Olympic bobsledder mentors Fort St. John students, shares life advice

Canadian Olympic bobsledder Alysia Rissling, a two-time champion who regularly races 150 km/h down an icy tracks, knows a thing or two about successfully reaching goals.

Alysia Rissling is meeting students at Bert Ambrose Elementary School in person for the first time

Canadian bobsledder Alysia Rissling is mentoring students in Fort St. John. (Arnd Wiegmann, File/Reuters)

Canadian Olympic bobsledder Alysia Rissling, a two-time champion who races 150 kilometres per hour down icy tracks, knows a thing or two about reaching goals.

Rissling was in northern British Columbia this week, visiting elementary school students in Fort St. John, to share her experience and wisdom with young students.

"I was lucky enough growing up, I had a plethora of mentors that were involved from all levels of high-level sport and I realized the value of having those people in my life," she told Carolina de Ryk, the host of CBC'sDaybreak North.

"I wanted to give back to some kids who maybe do not have the same experience."

One-on-one time

Rissling is part of a mentor program called Classroom Champions which pairs Olympic and Paralympic athletes with young students around North America.

The program partners with classrooms of students from kindergarten to Grade 8.

So far this year, Rissling has been mentoring the students online. This week's trip is the first time she meets the students in person.

"I'm so excited to get to hang out with them and spend some more time one-on-one and they can personally show me some of the work that they've done," Rissling said.

The mentor program follows a curriculum, she explained, and so they cover different topics from goal-setting to community involvement.

In each case, Rissling said she includes examples and advice from her own life.   

"[It's] more interactive with individual students and they have a better relationship with the mentors rather than just speaking to a bunch of students and not knowing if anyone pays attention," she said. 

Canadian Olympic bobsledder Alysia Rissling, a two-time champion who regularly races 150 km/h down an icy tracks, knows a thing or two about successfully reaching goals. 7:34

With files from Daybreak North.