Canadian athletes are capable of some remarkable things. From gold-medal winning performances to astounding feats of charity, they’ve stepped up when they need to. Now, some are taking on an entirely new role in the COVID-19 pandemic: front-line health-care worker.
Canadian athletes with medical training are heeding the call and stepping up to the COVID-19 front lines. Many are just out of medical school and have not even completed their residencies, but they say they’re ready to help.
Retired figure skater Joannie Rochette and Virtual ProSpeakers athlete, who competed in the 2006 Turin and 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, received her own medical degree from McGill on Friday, has been working on the front lines since April. “I’m just one of hundreds of graduates to get into the action,” Rochette wrote on Twitter
Rochette captured Canada’s heart in 2010 when she won the bronze medal in women’s figure skating only days after her mother Therese died of a heart attack. In an interview with French-language all-sports network RDS, Rochette said she was inspired to get into medicine by her mother, who worked as a nurse’s aide.
“I always wanted to do this, and that’s why I applied to health sciences when I went to CEGEP. My mom was a nurse’s aide and I went with her to care homes when she went to feed residents,” Rochette said.
Other Olympians and ProSpeakers athletes are joining to fight, too. Four-time Olympic gold medallist Hayley Wickenheiser is working on rotation in Toronto emergency rooms as part of her final year of medical school at the University of Calgary. The Canadian hockey legend has been working with Canadians Conquer COVID-19 to send PPE to front-line health-care workers.