2013 Boccia Americas Cup in Photos and Tweets

For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter yet, here is a recap of the last two weeks I spent with the Canadian Boccia Team in Kansas at the 2013 Americas Cup. It was especially cool to feel the support of my friends, family and members of the Canadian elite sport community!




















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How Our Daughter Olivia Was Born

She was supposed to arrive early last week but Dalia’s belly just kept getting bigger and bigger. The due date came and went and nothing much else happened.  We went about our days, waiting for takeoff, or maybe landing?  Me at work and training, Dalia at home and all around and Karolis enjoying his summer vacation.  9 days later the great staff at St. Paul’s Hospital induced Dalia and sent her home, advising that sometimes it can take 2 or 3 days for labour to come.

Dalia and her doola, an amazing friend of ours, thought otherwise. They took a walk around downtown Vancouver to get things going.  Around 3 hours (not days!) later, pre-labour started and Dalia and Olivia were ready to go.

Karolis and I were there for everything.  We experienced something so scary and awesome and special that words can’t do it justice.  Dalia was incredible.  It is amazing how quickly her maternity suite screeched to a blissful calm and quiet with such happiness once Olivia arrived.

Everyone’s faces in the pictures say the rest:













Vancouver Boccia Throwdown! 2013

Being a Canadian elite athlete is expensive.  This summer I am raising funds in Vancouver for the Canadian boccia team, as it heads down the grueling road to Rio 2016.  The goal is to have a lot of fun along the way.

The poster sums it up nicely. Play indoor boccia.  Wrestle your boss. Win a ham. Have a blast. Support a great cause.

Boccia is one of the most inclusive sports that exist – any ability level can play – and it is fantastic team building and recreation.  On August 29, 2013 at 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver we are inviting teams to come and have a fun evening while supporting our national team.  There will be drinks, boccia, sumo suits, and so on, at the community centre gym in the Olympic Village.

A $500 donation is the minimum per team.   To register go to – spots are limited.

Can’t make the event?  Support our Canadian boccia team by donating whatever you can here:

Next time you see one of us on a podium, know that you helped put us there.


Thrilled to have the support of the Investors Group

Investors Group Logo

I express my excitement to be among this year’s Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund Bursary recipients in the press release below.  Thank you to my family, teammates, and community for supporting me.  Congratulations to AthletesCAN for consistently delivering a program with such a massive impact on Canada’s sport system.


UBC law student Josh Vander Vies awarded 2013 Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund Bursary

OTTAWA, June 27, 2013 – AthletesCAN and Investors Group are pleased to announce that Boccia national team member Josh Vander Vies has been awarded a $5,000 Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund bursary.

In keeping with their commitment to amateur sport in Canada, Investors Group established a bursary fund for Canada’s top high performance athletes. A national leader in delivering personalized financial solutions to Canadians, Investors Group annually awards twenty $5,000 bursaries to assist Canada’s elite amateur athletes with the costs of training and competition. Selection criteria includes: athletic achievement, financial need and community involvement. Since its inception in 2000, the Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund has provided more than $1,300,000 to Canadian athletes. AthletesCAN administers the bursary on behalf of Investors Group.

“Investors Group considers it an honour to help support our nation’s elite athletes with these bursaries,” says Richard Irish, Vice-President, Community Affairs and Marketing Support for Investors Group. “Athletes at this level are constantly juggling the demands of work and school with training and competition. For 13 years now, we have been pleased to provide Canada’s athletes with bursaries totaling over $1 million to make those demands easier to manage.”

“This bursary recognizes the dedication and excellence Josh exhibits on the field of play and as a leader within his community,” says AthletesCAN Executive Director Jasmine Northcott. “AthletesCAN values Investors Group’s ongoing support of Canada’s national team athletes, and are excited to see this bursary assist Josh in achieving his dreams.”

Josh’s recent sport accomplishments include a bronze medal at the 2012 London Paralympic Games in mixed pairs and a bronze at the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games in the mixed individual event.

“For years I have admired Investor’s Group’s commitment to Canadian sport and have looked up to the athletes who have won this prestigious award,” says Josh. “Mixing community impact with athletic accomplishment has been a highlight of my career; I am humbled to be recognized for it. The Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund will give me the ability to focus more on my training and studies and less on balancing my budget,” he adds. “This is a huge advantage for me on the court as I tighten my game and seek out competition and training opportunities that would not otherwise be financially viable.”



2013 Team Investors Group Amateur Athletes Fund Bursary Recipients:

Meghan Agosta (Ruthven, ON) – Hockey
Breanne Dodd (Surrey, BC) – Water Ski
Alexandra Duckworth (Kingsburg, NS) – Halfpipe Snowboarding
Meagan Duhamel (Lively, ON) – Figure Skating
David Eng (Montreal, QC) – Wheelchair Basketball
Christine Girard (White Rock, BC) – Weightlifting
Jessica Groeneveld (Innisfail, AB) – Kayak Slalom
Constantine Kudaba (Port Coquitlam, BC) – Water Polo
Karina LeBlanc (Maple Ridge, BC) – Soccer
Jessica Mair (Edmonton, AB) – Curling
Lucas Makowsky (Regina, SK) – Speed Skating
Jenna Martin (Bridgewater, NS) – Athletics
Paul Poirier (Unionville, ON) – Figure Skating
Anjelika Reznik (Vaughan, ON) – Rhythmic Gymnastics
Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg, MB) – Speed Skating
Cody Sorensen (Ottawa, ON) – Bobsleigh
Karine Thomas (Gatineau, QC) – Synchronized Swimming
Donna Vakalis (Toronto, ON) – Modern Pentathlon
Josh Vander Vies (Sarnia, ON) – Boccia
Dory Yeats (Montreal, QC) – Wrestling

For more information, please contact: Ashley LaBrie

Director, Athlete Relations & Strategic Partnerships AthletesCAN (613) 526-4025 x224

Investors Group, founded in 1926, is a national leader in delivering personalized financial solutions to Canadians through a network of over 4,600 Consultants located throughout Canada. In addition to an exclusive family of mutual funds and other investment vehicles, Investors Group offers a wide range of insurance, securities, mortgage and other financial services.

As the voice of Canadian national team athletes, AthletesCAN ensures an athlete centered sport system by developing athlete leaders who influence sport policy and, as role models, inspire a strong sport culture.