The financial pros competing for Canada in Rio

By Jessica Bruno | August 5, 2016 | Last updated on August 5, 2016
2 min read

Accountants, advisors and traders may have a reputation as the ultimate desk jockeys, but these professionals will be blowing past that stereotype at the Brazil Olympics.

Competitive racewalker Mathieu Bilodeau, 32, is an accountant at MEG Energy Group in Calgary. On Aug. 19, he’ll be representing Canada in a gruelling 50-km trek he hopes will end at the podium. Bilodeau credits his training as a CPA for giving him the mental endurance he needs to compete.

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“It’s just so awful after 35 km that you need that disciplined, calculating, mind-set to compute how to effectively finish that last 15km. You’re crunching numbers through the pain,” he told CPA Canada.

Bilodeau’s coach, Gerry Dragomir, is also an accountant. He was named Coaching Canada’s Coach of the Year in 2014. Bilodeau and the two other racewalking athletes he coaches medalled at the Pan American Games in Toronto in 2015.

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New York financial advisor Cynthia Meyer, 50, will be shooting targets for Canada this Olympics. Meyer, who has family ties to Bowen Island, B.C., is a broker and investment advisor at AXA Advisors in Manhattan. She’s been in the financial business for 22 years, and she first represented Canada at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

As if being a competitive cyclist and speed skater weren’t enough, Kirsti Lay, 28, studied accounting at the University of Calgary. She graduated with honours in 2014, the same year she won silver at her first cycling World Cup. She’s now in Rio, representing Canada in the velodrome.

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Triathalon athlete Sarah-Anne Brault, 26, has goals on the track and off. The Quebec native wants to pursue a career in corporate finance or trading. She graduated from West Virginia University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics and Finance. While she was working on her degree, she became the 2012 Pan American Campion, won World Triathalon medals, and joined the Canadian national team.

All photos courtesy of Team Canada.

Jessica Bruno