histoires d’athlètes

Justine Stafford

Justine has always been passionate about staying in shape and has enjoyed swimming, running and biking. In 2015 she started competing in standard distance triathlons, after having tried a Try a Tri in Edmonton and enjoying it. This year with the new changes to the qualifying process, Justine was unaware of the new procedure this year where you had to submit an EOI (expression of interest) and was so was very disappointed when her 1st place finish in Calgary did not earn a slot. 


Not to be discouraged, Justine then tried again at Great White North but came up short in 2nd place. She kept on, and later placed in Stettler but her heart was in securing a spot in the standard distance event. For one more try she came ITU Edmonton in 2019 and  was fortunate to place 2nd, and doing so secured a spot in World’s 2020! Justine is very proud and very much looking forward to the experience. 

Kate Armstrong

Kate is a Canadian from Okotoks, Alberta. She qualified for her first World Championships in 2018, and was diagnosed with Breast Cancer around the same time. Kate had a bilateral mastectomy and continued training through recovery to go to Lausanne for World Championships 9 months after her surgery.

Two days before she was leaving for Lausanne Kate had a bike crash - a possible hit and run - which left her unconscious on the side of the road. She was found with a concussion and decided to push through and compete. After the World Championships in Lausanne it was discovered that Kate had three fractures of her pelvis and numerous soft tissue injuries. Quite a warrior!

Kate has once again qualified for AG 40-44 in the standard distance race this summer at the 2020 Grand Final. This is her second attempt at Worlds and she says she can’t wait to represent Canada and show her family and friends what she can do!

The Skaug family: Nikki, Emma, Whit

Triathlon came into the Skaug family in the fall of 2014 when Emma hung up her soccer cleats and entered the sport as a junior. She quickly rose through the junior ranks and had many provincial and national level podiums. 

Today Emma trains at the National Performance Centre in Victoria with Triathlon Canada. Her passion and love of the sport brought her dad Whit into the sport in the same year where he earned two national titles in sprint.

Not to be left out, Nikki followed Whit into the sport the following year, signing up for six races that season having never raced before. It’s been a family affair ever since!

Between Whit and Nikki they have completed over 40 triathlons in the Sprint and Standard distance. Both Whit and Nikki qualified for Worlds in Edmonton, with Whit racing both Sprint and Standard and Nikki racing in Sprint. In their own words: “we love to toe the line with people our age and go for a rip, Eh! We are excited to be representing Canada in 2020, Go Canada!"

Matthew Callum

In 2007 Matthew lost his sister to Chronic Kidney Disease, and this prompted him to make some significant changes to his lifestyle. Matthew quit smoking, lost 75 pounds and started running: which lead to road races of 5K, 10K and 21.1K in length. In 2014 he and his office mates watched a co-worker compete at the ITU Grand Final in Edmonton, and it was his introduction to Triathlon.

Inspired, the following year he did his first Sprint triathlon, and his first Olympic distance race. He even qualified for the 2016 ITU Grand Final in Cozumel!


Since then, Matthew has competed in over 25 triathlons of varying distances from sprint to Half Ironman, and has been to every ITU Grand Final since Cozumel. He will be racing with the maple leaf on his chest in 2020 at ITU Grand Final. Matthew has expressed a great love for the sport and is grateful for the friends he’s made because of it. He hopes to transition to long distance triathlon in the coming years.