How They Met: A Toronto couple on Canada’s national team talk training for the Olympics together

There’s power couples, and then there’s athlete power couples — and then there’s athlete power couples who play the same sport! There’s something amazing about professional athletes who eat, sleep and breathe one sport meeting someone else who gets it. That’s certainly the case for Ontario’s Nick Wammes and Sarah Orban. Team Canada track cyclists, Olympic hopefuls and a real-life couple, the pair lives together in Toronto and is currently training together in the hopes of qualifying for the 2024 Olympics. The couple shares how they met, balancing their careers with their relationship and making date nights happen while training and travelling.

How they met

We first met when Sarah showed up as a rookie to the velodrome in Milton, Ontario where I already lived and trained as a Team Canada rider. Over the next 18 months, Sarah attended various development projects with us around the world before she officially joined the national team in late 2019. Soon after, we started to find an interest in getting to know each other more once she was in our training environment regularly.

The first date

We never really went on a formal first date! In early 2020 we just started spending more time together outside of our daily training. At this point, we were in the middle of our racing season, so we just sat on the couch and watched movies and analyzed races together in preparation for our home World Cup, where we would both be racing.

Balancing careers and a relationship

We are best friends, teammates and business partners. One of the best parts of our relationship is also one of the hardest. We get to spend so much time together, as we live together and train and race on mostly the same schedules, meaning we are together nearly 24/7 year-round and we see the best and worst of each other. We know what we both go through on a daily basis, and having that understanding is hugely important for our relationship.

We try our best to leave our training at the door when we come home, but for both of us, it can spill over sometimes. The amount of stress and pressure we can be under as professional athletes can weigh heavy, and although we are very similar, we do also balance each other out when it comes to managing that stress and I think that makes us stronger together. We also need space apart, so for the odd recovery week we do get, it’s usually spent at home with our families instead of together.

Shared hobbies and interests

Our hobbies seem to cross over quite nicely! Sarah loves to cook and I love to eat all of the food. I like taking photos and Sarah likes to be in front of the camera. We have a shared passion for great coffee and unique cafes. We travel a lot for racing and training, but we don’t always get the chance to explore more than the airport, hotels and velodrome we are in that city for. Sarah and I love to explore new places and we would love to travel back to these countries to explore them without 20 pieces of luggage in tow.

Secret to success

We are best friends before anything else. We are each other’s biggest fans, and we push each other every day to step outside our comfort zones in all aspects of our lives and simply want the best for each other.

The future

First and foremost, the biggest goal we have is going to the 2024 Paris Olympics together. We can both see ourselves staying in this sport for the next 5-6 years before seriously taking a look at stepping away from sport. We both have a lot more we want to accomplish on the track before calling time on our athletic careers.

We would like to buy a house together in the next few years and continue working to grow our personal brands and businesses and continue to travel whenever we get the chance.

When we want something, we go and get it. To quote Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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