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Squamish teen athlete tagged for possible Olympic funding

Cyclist and skier Marin Lowe heads to RBC Training Ground National Final.
Marin Lowe pic 3
Marin Lowe, #40, racing for Team Squamish Cycling in U17 (15-16) Women in Abbotsford on Sept. 18.
Squamish teen athlete Marin Lowe, 16, is as humble as she is talented.

Lowe has recently been named a finalist in the Canadian Olympic Committee’s annual RBC Training Ground Olympic talent search.

Lowe, who has had provincial success at XC mountain biking and XC skiing, recorded one of the highest endurance scores in this year’s search, which measured athlete’s core speed, strength, power and endurance, according to a news release. 

Her results were then analyzed by representatives from participating Olympic sports who are looking for new talent.

Lowe was one of 100 chosen out of the 4,000 athletes who participated in the testing. (See the list of all 100 finalists at

But she bats away praise like it is dirt flying from her mountain bike wheels. She just loves her sports, she says.

In late November, Lowe and the other finalists will compete in the RBC Training Ground National Final in person in Vancouver, with the chance of being one of the 30 athletes to earn funding and accelerate their Olympic dream.

“RBC Training Ground is designed to help fill Canada's Olympic sport talent pipeline and provide next [generation] talent with the high-performance sport resources needed to reach podiums,” said Evan MacInnis, technical director for RBC Training Ground, in the news release. “Some of the athletes who participate in RBC Training Ground are looking to re-energize or boost an Olympic dream in a sport they are participating in, others participate with the hope of being discovered and directed toward an Olympic sport they may have never considered.”

Lowe participated in the testing virtually — a sprint, long-distance run and vertical jump — after her friend, local BMX phenom Teigen Pascual encouraged her to. 

Pascual participated and received funding to pursue her Olympic dreams in 2019. 

"I didn't know how the testing worked and so we got together at the Don Ross track and she explained how it went down and we practiced some sprints, so that was cool and she told me about her experience," Lowe said. 

Lowe said while she loves her sports and is excited about this opportunity, she doesn't walk around thinking she is an Olympic shoo-in, she stressed.

“Where my passion takes me is very much an unknown,” she said, in a follow-up email to The Chief. 

Her mentors and inspiration are her bike coach Catharine Pendrel and Canadian cyclist and speed skater Clara Hughes who has won Olympic medals in both her sports.

It’s something that Lowe took note of. 

"She did both speed skating and track racing in the Olympics. Those are more similar than cross country skiing and biking — the two sports I do — but, I mean, if I ever got the chance to do both, that would be super cool. I think she is a great person to look up to, and her story is really cool." 

The 30 athletes selected for funding will be announced in early January.

"I always watched the Olympics as a kid and I always loved sports, so the thought of going to the Olympics, I have always grown up with that," she said. "I have seen so many athletes achieve their goals so it is really inspiring to see that this RBC Training Ground actually helps people pursue their dreams to go to the Olympics, and I think this is a cool opportunity to be part of that," Lowe said. 

After winning the  Mountain Bike National Championships: XC U 17 title at the end of September in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec, Lowe is now preparing to transition to skiing in November. 

"It is nice to change it up and I love the winter," she said. 

"There will be lots of racing opportunities this year." 

Asked what her advice would be for young kids who likely look up to her, Lowe said she sees a lot of youngsters who live on her street. 

“I love seeing them out and riding,” she said. “Keeping it fun is super important. ‘Do what you love and that will take you to good places.’”