Athlete Factory Monthly Newsletter - June 2016
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Iya Gavrilova

Name:   Iya Gavrilova
Age:     28
Sport:   Ice Hockey
Level:   Russian National Team (Olympics 2006, 2010, 2014) & University of Calgary 

1. Give us a brief overview of your development as a hockey player. 

When I was 8 years old, my dad read in the newspaper that they were looking for hockey players for a team in town.  It was a boys team and he asked me if I wanted to join. I said "yes" and started to play boys hockey when I was 8.  There was a female hockey team in my home town but they were adults. I started to play with them and the boys when I was 11. I stayed in my home town playing until I was 14 years old.  For high school I got invited to go to Moscow for the Olympic High School for athletes.  I moved away from my parents when I was 15 and was living in Moscow until I was 18.  I made the national team when I was 15 at the Olympic Sports School.  

When I was on the national team, Shannon, the head coach from Minnesota, watched worlds and recruited me to play for University of Minnesota on scholarship.  I moved to the US when I was 18, not knowing anyone there.  It was pretty scary at the time.  I got offers from a number of schools but I chose Shannon because she seemed open and understanding.  I felt safe going there knowing that I would be working with her.  

I finished my degree at Minnesota, after only playing half a season of hockey.  Upset by the NCAA's eligibility rules and still wanting to play college hockey, I looked to play in Canada.  Shannon knew the University of Calgary's coach Danielle.  She recommended me to be coached by her and to come here. Danielle offered me a free ride to U of C which helped me stay in Calgary.

2. How did your season finish up this year?

I felt we finished on a good note.  We didn't start well, with a  lot of ups and downs. We hit some rough patches, but by the end we started coming together as a team.  To see the progress of the younger girls was great.  To see how much the coaching could make a difference on the ice.  It was an awesome season to be a part of.

3. You finished your season playing with the Dinos and hopped right on the bus to play in the IIHF Worlds with Team Russia.  What was that like?

It was awesome.  Every time I play in Canada, its always special for me.  I love this country.  In the last worlds we played in Ottawa in 2013.  We won bronze there.  Now, we played in BC and won bronze there again. Canada has been very lucky for us.  It was a good change for me.  I missed my [Russian] team and missed playing in their season.  They've had camps this season and I couldn't be a part of that.  It was nice to play with them again and be around Russians.  

4. What is your most memorable moment as an international hockey player thus far?

The most memorable is my first IIHF bronze in Ottawa.  A close second was playing for team Russia at the Sochi games.  It was also an incredible experience.  I got to play on home ice.  Women's hockey isn't popular in Russia.  Going to play in front of 10,000 people in Russia was completely mind-blowing for me.  I had no idea people watched women's hockey in Russia.    After that game, we've gotten more attention from hockey fans in Russia.  In 2013, winning bronze at the IIHF World's, we sparked some attention from Russian fans.  People were excited for the Sochi games.  I think women's hockey is continuing to grow bigger and bigger.  Its great to see the sport grow.

5. You've played a number of season with various high-level women's hockey teams: Division I University, Russian National Team, National Sport School in Moscow.  How was your training this past season different from previous experiences in Strength & Conditioning?

After I found out I couldn't play for Minnesota because of eligibility, I had to pursue my own training on and off the ice.  The school let me continue to use their facilities, so I got to use the gym and the ice but couldn't practice with the women's team.  I used the women's team's training program but didn't get any coaching on it.  I started playing pick-up hockey with men's hockey players on campus and doing my own lifting.

Training with the Athlete Factory let me focus more on the foundation of strength training for hockey.  This training reminded me of some off-season training I've done before.  Training with Doug and Juul really showed me that I can keep training hard during the season.  You can keep getting better during the season despite the amount of time you're spending on the ice.  I really liked the way we worked in the gym to get stronger and the amount of agility and change of direction work we did.  It helped show me the benefit of continuing agility work during the season.  This type of training would've helped me be stronger before I moved to the US from Russia.  I was really weak coming over.  We didn't do any weight training in Russia and I feel like it would've helped me prevent injuries: shoulder and ACL.  

6.  You just graduated from U of C, what's next for you in terms of hockey?

I could see myself coaching in the future.  I have spent a lot of time traveling, playing for the national team since I was 15.  I would like to take a little time off.  If I get the opportunity to coach, I would do it.  I want to work with athletes who want to learn and play hard.  

7.  Young female hockey players, around the world, have watched you play and develop as an athlete over the last 3 Olympic Games.  What would you tell these young athletes who aspire to play at the national and international level in hockey?

Love the game.  When I grew up, I loved hockey.  I would go outside and play.  I would commentate to myself aloud: "Gavrilova has the puck. She crosses the line. She goes around the defense.  She scores!"  I watched the Salt Lake Olympics in 2002.  I thought to myself "I want to be there. I want to play in the Olympics."  My dad always taught me that if I work hard, it would pay off.  If I dreamed big and worked hard, I would get there.  Have a passion for the game and respect for the game.

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Athlete News

Geneva Roach placed 10th at her first Professional Waterski Tournament.

Hockey player Peyton Krebs received 2016 Alberta Cup All-Star Award. Peyton also went #1 in the WHL draft. 

Debbie Nyarko, Devin Corah and Sarah Calkin were invited to the Canadian National Volleyball Junior Team try-outs. 

National Rugby Team Player Nick Blevins is set to represent Canada against Russia on June 18 in Calgary. The team will play at the Calgary Rugby Park.

Jack Burns, Brayden Laurie, Matson Tulloch, and Prince Kivia were selected for the U18 Team Alberta Football team.  They will be representing the province at the Football Canada Cup in Winnipeg in July.

Southwest United Celtics '04 girls soccer placed second at the 2016 KYSA Slurpee Cup in Kamloops.

Calgary Rowing Club's Jessie Loutit & Amelie Schumaker placed 1st at the Leduc Freeze or Fry Regatta in the Women's Pair final.  Jessie went on to win the women's single scull in a very strong women's field.

Brayden Laurie placed 4th and 5th in the 100 and 200-meter dash in the City Track & Field Championships, respectively.  He was also a member of the 4x100m relay team that took home silver in the finals.  He will represent Henry Wisewood High School alongside teammate Jack Burns at Provincials. 

Thomas Pugsley & Foothills Volleyball Club teammates placed 5th at the 2016 16U West Volleyball Canada Championships.

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Meet Dr. Yvonne Cheng, DTCM

Dr. Yvonne Cheng is a recent graduate of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is excited to incorporate this ancient medicine into modern clinical practice. Following her studies in Canada, Yvonne completed a clinical internship at the Traditional Chinese Medicine Teaching Hospital in the Sichuan Province of China. During that time, she studied under the most prestigious Doctors focusing her practice on gynecology, fertility, orthopedic acupuncture, weight loss and neck and lumbar pain.

Drawing on the roots of Traditional Chinese Medicine, her goal is to guide your personal growth towards realizing your health and wellness potential. Her passion is focused on anti-aging and weight loss protocols that are natural and effective. She strives to identify and treat the cause of the imbalance instead of masking the symptoms as she believes with the right approach, your body has the amazing ability to heal itself. Acupuncture can help you look and feel radiant from the inside out.

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5 Ways to Stay Fit While Travelling
By Nick Gies - Sr Coach
As seen in it's entirety here in Amber Approved - May/June 2016

Being able to get somewhat of a decent workout in while on vacation is something that most people would like to do.  But when very few hotels have an adequate place to do this, the likelihood of them completing a workout is... NOT VERY.

Here're some tips from Coach Nick on how to feel great, stay in shape, and enjoy vacation.  Read this article in its entirety here.

1.  Ladders:  The easiest way to get a training session in is ladders.  So if we pick our three basic exercises (push-ups, crunches, body weight squats) start the ladder with 10 reps of pushups, 10 reps of crunches, 10 reps of squats, then immediately start with 9 reps of pushups and so on and so forth.  This will result in 55 reps of each exercise by the time you finish.

2.  Circuit:  If you want something a bit different and a bit more intense do timed circuits.  The timing can get creative, and you can pick between 6-10 stations.  My favourite set up when time and space are limited is 6 stations consisting of:  speed squats, pushups, crunches, speed squats, crunches, pushups, for 10 seconds on/ 10 seconds off x 2-4 rounds (3 minutes between sets).  

Doesn't sound like much, but for that 10 seconds on, you are trying to move as fast as humanly possible while keeping good form.

If that doesn't leave you in a puddle of sweat... try harder.  The possibilities are endless, just pick a few exercises, do them fast, and repeat.

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