VICTORIA—The worlds of sport and art will come together on the uniforms of Canada’s top high-performance and age group triathletes when they hit the start line around the world in 2018.
Drawing from the theme of transformational power of the three-discipline sport, Triathlon Canada’s 2018 race suits integrate a trio of recognizable Canadian animals designed in contemporary North West Coast style. The animals reflect each of the sports activities: swim, bike and run.
“The concept was inspired by the transformation triathletes experience through a race,” said Carey Newman, a Kwagiulth and Coast Salish artist and master carver from British Columbia. “From swimming to cycling to running, I wanted to connect my work to each of these three activities.”
To achieve this, Newman equated an iconic Canadian animal to each of the three legs of a triathlon. His idea is that the athletes take on the qualities of each animal, transforming from one to the next during the different disciplines of the race.
The animals he chose are:
- The Orca – an unparalleled swimmer. As the carrier of history, orca represents awakening of the inner depths and the power of song.
- The Raven – cycling is like flying. Known as the giver of light, guardian of magic and capable of mystical transformation, raven represents the intersection of human and animal.
- The Wolf – a tireless runner. Known for loyalty to family and guardianship. A great teacher, the wolf represents longevity, ritual and strength of spirit.
“Transformation is part of my culture, and the raven is the central figure in that mythology,” added Newman. “I see each of these athletes as a raven, seamlessly connecting human, orca, and wolf – each borrowing space from the others. In the water they are the orca, when they ride they soar like the raven, when they run they become the wolf.”
Various design elements of each animal can be found on the panels of the race suits. You will find the face, fins and tail of the orca; the wings, feathers and claws of the raven. On the chest of each suit is the wolf face and teeth — an imposing and strong statement for the athletes chasing down their competitors.
“There is nothing more powerful for an athlete than standing on the start line knowing they have the entire nation cheering them on,” said Kim Van Bruggen, chief executive officer, Triathlon Canada. “Working with Carey, our goal was to design a uniform that was unique and meaningful, while at the same time, tell a powerful story of who we are as triathletes and proud Canadians focused on achieving excellence.
“Racing internationally presents us with a unique opportunity to celebrate our heritage, and I think Carey has captured the transformational power of triathlon and sport in a unique way. The orca, raven and wolf are powerful, intimidating and strong, which reflect what each Canadian triathlete strives to be.”
The new design comes on the heels of Triathlon Canada announcing it is joining forces with 2XU in the drive to the podium in 2018. The brand synonymous with triathlon is committed to supplying all compression garments, training and racing apparel for Triathlon Canada’s high-performance athletes and age group teams in 2018.
ABOUT TRIATHLON CANADA
Triathlon Canada is the governing body of the sport in the country. Triathlon Canada’s more than 22,000 members include athletes, coaches and officials from the grassroots to elite levels. With the support of its valued corporate partners – 94 FORWARD, 2XU Canada, Training Peaks, Garneau, Zizu Optics and Zone3–along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, and Own the Podium, Triathlon Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic and World Champions in all race disciplines. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com.
ABOUT ARTIST CAREY NEWMAN
Carey Newman is a Kwagiulth artist, who under the influence and support of his father and mother, developed his artistic ability and cultural knowledge from an early age. Being of British and Kwagiulth/Salish descent, Carey has been able to draw upon each of these cultures for his inspiration. Finding ways to change and innovate without disregarding history is extremely important to him. Carey was the master carver for the Cowichan 2008 Spirit Pole, his piece “Dancing Wind” was featured at the 2010 Olympic Games, and he is the owner of the Blue Raven Gallery in Sooke, BC, which showcases his jewelry, carving, totems, and artwork. Carey is also an accomplished pianist and singer who has performed with the Pacific Opera Victoria and at the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards. Carey also created the Witness Blanket, a large installation made from pieces of residential schools, churches, government buildings, and cultural structures that are woven together in the form of a blanket.