OTTAWA - Carleton Ravens women's rugby player Vanessa Chiappetta has been named to the RBC Training Ground Top 30 Future Olympians.
An RSEQ all-star, Chiappetta has been selected by Rugby Canada from among 100 athletes who were invited to the RBC Training Ground National Final in Ottawa.
"It was like a movie, it was such a cool experience," remembers Chiappetta. "I felt like I was in a TV show, they introduced the Olympic athletes and it was three hours of testings."
"The testing was pretty stressful, the waiting was the worst part," she remembers. "Your testing would only last about thirty seconds and then you'd have to wait for your next one." Though agonizing, the waiting was all worth it for Chiappetta, whose name was officially announced on TSN on December 5. "I felt like it was a really great opportunity. I felt like I could become an Olympic athlete, and that [experience] was surreal."
While the feeling was surreal, Chiappetta admits she had no real way to gauge her performance during the testing. "It was hard because you couldn't compare yourself to other athletes," she remembers. "I knew I did well individually, but I didn't know how it compared to other people."
Having been a key part of the Ravens' success, Chiappetta will now shift her focus back to sevens rugby, as that is the variation played in the Olympics.
"Everyone has always told me that I'm more of a sevens player than a fifteens player because I'm fast so it's pretty exciting." The excitement is perfectly timed for Chiappetta.
After helping the Ravens to back-to-back RSEQ Bronze Medals, she was preparing to graduate when she received news of the opportunity. "To be in school focusing on my education and now in my graduating year I can be training to go to the Olympics this is a huge career change, but I'm really excited to see what comes."