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Alumni News

Medal Recipient Worked at Five Olympic Games

September 05, 2013

Aurel Hamran didn’t know what to expect when he received a phone call in Spring 2013 from Marcel Aubut, President of the Canadian Olympic Committee. He certainly didn’t imagine it was to congratulate him.

The registered massage therapist and faculty member at Edmonton’s MacEwan University was surprised and humbled to learn that he had been chosen to receive a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal, for his “invaluable contribution to the Canadian sport community.”  “I couldn’t believe it … me,” recalls Aurel.

The commemorative medal, created in 2012 to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne, was produced, in part, to honour significant contributions by Canadians across the country.

The Canadian Olympic Committee put forward Aurel’s name, and he is one of the 41 members of the Canadian sport community chosen receive the honour, including Kathleen Heddle and Marnie McBean.

Aurel’s career in sports massage therapy began following his graduation from Sheridan’s Sports Injury Management program in 1988, having completed MacEwan’s Massage Therapy program four years earlier. He worked for the Edmonton Eskimos for a short time until he was appointed National Team Therapist by Swimming Canada in 1989.

Aurel went on to work with the Canadian Swim Team at five Olympic Games, three Pan Am Games, 10 World Championships and seven Pan Pacific Championships. Since 1986, he has been Team Therapist for the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club, one of the top swim clubs in Canada. Aurel has also served as President of the Canadian Sports Massage Therapists Association (CSMTA) for 12 years, and has been instrumental in establishing the CSMTA national sport massage curriculum and certification program and the CSMTA’s International Sport Massage Diploma Program.

With that track record, Aurel can’t deny the impact he’s made on the Canadian sport community, and he is grateful to be honoured for it. “To have a group recognize and appreciate your work – what more could you ask for?”

Throughout the years leading up to this award, Aurel has upheld some basic principles that still hold true for today’s athletic therapy graduates. “Volunteer and be a team worker,” he says. “Trust yourself; you have gained a great education at Sheridan. Work hard, be reliable and professional.”