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David Cox

David Cox

Sports psychologist prepped Olympic team

March 11, 2010

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He’s worked with many athletes, and no matter what the sport or season SFU sport psychologist David Cox says success is not all about winning.

"Success happens when individuals and teams do their best under the circumstances they find themselves to be in," says Cox, who worked with Canada’s snowboard team during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics—his third Games in a decade.

Team Canada’s snowboarders performed well at the Games—with gold medals for Maelle Ricker and Jasey-Jay Anderson and a silver for Mike Robertson.

But the medallists weren’t the only winners, he says. "It’s about performing to the best of their ability. If they accomplished that, they should have no regrets, no matter what the outcome."

Cox stayed in the athletes’ village as an official member of the Olympic mission staff. He continued throughout the games to lend his expertise to Canada’s competitors, particularly the snowboarders, whom he describes as being "among the most passionate athletes I’ve ever worked with.

"These are highly skilled athletes who are doing this because they truly love their sport."

Cox also travelled with the team to training sites before the Games to provide feedback on mental preparedness. He was in Quebec City for the official Olympic team announcement and joined the team for the final leg of training.

He was part of a dedicated group of physicians, physiotherapists, nutritionists, exercise physiologists, and strength-and-conditioning specialists who were a part of the Own the Podium Integrated Service Team for snowboarding.

Their task was to coordinate the scientific effort to ensure the team was preparing in the best possible ways.

Cox attended the 2002 Salt Lake City Games as well, and the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy, where he worked with Canada’s curlers and cross-country skiers.

He has also worked with elite athletes in other sports including basketball, wrestling and tennis.

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