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 | April 27, 2016 9:37 AM ET

COCTwelve Olympic hopefuls slipped out to a remote location on Georgian Bay in February to shoot 40 hours of video footage. The resulting ad campaign launched online Wednesday morning.

CALGARY – Javelin thrower Liz Gleadle realizes that, on paper, she is technically a summer athlete.

But the 27-year-old Pan Am gold medallist considers herself as much a survivor of the wicked Canadian elements as hockey players, speed skaters or even downhill skiers.

You see, Gleadle splits her time between Vancouver and Lethbridge, Alta., in training for the Rio Olympics, and she endures brutal conditions at times in both locales.

“You’re throwing the javelin for an hour-and-a-half in the rain in Vancouver, and it’s hard,” says Gleadle, one of 12 Olympic hopefuls featured in the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Rio 2016 brand campaign Ice in our Veins. “Your hands are frozen. You can’t feel your fingertips, and throwing a wet javelin is absolutely miserable. It makes your hands even colder, because you’re holding steel.”

In Lethbridge, winter temperatures can drop below -20 C with winds gusting off the Rocky Mountains at 60 km/h.

“It definitely hardens you up,” she says. “Whenever I go to a meet, I always know there’s no condition that could possibly bother me.”

No wonder Gleadle is one of the poster children of a campaign that builds off the 2014 #WeAreWinter slogan that resonated with Canadians during the Sochi Games.

Quietly, with no fanfare, Gleadle and 11 of her Olympic counterparts slipped out to a remote location on Georgian Bay in February to shoot 40 hours of video footage. The resulting ad campaign launched online Wednesday morning. Come July 1, the spots will be shown on TVs across the nation.

Big names featured in the campaign include tennis star Milos Raonic, swimmer Ryan Cochrane and kayaker Mark de Jonge.

“Our Olympians taking on the world for Rio 2016 aren’t summer athletes, they are Canadian athletes,” says Derek Kent, chief marketing officer of the COC. “Winter is in our blood and is part of our DNA.”

Beach volleyball is about as far from winter as anyone can imagine, but Olympic hopeful Heather Bansley plans to channel her experience fending off the biting Lake Ontario winds that sweep through downtown Toronto in pursuit of a medal at Copacabana beach.

“Historically, our nation is a winter sport powerhouse,” Bansley says. “But now it’s time for summer athletes to show the world that we are capable of being a strong summer sport nation.”

Canada’s official goal is to surpass the 18 medals collected in London and to finish in the top 12 of the overall medal count. For that to happen, many of those present on Georgian Bay will need to step up in the Brazilian heat.

Gleadle, for one, loved taking part in the advertising shoot near the township of Tiny, Ont.,  although the cold is something she won’t soon forget. When it was her turn, Gleadle pulled on hip waders and trudged through the frigid water to a floating chunk of ice.

There, she peeled down to a sports bra and spandex pants, slipped on her track spikes and repeatedly hurled javelins for the cameras.

“It was like -10 C with a crazy wind chill,” she says. “It was this beautiful beach, but everything was frozen.”

Perhaps the experience – and all those training days in the bitter cold — will make her battle ready for the competition of a lifetime come August in steamy South America.