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What it Feels like to Represent Canada to the Rest of the World (Q+A with Alysha Newman)

Canada is a pretty awesome place to live if we do say so ourselves.

Canadians enjoy wide-open space and majestic landscapes from coast to coast to coast.  

As a culture, we strive for inclusivity and multiculturalism. Free speech reigns supreme and universal healthcare is a right, not a privilege. According to the Global Wellness Index, Canada is the healthiest country in the world and our citizens enjoy the highest sense of well-being! Woot!

We say sorry a lot. But, we’re not sorry about that. Being nice is, well, nice.

You won’t meet many Canadians who aren’t beaming with pride to talk about their home and native land when travelling abroad. Who’s sewn a Canadian flag to their luggage? 

Imagine what it must feel like to wear the Canadian flag while representing our country on the international stage of the Olympic games. 

We wondered the same things so got up close and personal with Team Canada pole vaulter, and BuyWell Ambassador, Alysha Newman, to get a first-hand account of that kind of next-level Canadian pride. 

Q: What piece of home always travels with you?

A: My family is always with me, in person or in spirit. My parents have supported me through all the ups and downs of my career. Their unconditional support means the world to me. They travel to all corners of the world to cheer me on and even when they can’t physically be with me, the power of modern technology keeps us connected. 

Q: What’s the number one question/remark you get asked about Canada when you meet athletes from other countries?

A: “Can you say sooorrryyy” I always laugh and then say “sorry.”

Q: What makes you most proud to be Canadian?

A: I am really proud of Canada’s diversity. I’m reminded of this each time I represent Canada on our national team at a Championship event. My friends and teammates represent the mosaic of our country; different religions, colours, and cultural backgrounds. 

Q: Describe the feeling you had wearing the flag at your first Olympic games.

A: That feeling was one of the proudest moments of my life. I felt honoured, fulfilled, unconditional happiness, but most importantly responsible to represent the country with maturity and gratitude. I wasn’t just representing myself but a whole country and I didn’t want to let anyone down. I wanted to show the world what Canadians are made of, strength, pride, and power!

Q: What’s do you miss most about Canada when you’re away from home for long periods of time?

A: The one thing I missed the most when I’m travelling is the Sunday morning family bunches and pancakes with my maple syrup. I miss our white Christmases and our hot summers at the cottage. 



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Alysha Newman

Alysha Newman

Olympic Athlete, Pole Vault
Alysha Newman is an Olympian, a World Championships finalist and a Commonwealth Games Gold medalist in the women’s pole vault. She’s the Canadian record holder for the event and is targeting a podium performance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Alysha was born and raised in London, Ontario where she was a competitive gymnast before a back injury forced her out of that sport and into track & field. This pivot has helped her learn to overcome adversity in the most positive way. Good nutrition and attention to overall health and wellness are key to helping Alysha perform at her best while remaining a well balanced young woman. Outside of sport, Alysha enjoys music and fashion and sharing her passion for life on social media. She makes time to visit with school children to talk about the importance of living a balanced lifestyle and learning through failure and adversity. Alysha is a graduate from the University of Miami and now lives and trains in Toronto.