#ASHelgiCa​nada – Helgi Olafson’s Journey to Raise Awareness for AS

Helgi Lavaman Waikoloa 2013

Written by Helgi Olafson (ISN)

June 29, 2013, (ISN) – Aloha; My mission for this 9 week journey is to train and race while raising awareness and accepting donations to further this mission for the next trip to Florida.

I have a chance to qualify at Ironman Canada for Ironman World Championships in Kona. If this happens, my credibility and outreach to media for Ankylosing Spondylitis awareness multiplies greatly. I still have a fundraiser out there that I need to meet my fundraising goal of 2100 dollars (1350 raised so far) before I can be on the start line in Whistler. The link to this fundraiser is here, which also contains some other links as well as my story of diagnosis. Please share this link with your networks as well as the links below it.




I have three major races this summer, including Ironman 70.3 Calgary, Kelowna Apple Olympic Tri, and Ironman Whistler (schedule included in first link). Training for these races, competing, handing out my info cards and bracelets, and traveling, unfortunately, leaves me with minimal time to spend with my family. Plus I have to paint a house in Kelowna in the middle of my journey in order to stay afloat.

I am skating by by the skin of my teeth to be able to afford to accomplish what I have dedicated my life to, which is to show people that exercise is key to managing AS and arthritis.

I have been lucky to have Candyce Sindeler come forward to put together a meet and greet of ASers while I am in Winnipeg. She needs info on who has AS in the area. Please help her. She is driving all the way up from Minnesota to do this because she wants to have her life back from AS, and she believes in what I am doing. I look forward to showing these people my stretching routines, giving them advice on workouts that would be suitable for their levels of fitness and sharing any info they might have questions about.

I would be ecstatic to find someone in Calgary, Kelowna, and Vancouver to do the same type of thing as Candyce.

I have spoken to Suzanne Daley from Vancouver and Tracy Lemiuex from Langley(right next door). They both have AS and are both interested to meet me and want to meet others with AS. Vancouver is a huge city. Does anyone have any feelers to put out?

Jennifer Visscher said she may be interested in joining me in South Florida in the beginning of November. Would anyone else be interested?

How about Hawaii for the end of October? HOF is forming a 25 person team of people with AS and arthritis to train together and do there first Olympic distance triathlon SD solo or as a 2 or 3 person relay team. We are coached by my coach, Rick Rubio, who has arthritis, and is competing at Ironman World Championships this year.

I have seen some great support from the AS community recently especially from Cookie Hopper, Joel Stratte-McClure, and Joyce Wallace, but when is my mission going to be taken seriously by the masses?

This is why I am asking some key players to take a moment to make some phone calls and send some emails, if you haven’t already, to share my story in hopes of inspiring others to get moving, stay moving, and stop letting this disease get the best of them. If Helgi Olafson Foundation (501c3 very close to determination) can get some volunteers, funding and support for our programs, we will be able to continue making a difference. If not, it may always just be me scraping by to stand up for what I believe in. I will continue to perform, but my stage has a much better chance to give me the opportunity to change people’s lives if I have your support.

Thanks for your time. Whistler is beautiful. The bike course is very tough! Looking forward to checking out the swim and run courses. The scenery is breathtaking.

Helgi Spencer Olafson

Helgi Olafson Foundation

” ENDURANCE for Ankylosing Spondylitis”



“Do More Than Sport”