Climate change

Two-time Canadian Olympian hopes to fight climate change at IOC Athletes’ Commission

Two-time Canadian Olympian Seyi Smith aims to fight climate change on the world stage.

Smith, 34, is running for election to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission, which represents the interests of athletes at the IOC table, where he hopes to lead Olympians around the world in promoting the durability.

“I want to help athletes lead the race to zero. We can be part of the biggest comeback story the world has ever seen,” said the Ottawa native.

Smith is a candidate for one of two open spots on the commission, which will be voted on by athletes at the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics. Canadian hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser was elected to the commission in 2014. Her eight-year term ends with the Beijing Games.

Smith now works as an electrical engineer, specializing in renewable energy technologies. A multi-sport athlete, he was previously part of the Canadian 4×100 meters relay team at London 2012 and the Canadian bobsleigh team at Pyeongchang 2018.

It was in London that he was heartbroken when the Canadian team crossed the finish line in third place and started celebrating, only to be disqualified.

“My world was once shattered. I can’t sit on the sidelines and allow this to happen again. Many athletes have asked me what they can do. I know how athletes can use their platforms as role models to help lead the massive change that is needed,” he said.

Smith founded the non-profit organization Racing To Zero, which helps grassroots sports organizations reduce their carbon footprint. He is also a member of the IOC’s Sustainability and Legacy Commission and previously served on the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission between 2012 and 2020, including as Chair from 2017.

Today, he hopes to become international.

“One of my biggest goals is to help athletes around the world amplify their voices so they can become more influential in the areas that matter most to them.”