The Hub 4 AU learners to root for during the Beijing Winter Olympics

4 AU learners to root for during the Beijing Winter Olympics

Makena Hodgson, Dahria Beatty, Katherine Stewart-Jones, Patrick Russell at Beijing 2022

Three Athabasca University (AU) learners are representing Team Canada, and a fourth is playing for Denmark at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Makena Hodgson (luge), Dahria Beatty (cross-country skiing), and Katherine Stewart-Jones (cross-country skiing) will wear the maple leaf during the games, while Patrick Russell (hockey) is playing for Denmark. Not only are they pursuing their dreams at the games, they represent high-performance athletes who have turned to AU in part for the flexibility of open, online learning.

Makena Hodgson

Age: 21
Sport: Luge
Hometown: Calgary, Alta.
AU program: Bachelor of Science

Makena Hodgson is one of six Team Canada athletes competing in luge. Hodgson is a Bachelor of Science major and recently wrote about her experiences studying at AU so she can work in health care while also preparing for the Beijing Olympics.

“When I discovered Athabasca University, I was in disbelief because it seemed like such a perfect fit,” she wrote. “With the flexibility of the courses, I could still train and compete, all while getting classes done at the same time.”


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A post shared by Makena Hodgson (@makiluge13)

Related: Makena Hodgson: Olympian aims to win on and off luge track

Katherine Stewart-Jones

Age: 26
Sport: Cross-country skiing
Hometown: Chelsea, Que.
AU program: Bachelor of Arts – Psychology

Katherine Stewart-Jones was the top Canadian in the women’s 30-kilometre mass at Olympic trials and is now focusing on giving her “absolute best” in Beijing. Born in Quebec and now living in Canmore, Alta., Stewart-Jones is pursing a Bachelor of Arts – Psychology major at AU.

“I’ve always wanted to go to the Olympics, so it’s a dream come true,” Stewart-Jones recently told CTV News.

Related: Susanne Grainger reflects on Olympic gold, learning, and next steps

Dahria Beatty

Age: 27
Sport: Cross-country skiing
Hometown: Whitehorse, Yukon
AU program: Bachelor of Management

Dahria Beatty made her Olympic debut at PyeongChang in 2018, where she raced in five events. She joins Team Canada in Beijing after a tough two-year stretch during the pandemic. Beatty started studying at AU in 2012 and later enrolled in the Bachelor of Management program, majoring in marketing.

“When I moved to Canmore, many of my new teammates were already students with Athabasca, making [AU] an easy choice. The flexibility seemed like a perfect fit for combining sport and school,” Beatty told The Hub in a 2018 interview.


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A post shared by Dahria Beatty (@dahriabeatty)

Patrick Russell

Age: 29
Sport: Hockey
Hometown: Copenhagen 

Patrick Russell is one of several sets of siblings representing Denmark in Beijing. His sister, Emma, is on the Danish women’s hockey team.  

Russell first represented Denmark at the 2017 World Championships and has played in the National Hockey League, American Hockey League, and the Swedish Hockey League, where he’s currently playing for Linköping HC. At AU, he is studying business to prepare for life after his hockey career. 

“I’m 29 now, so don’t have 20 years left in hockey,” Russell told the Hub. “You just never know what happens with hockey. You always need to have a backup plan.” 

Related: Preparing for life after hockey


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  • February 7, 2022