Canadian Olympic Committee Applauds Recommendation No. 14 by Standing Committee on Finance to Support Road to Excellence Program



    TORONTO, Feb. 7 /CNW/ - With the Beijing Olympic Games six months away,
the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) reacted positively today to
Recommendation No. 14 by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance to
provide $30 million annually over the next five years for the Road to
Excellence program. The Road to Excellence program is a summer sport
initiative to help Canada's Olympic and Paralympic athletes achieve
international success.
    "This money is needed by Olympic and Paralympic athletes now so we can
build the programs for summer athletes that will help them achieve
international success and make Canadians proud," said COC Chief Executive
Officer Chris Rudge. "This recommendation is a positive step toward our goal
of securing these funds in the next federal budget. I want to thank the
all-party members of the Standing Committee on Finance for their support
toward the Road to Excellence program."
    "There is an urgent need for Canada's summer athletes to receiving
additional funding now so they can train to represent our country on the
international stage," said Alex Baumann, executive director of the Road to
Excellence initiative and double Olympic gold medallist in swimming.
    In early December, Baumann presented a strong case to the Standing
Committee on Finance for funding to support the Road to Excellence initiative
in the next budget. He urged the finance committee members to recommend
$30 million a year toward the initiative, an amount equivalent to about $1 per
Canadian annually.
    Senior COC and sport community representatives as well as athletes will
be meeting with parliamentarians on February 14 to provide information on the
Road to Excellence program. The funding would help Canada's summer sport
athletes receive the services, technology, equipment and coaching required to
help them achieve success at upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    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 and Pan American Games and a wide variety of
programs that promote the Olympic Movement in Canada through cultural and
educational means. For more information see the COC website: www.olympic.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Steve Keogh, Manager, Communications, Canadian
Olympic Committee, Phone: (416) 324-4146, Cell: (416) 806-3949, Email:
skeogh@olympic.ca; Sylvie Bigras, Gestionnaire, Communications, Comité
olympique canadien, Cell.: (613) 298-1625, Courriel: sbigras@olympic.ca

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