Kieanna Stephens in Rio during the Olympics.

South Surrey’s Stephens makes Olympic-prospect shortlist

Earl Marriott Secondary student Kieanna Stephens among 25 young athletes identified as having Olympic potential.

Ten months after she was identified as a potential future Olympian, South Surrey’s Kieanna Stephens has been shortlisted for further development and funding, alongside 24 other young athletes.

Earlier this month, Stephens – an Earl Marriott Secondary student – was named as an athlete worthy of future funding, resources “and additional assistance,” with the goal of turning her into an Olympic rower.

The teenager’s rowing potential was identified by Rowing Canada after she won an RBC Training Ground event in Richmond last February.

The event, for invited athletes between the ages of 14 and 25, tested speed, power, strength and endurance. The goal of the program was to help the young athletes uncover potential “hidden talents” for Olympic sports they may not otherwise consider.

In winning top prize, Stephens earned a trip to the 2016 Summer Olympics, held last August in Rio de Janeiro.

Stephens, a hockey player who plays for the Surrey Falcons program, told Peace Arch News in February that rowing is certainly something she’d be interested in.

Aside from Rowing Canada, other national sport governing bodies to identify Olympic prospects through the Training Ground program were Athletics Canada, Bobsleigh Canada, Canoe Kayak Canada, Cycling Canada and Rugby Canada.

Stephens was the only B.C. resident on this month’s 25-person list.

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