Canadian Olympic Committee Announces Additional High Performance Funding for Canada's Athletes

New cash Injection for Own the Podium Program paves the Road to London 2012 and beyond

MONTREAL, Nov. 17, 2011 /CNW/ - The Canadian Olympic Committee announced that Canadian elite athletes hoping to achieve podium results received a strong funding boost today, as well as an important new memorandum of understanding. The COC is proud to invest in the country's greatest ambassadors - the athletes who stand up for excellence, healthy living, fair play and the potential of the individual. We are proud to invest in their Olympic dreams.

The COC will immediately inject a further $5 million for Own the Podium (OTP) programming in coaching, training and support, to help athletes achieve their personal best on the Olympic stage. This new investment brings the COC's contribution in the 2009-2012 quadrennial period to $25 million.

This new memorandum of understanding represents a significant step to strengthen, coordinate and harmonize the high performance sport system focused on leading the creation and delivery of programs and services to increase podium results.

"This new additional funding agreement underscores our strong commitment to helping athletes achieve medal results and inspiring our youth," said COC President Marcel Aubut. "Vancouver 2010 has taught us that sport makes our country better. Young people are introduced to new heroes to idolize and the country unifies behind them. We have an ambitious goal in London next year: Top 12 in 2012. It is the athletes who will deliver this historic result."

The following are some of the new agreement's highlights:

  • Strengthened leadership to the Canadian high performance sport community at the highest level;
  • Secure funding to sports/athletes with medal potential at future Olympic Games;
  • Continued valued consulting and expert technical support to targeted podium potential sports, athletes and coaches;
  • Improved alignment within Canada's high performance sport leaders regarding their roles to increase efficiency and to streamline the efficiency and expertise of each of the COC and OTP;
  • Opportunity to influence and lead the collection and dissemination of best practices and world-class technologies and sport science innovations.

"We are extremely pleased with this new agreement, which is a leap forward for sport in this country," said John Furlong, Chair of Own the Podium. "It will enhance opportunities for our athletes to participate and excel in sport through leadership and strategic investments in our sport system."

"I am ecstatic we have the full support of the Canadian Olympic Committee to give me every advantage possible for podium success at the London Olympic Games," said double Olympic diving silver medallist Alexandre Despatie.

"With the Canadian Olympic Committee behind us, Canadian Olympians can train knowing that everything is being done to support us on our journey to Sochi in 2014," said Freestyle Skier Chloé Dufour-Lapointe.

Own the Podium's largest contributors of funding are the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee and the Canadian Olympic Foundation, as well as additional funding provided by corporate Canada.

"The Government of Canada is proud to support Canadian athletes. We are very pleased to see the alignment of these two great organizations in supporting our athletes and coaches to continue Canada's great Olympic Games legacy," said Sport Minister Bal Gosal. "Today's announcement will help build an even better world-class national sport system—one that will help our Canadian athletes succeed at the highest levels."

The COC was the co-founding partner of OTP, with VANOC, Sport Canada, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Winsport Canada, and was the driving force to build that strong partnership into a national initiative, reflecting what Canadians want from Canada's high performance athletes and advancing the "excellence" goal of the Canadian Sport Policy. 

About the Canadian Olympic Committee
The Canadian Olympic Committee is a national, private, not-for-profit organization committed to sport excellence. It is responsible for all aspects of Canada's involvement in the Olympic Movement, including Canada's participation in the Olympic, Youth Olympic and Pan American Games and a wide variety of programs that promote the Olympic Movement in Canada through cultural and educational means. For news and information, visit the COC website at www.olympic.ca and find the team on both Facebook (Canadian Olympic Team) and Twitter (@CDNOlympicTeam).

About Own the Podium
Own the Podium is a national sport technical initiative that was created in 2005 to help Canada become the number one nation (total medal count) at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and to place in the top-three nations (gold medal count) at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. The initiative has also set a goal for Canadian athletes to have a top-12 placing at the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games and to be in the top-eight nations in gold-medal count at the 2012 Paralympic Summer Games. Both of these initiatives reflect what Canadians want from Canada's high-performance athletes and helps advance the "excellence" goal of the Canadian Sport Policy. Own the Podium's largest contributor of funding is the Government of Canada with additional funding provided by the corporate community and the Canadian Olympic Committee through its Canadian Olympic Foundation.

SOURCE COC

For further information:

Dimitri Soudas, Executive Director, Communications, Canadian Olympic Committee
Tel.: (416) 324-4136, Email: dsoudas@olympic.ca

Chris Dornan, Own The Podium
Tel. : (281) 703-4394, Email: chris.dornan@ownthepodium.org

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