn celebrate at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

When Julia Grosso scored the shootout winner that gave Canada’s women’s soccer team the gold medal at the Tokyo Games in August, all of Canada cheered. It was, after all, the first-ever women’s Olympic soccer gold for Canada.

But there was a Smith connection to the win as well. Three Team Canada players—Adriana Leon, Nichelle Prince and Quinn—are Certificate in Business (CIB) students here. They were part of the team that defeated Sweden in the thrilling gold-medal match.

And they weren’t the only Smith students at the Summer Games either. Eleven more CIB students took part, including Alicia Brown, a member of the 4X400 relay team that finished fourth in the finals—missing the podium by just 60-100ths of a second.

Also at the Games: two graduate students. Erica Wiebe, EMBAA’22, who won gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, competed in the 76-kg women’s freestyle wrestling competition in the 1/8 final, while Benjamin Preisner, MMAI’22, was the top Canadian in the men's marathon, finishing 46th overall.

It was Preisner’s first Olympic Games. An experienced runner, he only recently switched to running the marathon, a 42.2 km run that can take more than two hours to complete under sometimes gruelling conditions. In Tokyo, the men’s marathon was held in 29-degree Celsius heat. “It was hot but it was an unforgettable experience,” Preisner says. “To be able to compete for your country is really special.”

Smith has been the exclusive business education partner of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) since 2016 and is a founding partner of Game Plan, Canada’s total athlete wellness program, helping athletes plan for success beyond sport.