How did you discover your talent? What got you started?
When I was in middle school, I decided to join the Coquitlam Cheetahs track and field club as a way to get prepared for the soccer season. Although my plan was to do the running events, the club encouraged all their members to try events in all three track and field categories including running, jumping and throwing. So, I began trying events in practice such as the 1500m, triple jump, high jump, discus, javelin, and the hammer throw. Through practicing in these different events, I gravitated towards the throws as I enjoyed the feeling of strength and the challenges associated with the highly technical nature of the events. In 2012, after a couple years of training, I qualified for my first big competitions, the BC Summer Games and the Canadian National Championships. It was at this moment that I really believed in my potential and truly discovered my talents in the event. I won all three of my events (hammer, javelin and discus) at the BC Summer Games and also capped off the championship, winning the W.R.Bennett Award for Athletic Excellence. I then went on to win a gold, a silver and a bronze at the Canadian National Championships that same summer.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always had two aspirations as a kid. One aspiration was (and continues) to be an Olympian and the other was to be an Architect or Doctor.
Who was your biggest inspiration?
I have always looked up to people who have been trailblazing the path which I hoped to follow; successful in both their STEM professional and athletic fields. One person who has been of inspiration to me lately is NY Jets NFL team member and graduate of Medicine, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
What makes you keep innovating and pushing your skills to new heights? What’s the intrinsic driver or motivation?
It is almost next to impossible to have a perfect throw, but it is the desire to reach for as close to perfection as possible that drives me to push my throws to new heights (or should I say lengths). It is a constant battle, working on the technical aspects of the throw, but it feels amazing when the technique clicks into place, the throw soars to a distance you’ve never thrown before and a new personal record is set.
So far, what has been your favourite highlight of your career? An achievement? A specific moment?
One of my favourite moments of my career so far has been competing on my third Team Canada at the World University Games in Naples Italy where I placed ninth. This was a multi-sport game and I really enjoyed not only meeting and competing with athletes from all over the world, but competing in a massive track and field stadium, and being able to experience and enjoy other sports on the international stage.
In regards to your career, where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years?
I am currently training towards the Paris 2024 Olympic games!
In terms of healthy habits, what are your thoughts on the current beverage options out there? (I.e. Energy Drinks, high sugar drinks etc)
I have always found it somewhat difficult to find a healthy beverage, besides water, that I could buy and drink on the go. So many beverages on the market today contain loads of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients and these are especially prominent in the on-the-go market.
I was so happy when I found a brand like Wize. Not only is the iced tea easy to take on the go, but it’s refreshing and really great tasting. It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day and Wize iced tea has been a great option for me in helping to keep my body fuelled.
How does Wize fit into your current lifestyle? And why do you choose Wize?
I love Wize because it is a convenient, tasty, healthy, and refreshing beverage that I can drink on the go at work, as well as before and after training sessions. Drinking Wize at work has been an especially good substitution for coffee and for helping to keep me hydrated before my training sessions in the afternoon. I have also been trying to reduce my sugar intake, so Wize is a great option with only 1g of sugar per can. Outside of my usual work and training schedule, I also enjoy taking wize with me on walks and hikes!
I also choose Wize because I highly value supporting others and Wize is a socially responsible company, working to support people in the coffee growing industry by providing them with an additional source of yearly income, by reducing hunger, and by increasing access to education in these communities.
What are the next projects coming down the pipeline?
I have been working with my new coach here, back at home, ever since graduating from the University of Connecticut in May of 2021, and we have been working to completely revamp my throwing technique. This has been quite the challenge, but I am excited to see the results of this hard work later this season when it all starts to come together. This summer I am hoping to qualify for the World University Games again, the Commonwealth Games or the NACAC Championships.
What’s your favourite flavour of Wize tea? When do you typically drink it?
My favourite flavour is the Grapefruit iced tea, but I also love drinking the lemon and the mango as well. I typically drink Wize iced tea while at work for a refreshing caffeine boost, and after workouts to help keep me hydrated.
Thanks for the interview! Where can our audience find out more about you?
You can find me on Instagram at @chanell_botsis