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Friday, May. 24, 2019
Rebecca Johnston teams with Olympic Herd in fun-filled campaign
by Randy Pascal

Hard to believe that the XXIII Olympic Winter Games are now just over six months away, apparently not at all too distant to start drumming up the sensations of national pride.

At least that is the thought with a group of Canadian Olympians and Paralympians, including Sudbury's own Rebecca Johnston, who are looking to build some national unity in a truly fun-filled manner.

The "High-Performance Herd of 2018" was launched just over a month ago, in Calgary, the brainchild of former CLLer and two-time Olympian Jesse Lumsden. Teaming with veteran satirical cartoonist Dave Elston, the "Herd" have rallied 16 athletes representing 11 different sports in a creative t-shirt campaign filled with humour suitable for all ages.

"The High Performance Herd of 2018 is a unique opportunity, with athletes coming together from a variety of sports to unite Canada in our drive to the podium through this nationwide T-shirt campaign, using a truly iconic Canadian animal," noted Johnston.

"This campaign allows us to give a little piece of ourselves to the Canadian Fans who are cheering us on." In fact, it might be fair to suggest that the choice of wildlife that Elston was able to incorporate into cartoon-like images for the sports that are represented might well touch closer to home in Northern Ontario that many other parts of the country.

"The moose is an iconic animal in the wilderness that embodies what it means to be a Canuck. It is strong, powerful and is a true Canadian icon,” said Lumsden, who rallied The Herd. “High-performance sport has an uncanny ability to unite a country. Athletes understand that, we appreciate it, and we feel that widespread support when we put on the maple leaf and hit the start line. With this campaign, we’re creating our own herd of fans who’ll come together to celebrate the red-and-white next winter.”

Versions of all 16 t-shirts can be viewed by visiting the "Herd" website at "". Participating athletes include:

Bobsled: Jesse Lumsden, Justin Kripps, Ben Coakwell, Melissa Lotholz

Speed Skating: Gilmore Junio, Ivanie Blondin

Luge: Sam Edney

Nordic Ski: Knute Johnsgaard

SkiCross: Brady Leman

Biathlon: Rosanna Crawford, Brendan Green

Skeleton: Mirela Rahneva

Hockey: Rebecca Johnston

Snowboard: Spencer O'Brien

Para-nordic ski: Brian McKeever

Para biathlon: Mark Arendz

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