York University’s representative at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China has already made waves across the Canadian Olympic landscape – both on and off the field of play.
Cynthia Appiah, a 2013 graduate of York, has not only earned a spot on Canada’s national bobsled team, but was also named to the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Glory From Anywhere campaign with eight other Olympians.
The campaign highlights the accomplishments of Team Canada athletes to showcase the fact that all Canadians have the potential to inspire people, regardless of their background, upbringing, or socioeconomic status.
Appiah’s Ghanaian background gives her an important place in the campaign, showcasing Canada’s diverse nature.
Her high profile may inspire the next generation of Canadian bobsledders – which is what happened to her in 2010 while watching the Vancouver Games. The 31-year-old recalls seeing Canada’s Shelley-Ann Brown, who is Black, flying down the Whistler track with partner Helen Upperton en route to a silver medal.
Cynthia Appiah’s Olympic profile
Appiah may be the next Canadian to medal in the event. She’s emerged as a medal threat in the women’s monobob event, showcased in Beijing for the first time. In her first world championships as a pilot in 2021, Appiah was the top Canadian pilot in the monobob (placing fifth) and two-woman races (placing ninth).
After years of being a multisport athlete, the Etobicoke, Ont., native focused on solely bobsleigh as of January 2015, and found immediate success competing in the North American Cup circuit as a brakewoman. She won two gold medals with pilot Alysia Rissling in January 2015 and then won three straight gold medals with Christine de Bruin to kick off the 2015-16 North American Cup season.
In Winter 2017, Appiah began competing in the two-woman event on the World Cup circuit and won gold in her first race in Whistler in that December with Olympic gold medallist Kallie Humphries. She also spent time in Rissling’s sled, which included a sixth-place finish at the world championships and a bronze at the Olympic test event for PyeongChang 2018.
After serving as an alternate in PyeongChang, she’s hoping to make an impression in her Olympic debut in Beijing.
A former York female athlete of the year in 2013, Appiah had an impressive collegiate career as a track and field athlete before turning to bobsleigh. Her five medals at the U SPORTS championships came in weight throw and shot put. In 2012, Appiah represented Canada at the NACAC U23 Championships, making the hammer throw and shot put finals.
Women’s monobob schedule – Beijing 2022
|Saturday, Feb. 12||8:30 p.m. EST||Run 1||CBCOlympics.ca|
|Saturday, Feb. 12||10 p.m. EST||Run 2||CBCOlympics.ca|
|Sunday, Feb. 13||8:30 p.m. EST||Run 3||CBCOlympics.ca|
|Sunday, Feb. 13||10 p.m. EST||Run 4 (Medals)||CBC/SN/TSN|