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Kewl Athletes

Chad Owens

Born on April 3, 1982 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Chads mother raised me in Kalihi, an area surrounded by gang activity and temptation. From day one I felt like I was battling from two steps behind everyone else. I was born 6 weeks premature and I always felt undersized. However, instead of viewing this as a crutch, I decided to use this as the fuel to get the best out of myself. I needed a vehicle for this fuel though, and for me, that vehicle would be sport. It would provide me with an opportunity to harness all this energy inside me. The competition of sport would provide me with the chance to prove myself and become a difference maker in my own life. The challenging demands to achieve success in sports became an addiction of mine. In high school my desire and passion for sports grew while my academic performance suffered. I became so focused on being the best athlete I could that I failed to realize the role education would play in accomplishing my dream. A high school benching due to poor grades would be a crucial lesson learned, and one I would take to heart in my future career. This change in focus and work ethic would give me an opportunity to join the Warriors at the University of Hawaii. College would bring athletic success and achievements that are still talked about to this day among people back home. It was also when I would marry my junior high sweetheart and best friend, Rena. We would be blessed with 3 beautiful children and she would be a rock for me throughout this journey. After a successful college career, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected me in the 6th round of the NFL draft. This was the realization of a dream that would not work out as I had envisioned it in my mind. A 3-year span of subpar play and few opportunities to take hold and I found myself looking for work once again. At one point I even ended up selling cars for a month. In 2008 I was given a chance with Colorado of the Arena football league. I knew I wasn’t done so I jumped at the chance. Once again however life would throw adversity my way; I tore my ACL during a game. This would be among the most devastating circumstances I had ever encountered. I seriously pondered my future as a professional athlete. Fortunately a teammate of mine, Rashad Floyd, would exhale some inspiration my way with the following; “Chad – if there’s anyone who can come back from this, it’s you”. I took this vote of confidence to heart and I committed myself to work as hard as I could to come back even stronger.

A commitment to hard work and training would lead me to an opportunity that was completely unknown to me. A chance to join the Canadian Football League (CFL) would effectively change my life forever. I signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL in 2009, and it felt great to once again be on the field and in the locker room with a team. Chads tenure in Montreal would be short lived though, as I was traded to the double blue of the Toronto Argonauts in 2010. This change of venue would give me the chance to finally showcase the results of the years of intense training and hard work. I can’t really explain why or how this feeling came about, but after all the adversity I had faced to get here, I realized this would be the place for me. Within two years we were the 100th Grey Cup Champions, I was the MOP (Most Outstanding Player), and I had established a CFL record for All Purpose Yards in a season. I felt vindicated and excited for all that was yet to come. In 2015 my family and I permanently relocated to Canada and we could not be happier to be here with all of you.

“What you do with each new opportunity or challenge is on you; you either make the most of it, or you don’t. Looking back at my journey and how it unfolded, it wasn’t easy – but I can honestly say I wouldn’t change any of it. I’m hopeful my story provides inspiration. I hope it instills a passion and fight in people to relentlessly pursue their dreams in the face of adversity.”

There Will Always Be More to Overcome

Meaghan Mikkelson

Family. Hockey. Team.

Like so many Canadians, Meaghan Mikkelson’s priorities are firmly rooted in a love for her family and teammates and respect for the game.

Her father, Bill Mikkelson, played four seasons in the NHL in the early 1970s with Los Angeles, the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals. Her brother, Brendan, was a Memorial Cup champion with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants and now plays for the Tampa Bay Lightning. And, her husband Scott Reid was a goalie for the CHL’s Arizona Sundogs.

A graduate of The University of Wisconsin’s hockey program, Meaghan led the team to back-to-back NCAA Championships, won the Olympic gold medal for Canada in Vancouver 2010 and followed that up with a win at the 2012 IIHF World Hockey Championships.

In Sochi 2014, Meaghan added an element of hockey toughness to her growing resume.

Playing with a broken hand in the Olympic Final versus the USA, she assisted on the opening goal for Canada that sparked the comeback that will be talked about for decades.

Meaghan joined teammate Natalie Spooner on Season 2 of The Amazing Race Canada winning an impressive 7 stages en route to finishing second in the finale. They were voted "Canada's Favourite Team" by fans of the number-one ranked show in the country.

While taking some time off from hockey to have a baby before returning to the team with the goal of representing Canada in Pyeongchang 2018, Meaghan did something truly unique: She asked Twitter to #NameMyBaby.

In one of the most engrossing campaigns over the summer of 2015, Meaghan and her husband Scott Reid asked Canada to vote from a hockey-style bracket until one name emerged as the clear winner: Calder.

"For Scott and I, Calder will always be the baby that Canada named," said Meaghan.

"We're looking forward to sharing this story with our son."

Laura Stacey

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Development Team at the 2017 Nations Cup in Füssen, Germany and Telfs, Austria.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2016 4 Nations Cup in Vierumäki, Finland.

Won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Development Team at the 2016 Nations Cup in Füssen, Germany.

Was a member of Canada’s National Women’s Development Team for a three-game series against the United States in Calgary, Alta., in August 2014.

Played in Canada’s National Women’s Program Red-White Series in Calgary, Alta., in August 2013.

Won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Under-22/Development Team at the 2013 Meco Cup in Füssen, Germany.

Was a member of Canada’s National Women’s Under-22/Development Team for a three-game series vs. the United States in Calgary, Alta., in August 2012.

Won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship in Zlin, Czech Republic.

Was a member of Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team for a three-game series vs. the United States in Rockland, Ont., in August 2011.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team at the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship in Stockholm, Sweden.

Was a member of Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team for a three-game series vs. the United States in Lake Placid, N.Y., in August 2010.

Laura Fortino

Played for Canada’s National Women’s Team in the two-game December Series against the United States in Sarnia, Ont., and Plymouth, Mich., in December 2016.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2016 4 Nations Cup in Vierumäki, Finland.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Kamloops, B.C.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2015 4 Nations Cup in Sundsvall, Sweden.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2015 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Malmö, Sweden.

Won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2014 4 Nations Cup in Kamloops, B.C.

Attended Canada’s National Women’s Team Fall Festival in Calgary, Alta., in September 2014.

Won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Played in a six-game series vs. the United States leading up to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Ottawa, Ont.

Was a member of Canada’s National Women’s Under-22/Development Team for a three-game series against the United States in in Calgary, Alta., in August 2012.

Won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2012 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Burlington, Vt.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2011 4 Nations Cup in Nyköping, Sweden.

Attended Canada’s National Women’s Team September Camp/Fall Festival in Calgary, Alta., in September 2011.

Attended Canada’s National Women’s Under-22/Development Team training camp in Rockland, Ont., in August 2011.

Attended Canada’s National Women’s Team selection camp in Toronto, Ont., in April 2011.

Won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team at the 2011 MLP Cup in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland.

Attended Canada’s National Women’s Team evaluation camp in Calgary, Alta., in September 2010.

Was a member of Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team for a three-game series vs. the United States in Toronto, Ont., in August 2010.

Won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team at the 2010 MLP Cup in Ravensburg, Germany.

Was a member of Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team for a three-game series vs. Canada’s National Women’s Team in Calgary, Alta., in August 2009.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team at the 2009 IIHF World Women’s U18 Championship in Füssen, Germany.

Was a member of Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team for a three-game series against the United States in Lake Placid, N.Y., in August 2008.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team at the 2008 IIHF World Women’s U18 Championship in Calgary, Alta.

Jennifer Wakefield

Played for Canada’s National Women’s Team in the two-game December Series against the United States in Sarnia, Ont., and Plymouth, Mich., in December 2016.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2016 4 Nations Cup in Vierumäki, Finland.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Kamloops, B.C.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2015 4 Nations Cup in Sundsvall, Sweden.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2015 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Malmö, Sweden.

Won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Played in a six-game series vs. the United States leading up to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2013 4 Nations Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Ottawa, Ont.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2012 4 Nations Cup in Tikkurila, Finland.

Won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2012 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Burlington, Vt.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2011 4 Nations Cup in Nyköping, Sweden.

Finished third with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2011 IIHF 12 Nations Women’s Invitational Tournament in Vierumäki, Finland.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship in Zurich and Winterthur, Switzerland.

Won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2010 4 Nations Cup in St. John’s, N.L.

Was a member of Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team for a three-game series vs. the United States in Toronto, Ont., in August 2010.

Won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team at the 2010 MLP Cup in Ravensburg, Germany.

Centralized with the National Women’s Team during the 2009-10 season, leading up to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Played in a six-game series vs. the United States leading up to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2009 4 Nations Cup in Vierumäki, Finland.

Was an alternate with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2009 IIHF World Women’s Championship in Hämeenlinna, Finland.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team at the 2009 MLP Cup in Ravensburg, Germany.

Won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2008 4 Nations Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Was a member of Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team for a three-game series vs. the United States in Pierrefonds, Que., in August 2008.

Won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team at the 2008 Air Canada Cup in Ravensburg, Germany.

Won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2007 4 Nations Cup in Leksand, Sweden.

Was a member of Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team for a three-game series vs. the United States in Lake Placid, N.Y., in August 2007.