Supporting Canadian Athletes

Joshua Riker-Fox

Like thousands of other Albertans growing up outside of Calgary, Joshua Riker-Fox was introduced to the sport of riding at a young age. Since then, his performance on the Modern Pentathlon international stage has helped separate himself not just from your everyday rider but from millions of Canadians.

Joshua was born and raised in Delacour, Alberta, a little town outside of Calgary. His early dream to compete in the Olympics took form in 1988 when the Calgary Winter Olympics were hosted in his backyard.

The following summer at the age of six, Joshua began taking riding lessons and quickly climbed the ranks through The Canadian Pony Club.” After six years of riding, Joshua was introduced to some modern pentathletes and after hearing their inspirational stories, he made the transition into the sport. Six years later, Joshua was named to the Canadian national team.

Joshua placed 7th in his first Pan-American Games in 2003. These Games proved to be the key to a successful learning curve in his career. Four years later Josh took a huge step forward in making his name known on the international stage when he finished 3rd at the 2007 Pan-Am Games.

“The 2007 Pan-Am Games provided me with a lasting memory to take from my competitive sport career. The 3rd place finish was my first international medal at the senior level,” explained Josh. “My family was there and seeing the flag being raised was surreal. I remember being so excited I jumped onto the podium, my dreams were coming true in that moment!”

The result qualified him for a spot on Team Canada for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games – one step closer to fulfilling his life long dream. In addition to this accomplishment, his overall performance throughout the 2007 World Cup circuit qualified him for the 2007 World Cup Final. This was a big moment for Joshua and the Modern Pentathlon community as he became the first Canadian modern pentathlete to qualify for the World Cup Final, an event where only the top 36 competitors in the world vie for the title.

“Europeans usually take the majority of the 36 available spots for the event so qualifying for the 2007 World Cup Final really helped to prove that I was a legitimate threat in my sport,” he says. “It also gave me a great opportunity to judge and gauge the field of competition.”

Looking forward, Joshua has his sights set on the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Since qualifying, he has spent his 2008 season preparing for the Games. He wants to be focused during competition but at the same time enjoy this experience of a lifetime.

“For me, my number one goal is to walk away from the year being proud of what I have accomplished, including all my qualifying events and the Olympic Games, and not regret a single thing,” adds Josh.

After Beijing, Joshua’s aspirations include making the Canadian Universiade team and competing at the 2009 Belgrade Summer Universiade in shooting. He wants to be a leading contender in all disciplines of the Modern Pentathlon and from what it looks like; he’s on his way.

Leadership has always been in Joshua’s blood. He has always wanted to be an active leader in his sport both on and off the field of play. It was former athlete rep Gord McMillan who approached Joshua six years ago about the position of Athlete Representative. Once the position opened up, he submitted his name for nomination and was elected shortly after by his national teammates.

“I felt the sport could benefit from more leadership, and if I couldn’t help out at an administrative or executive level then this position was the best way of getting my voice heard,” says Josh.

Josh is currently in his 3rd two year term as the male athlete representative for the Canadian Modern Pentathlon Association. He demonstrates a great passion for the position as seen through several milestones he has helped come to fruition for his sport. Joshua is hopeful to continue his time as the athlete rep for another term.

“With my current competitive standing in the sport, I am able to bring a global perspective to the sport and to my position as athlete rep,” he says. “I get to see how other countries are developing the sport and what successful strategies I can bring to the Canadian Modern Pentathlon Association to continue to grow the sport in our country.”

Joshua attended his first AthletesCAN Forum in 2007 where he learned a great deal from the experience. He felt that the Forum was able to provide substance to his role as an Athlete Rep along with the tools necessary to successfully navigate any scenarios that may arise in his position.

“The AthletesCAN Forum spoke to material beyond the fluff most athletes hear about,” explained Joshua. “It presented real facts from key people in the amateur sport world. It felt good dealing with representatives and administrators at a higher level who have a greater knowledge and insight into how I can help lead through my position.”

Joshua is planning to attend the 2008 Forum in Mississauga, ON this October to help prepare him for his 4th possible term as the athlete rep for the Canadian Modern Pentathlon Association. He has several strategies in place to grow and improve his sport and as a true athlete leader, wants to make sure he does everything in his power to make sure the athlete voice is heard.

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