The Athlete of the Month is our way of acknowledging a BC-located athlete who has displayed outstanding performances in their sport and deserves recognition. Athletes chosen monthly to be the face of Canadian Sport Institute Pacific will receive a celebration feature on our website and a gift from 2XU.
Each athlete selected as Athlete of the Month receives a small token of congratulation sponsored by 2XU. CSI Pacific would like to thank 2XU for their generosity and support of the program.
Track & Field
December 17, 1981
Place of Birth:
Lynn Kanuka (Registered CSI Pacific Coach)
Olympic Games in 2016!
The Reason Behind Being Nominated for the Athlete of the Month:
Natasha Wodak, an athletics athlete specializing in distance running, has been registered with CSI Pacific since 2010. An Olympian (Rio 2016) who has battled through much adversity in her road to success, Wodak has proven she is paving her pathway and setting herself up for success as we move toward Tokyo 2020. On August 6, 2019, Wodak claimed Gold in the 10,000m event at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru. Not only did she stand atop the podium, she set a new Pan Am record with a time of 31:55. She’s had a phenomenal season, also winning the Canadian 10,000m Championships and the Canadian 10k Championships. In addition, Wodak is the Canadian Outdoor 10,000m record holder. These accomplishments and her tremendous grit and work ethic have Wodak positioned 13th in the IAAF World Rankings.
10,000m runner, who loves cats! 2016 Olympian Canadian 10000m record holder 15 time national team member Ambassador for Smith, Nuun, Clif Bar, Session Athletics Nike Canada VOKRA volunteer/supporter My passion is running, but kitty cats are a close 2nd!
What was your experience like in Lima, Peru?
It was really awesome! The village was great, and it was fun to hang out with my team Canada teammates. All the volunteers were super friendly – and there was lots of resident doggies for us to pet. And of course, the fact that I won my race was pretty cool!!!
What was your favourite part about being in Lima for the Pan Am Games?
Getting to be there with my parents was really special. Celebrating with them after my race was lots of fun. Lima has great food!!!
What is the best part of travelling overseas with sport?
One of the best things about this running thing I do is getting to travel all over the world!!! I love exploring new places and meeting people from different countries!
What is the most challenging?
There’s a few things that are challenging about travelling to foreign countries for competition- different types of food, Jet Lag, different climates, sleeping in beds that aren’t your own. There’s many things that can be stressful when you are in a foreign country. But you just gotta roll with the punches sometimes!
Can you explain your new Pan Am record and what it means to you?
It means so much to me! I had no idea I ran the record until afterward- it was a cherry on top of the win. 4 years ago I placed 7th at Pan Am Games- it was very dissapointing. I think I have learned a lot over the years on how to race at the international level. I am so pleased that I was able to have a successful race in Peru!
Were your parents competitive athletes? Either way, describe how you think that shaped your journey.
My parents weren’t professional athletes, but they were both very athletic most of their lives. My dad played a lot of soccer (still does!) and my mom was an Aerobics Instructor! They have had me involved in many different sports since I was 4 years old. They have always supported me in my running journey- I am so fortunate to have such amazing parents!
What sports did you play growing up before you specialized in athletics?
I played so many sports growing up! I tried pretty much everthing – Dance, Gymnastics, Baseball, Volleyball, Swimming, Basketball and Soccer – I played soccer the most seriously (all the way until grade 12) besides running.
What would it mean to you to compete in your second Olympic games?
The Olympics is the pinnacle of my sport. To make it there again would be just as amazing as the first time.
What is a piece of advice you have for a fellow athlete pursuing sport excellence?
Be patient. Success doesn’t happen over night. I am 37 years old and getting better every year. If you are truly passionate about your sport – and work hard – you will find success.