What We Do
Christina Smith
Christina Smith

Christina’s transition as an athlete has been a very challenging experience, leaving her sport career and venturing into the real world of business. She has for years been like a ship without a rudder, sailing into the wide ocean with no direction or stable landing ground to dock on. She always knew that becoming an Olympian was the first step of her journey, but where to go after?

Upon her sport retirement, she has continuously sought to find a new purpose which would permit her to apply what she called her 'Olympic degree' in order to make a difference in the world. This evolutionary process has lasted over a decade, which has involved countless hours of volunteering for charities and philanthropic endeavors. She has lived her life seeking ways to give back; make positive change; living life as a role model citizen and as an Olympian should; caring about health and wellbeing not only for herself, but for the good of others. She was once told she could only be a philanthropist if she had a lot of money and she should wait until she did before she helped other. Christina said in return that she has priceless time, energy, will in her life and love in her heart to give now, so why wait, because tomorrow is never certain, but today is.

Thanks to the inspiring opportunity presented through her sport family at the International Bobsleigh Skeleton Federation, she has been offered a new chance in life to broaden her horizons and seek a higher education to expand her professional development, her will to help others and share her passion for the Olympic and Paralympic Movement. The skills of focus, determination, attention to detail, perseverance and hard work ethic that she acquired as a sportsman, has now been revived and applied in her current studies at the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU). 

She felt this unique opportunity of further education would permit her to bridge the gap between her Olympic past, her current voluntarism and future aspiring pursuits, enabling her to embrace and apply the knowledge, skills, and achievements to broaden her horizons and business opportunities in the domain of international relations. Having the chance to be immersed in a foreign land with an Olympic legacy; to be exposed to the opportunity to collaborate, exchange and be creative with university colleagues from 15 diverse nations; as well as be educated by world renowned expert professors in their fields in a world class facility, was a priceless opportunity. Christina has been given the chance to develop a professional future with marketable appeal to anyone looking to engage with one of RIOU’s graduate students and Potanin Foundation scholarship recipients. 

It is with profound gratitude that she extends her sincerest appreciation and heartfelt thanks to the Potanin Foundation for the tremendous assistance and opportunity.

After a thorough process of application requiring proof of all pertinent certifications of accomplishments, documents of volunteerism, reference letters, and extensive educational achievements, she was honored to be one of 15 nations and sole Canadian to be chosen to study for a Master’s program at the Russian International Olympic University, however, without the Potanin Foundation scholarship assistance, she could not have pursued this opportunity.