PUSHING FOR GOLD: Introducing Our First Olympian, Alysia Rissling

Josh Mercier

Josh Mercier

If ever you need inspiration for work ethic, look no further than Canadian Olympian Alysia Rissling. Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Alysia is a pilot with the Canadian women’s bobsleigh team. Throughout her life, Rizz’s athletic prowess has always been notable, as she seems to play every sport under the sun. In her spare time, she likes to golf, hike, snowboard, surf and play slow pitch. Moreover, she was offered scholarships in four sports: track and field, basketball, volleyball, and soccer. Ultimately,  she accepted a dual scholarship in Track and Field and Basketball at the University of Alberta. She had to shut down Track after the first year due to an overuse injury, but Alysia represented the Pandas for 5 years, winning a national silver and bronze medal over her tenure with the team.

Upon graduating from the UofA with a BSc. in Kinesiology, Alysia briefly set her sights on medical school. When more work was needed to gain acceptance , Rizz felt she had more to give to the sporting world, and developed a dream of becoming an Olympian in 2012 when she moved to Calgary to begin bobsledding. After one year as a brakeman, she switched to the front seat, and by her third year she cracked the national development team roster.

She won bronze at a world cup test event in PyeongChang, 2017 and was named the overall champion of the 2014/15 North American Cup circuit.

In the PyeongChang Olympics of 2018, Alysia finished in 6th position, just 0.7 seconds out of an Olympic medal in the woman’s two-man bobsleigh event.

More impressive than any accolades however, Alysia’s career accomplishments show just how much of a trailblazer she really is. She made history as the pilot of the first ever all-female team to officially compete in an international four-man bobsleigh race. The event became gender neutral going forward. 
She is one of a handful of athletes in the world to have competed in all three types of bobsleigh races and is one of 5 women to have driven four-man sleds on four different tracks across the globe.
Off the track, Alysia works tirelessly to be a role model for young women, to encourage them to be the best version of themselves that they can be. She’s a proud ambassador for both KidsSport and Fast and Female, the latter being an organization dedicated to inspiring girls in the community to stay active. Additionally, she works as a Classroom Champions mentor, where she uses sports as a teaching method. Oh, and did I mention she’s also a full-time public speaker?

Alysia is truly a phenomenal human being. She never gives anything less than 110%, and inspires others around her to do the same. A grinder and a competitor who has a heart of gold. If ever in need of a smile or some inspiration, tune into her podcast “The Face First Podcast” or follow Rizz on Instagram @rizzbobsleigh as she prepares for the 2022 Olympics. 

We at Treadstone Sports Agency are so pleased to call Alysia a friend and have her as part of our team.

With her motivation and her drive for success, I know who my money’s on to bring home an Olympic gold home to Canada.

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