Jan Rossiter was born in Cork, Ireland to an Irish father and Czech mother. He grew up in Kingston, Ontario (Canada) – a town with a rather Irish climate and no ski club. While completing a degree in Physiology at McGill University he was introduced to cross country ski racing. He then moved to Ottawa to complete a program in respiratory therapy at Algonquin College.

Jan’s skiing accomplishments include being named MVP of the McGill Nordic Ski team, coaching this team in 2009/2010, and completing the Canadian Ski Marathon – Coureur des Bois Gold – three times.

My good friend Alex Danco and I at the end of our first CSM Gold – we often get mistaken for brothers!

In 2013/2014 Jan took a sabbatical from work to undertake the ambitious task of qualifying for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. He has since gone on to represent Ireland at the 2015 World Championships in Falun, Sweden; the 2017 World Championships in Lahti, Finland; and the 2019 World Championships in Seefeld, Austria.

During the 2016 season Jan returned to school to complete an MSc. in Medical Simulation at the University of Hertfordshire (UK). At work in the hospital setting Jan saw the emotional and financial toll that smoking, inactivity and disease take on our society. Besides direct patient care, he is also interested in teaching, medical simulation, simulation debriefing, wilderness medicine, and research in respiratory and environmental physiology.


Jan speaks English, Czech and French (all poorly). He has worked in the past as a cross country ski, canoe, kayak and backpacking instructor, and holds numerous certifications in these disciplines. Jan has worked in hospitals in Ontario and New Brunswick as a respiratory therapist and medical simulation technologist. He currently lives in Calgary, Alberta and works at a medical school simulation centre as a simulation consultant.


In a different life, Jan would have liked to have been a dry stone waller.

31 responses to “About

  1. Jan,
    Make the Irish proud and raise the Tri-Colors at Sochi 14. Your father may have been from Cork but your Rossiter roots are in County Wexford.

    • You are absolutely right – my father was studying in Cork when I was born. Our immediate family has been in Clonmel for some time but I have been able to visit relatives in Wexford as well! All the best, Jan

  2. Hey Jan… Congrats and best of luck at the Olympics. I am preparing a press release to announce about a dozen people from McGill who are going to Sochi. What year did you graduate from McGill? Was it 2010? Was it only a BSc or did you complete a Masters?

    Earl Zukerman
    Communications Officer
    Athletics & Recreation
    McGill University
    514-398-7012 (Tel.)
    m.athletics.mcgill.ca (mobile website)

    • Was it only a BSc? What??? Come to Queen’s Jan, and do a Masters (or another Masters..) in Kingston. We have tri-colours; we have a shamrock in our coat of arms. Our athletes are Gaels, and our fight song has a Gaelic warcry for a chorus.
      Cha ghèill ! (never surrender!)
      PS: Me da got his (only) BSc from UCD.
      PPS: You, and your bass clarinet invigorated lungs, rock.
      Men’s 15km Classic. Rank #82 (Yay!)
      Fav Sochi Olympian. Rank #1

  3. Jan, congratulations, fantastic accomplishment. I like to think that playing bass clarinet in high school is responsible for developing your lungs, but I’m sure your extensive training has helped a bit too. Enjoy your Olympic experience.

  4. Jan….is your dad Dr John Rossiter….UCC 1983?….if so, greetings from class mate Dr Brendan Barrett and wife Dr MaryO’Brien…now in St John’s, NL!!

  5. Hi Jan, best of luck in Sochi. I co-host an Irish radio show in Toronto and would love to have a chat either during or after the games. Our listeners would really love to hear all about your story. Shoot me a note if this is of interest.

  6. Jan! Just watched you walk into the Opening Ceremonies. Everybody here at Regi is rooting for you! I’m sure your “Odyssey” to the Olympics is a worthy tale! God bless.

  7. Jan, it’s amazing that I found this blog through one MOC e-mail! Good luck on Friday and let me know if you are ever in NYC this year!

    Xu Fei

  8. Jan, it’s amazing that I found you here (thanks to an MOC e-mail). Good luck on Friday and let me know if you ever come close to NYC this year!

  9. Hey, my friend…so great to bump into you tonight! I hope you have a great holiday with your family back here in Ktown. So proud of all you have accomplished. What an honour to have worked with you for a few of your “formative” years. Stay in touch. Cheers.

  10. Jan, it is great to see you enjoying life and doing what makes you happy. I wish you continuing success and joy in your life. I hope our paths will cross again. Sincerely, Mr. H. Santos

    • Ah thank you Mr. Santos! This website certainly captures all the glamorous parts of life, but even the mundane and work has been going well in these tough times. I have very fond memories of my time in high school, and can truly say that you and all the other faculty prepared us well for life in this complicated world. Thank you and all the best!

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