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Jay DeMerit has one of the most unique success stories soccer has ever seen.
Undrafted in the MLS, Jay backpacked to Europe, slept on attic floors and climbed the English soccer pyramid from the 12th tier to become the captain of Watford FC in the English Premier League. He also represented the US Men’s National Team, playing every minute of his team’s games throughout the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. In 2011, he signed on to became the Whitecaps FC’s inaugural MLS captain, a position he held until retirement in 2014.
Off the field, Jay has taken the stage at Tedx Vancouver, spoken at national conferences, and was the keynote speaker on “Grit” at the US Soccer Federation’s annual symposium. His story was the subject of “Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story,” a documentary released in 2011 after a successful Kickstarter campaign where the soccer community raised $223,000 to turn this story into a feature film.
Based on the ideals portrayed throughout the film, Jay and his wife, Olympic Gold Medalist skier Ashleigh McIvor, started the Rise & Shine Foundation and Captain Camps, which provides a 4-day leadership program for kids ages 13-18.
Jay also has a degree in Industrial Design, which he put to use founding Portmanteau Stereo Co., which repurposes old suitcases and BC wood as portable Bluetooth speakers and home audio systems.