We believe the right support at the right time can make all the difference in someone's life. That's why we're proud to support Canadian athletes at a pivotal stage in their athletic careers.
When he was younger, Ryan Williams just played golf between seasons of competitive hockey.
Realizing that he might not make it as a pro hockey player, Ryan hung up his skates in 2008 and decided to follow his new dream of going pro in golf. It was something that he could do as an athlete and perform at a high level.
Ryan admits this route isn’t typical for aspiring golfers. However, he credits this transition to having a great coach and mentor - Phil Jonas, a former PGA Tour member. “He’s basically taken me from a kid that just knew how to play hockey to a professional golfer,” Ryan says.
Since then, he’s enjoyed success on the PGA Tour Canada, including winning the Freedom 55 Financial Championship in 2014.
Through golf, Ryan has travelled Canada extensively and says he’s amazed at how welcoming people across the country are. Along with challenging new courses, being on the road can also put an athlete out of their comfort zone, which he says can take some time to get used to.
Ryan praises his fitness trainer’s guidance to help him eat right, sleep well and stay healthy while travelling - plus the usual workout regime to stay fit. And to keep his finances in shape, Ryan says planning is key to deal with the ups and downs of a golf season.
When he’s not practising his swing or training in the gym, Ryan relaxes poolside at his current home in Arizona and spends time with his Boston terrier. The B.C. native also closely follows the Vancouver Canucks and New England Patriots.
Ryan continues to work toward his goals of competing on the PGA TOUR and to be in the top five in Canada.
Signed in 2014, Mackenzie Hughes was Team Freedom’s first brand ambassador. Since then, he’s quickly ascended Canada’s golf rankings to become one of the nation’s top golfers.
In 2013, his first year as a professional, Mackenzie claimed the PGA TOUR Canada Order of Merit title and advanced to the Web.com Tour, however, it was 2016 that would prove to be Mackenzie’s year. Late in the season, Mackenzie earned his first Web.com Tour victory and with it secured his PGA TOUR card for the following season. Mackenzie went on to make an immediate impression as a rookie on the PGA TOUR winning the 2016 RSM classic in Georgia in only his fifth start on the PGA TOUR.
Follow Mackenzie on the PGA TOUR in 2017.
Corey’s father introduced him to golf at the age of 4. He’s since gone on to have a successful amateur career, being named to Golf Canada’s Development Squad and placing 2nd in the 2014 U.S. Amateur Championship. This finish granted him the opportunity to participate in the 2015 Masters Tournament as the highest-placing amateur in the field. Playing on the Web.com Tour in 2017, Corey recorded a T7 finish at The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic.
Adam Svensson has emerged as a leading Canadian golf talent. After a standout collegiate career at Barry University, including leading his team to two consecutive national championships, Svensson turned professional in March 2015. He started his career playing on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada and Web.Com Tour. In 2015, Adam earned full exempt status on the 2016 Web.com Tour after cruising to a seven-shot victory at the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament. He now has his sights set on earning his PGA TOUR card and joining his fellow Canadians on the PGA TOUR in 2017.
Hailing from Bath, Ont., James was a standout amateur and longtime member of the Golf Canada national team. The 2012 ACC Freshman of the Year and 2014 Canadian Women’s Amateur champion left North Carolina State University and turned professional in February 2015. She earned her first professional victory on the Symetra Tour at the 2015 Chico’s Patty Berg Memorial. She’s since enjoyed continued success on the Symetra Tour, and in late 2016 earned conditional status on the LPGA TOUR in 2017.
Damian Warner is a Canadian decathlete and Olympic medallist. Growing up, he loved basketball and track, but it was two of his high school coaches who helped him find his true calling in the decathlon. Shortly after he began training, he qualified for the 2012 London Olympics and finished fifth. Since then, his progress has been remarkable – he earned a bronze and silver medal at the World Championships in 2013 and 2015, respectively. He’s also the reigning gold medallist at both the Commonwealth Games and Pan American Games. In 2016, he won an Olympic bronze medal at the Summer Games in Rio. With the help of his team, he hopes to achieve his goal of winning gold in 2020 at the Summer Games in Tokyo.
At a young age, Aurélie began swimming alongside her twin sister Charlotte. Born with an underdeveloped left hand, she credits swimming with helping her overcome many obstacles.
Aurélie has been consistently improving since earning a silver medal at the 2012 London Paralympics. She’s since claimed five medals at the 2013 World Championships in Montreal and bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. In 2015, she won four medals – two gold at the World Championships. She then became the most decorated female athlete in Parapan Am history, after winning seven medals, including six gold. After winning three gold medals and setting two world records at the Rio Paralympics in 2016, Aurélie has her sights set on the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Snowboarder – Big Air/Slopestyle
Max Parrot, a snowboarder from Bromont, Que., is a four-time X Games gold medalist and 2014 Sochi Winter Games slopestyle finalist. Max has made snowboarding history on multiple occasions, most notably being the first to land a cab quadruple underflip 1620 in 2015 and a double backside rodeo 1440 in 2016.
He’s recognized for his intensity in the gym and his commitment to honing his craft – Max consistently places in the top rankings on the World Snowboarding Points List in both Big Air and Slopestyle events. His schedule features multiple events across the Fédération International de Ski (FIS), X Games and Dew Tour.
We asked Max to share his interests, goals and dreams outside of his sport. Explore below to find out how music influences his style, what’s next on his travel list, how he prepares to land the next big trick and much more.
Prince Albert, Sask.
Introduced to cross-country skiing at age 18, some may be surprised at Brittany’s quick rise up the ranks of the World Para-Nordic circuit. Now 23, Brittany is set to kick-off the 2017-18 season with a top 10 ranking.
Born missing a portion of her left arm, Brittany was always active throughout her youth, participating in track and field, basketball and badminton, but never considered pursuing sport at the professional level.
That changed when she was introduced to the sport by fellow cross-country skier and Paralympic medalist Collette Bourgonje. Brittany found immediate success competitively and continues to sharpen her skills and train relentlessly striving for success on the world stage.
We asked Brittany to share her interests, goals and dreams outside of her sport. Explore below to learn what she calls her vintage 1978 International Harvester Scout 11, her favorite Canadian travel destinations and who she counts as part of ‘Team Brittany’.
Meet Team Freedom
Team Freedom is one way we share our promise of helping Canadians pursue their aspirations and achieve their dreams.
While each athlete has a unique story, they all possess the drive, desire and determination needed to achieve their goals.