Joé Juneau, Steve Podborski Appointed as Assistant Chefs de Mission for Canada at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games



    VANCOUVER, Feb. 17 /CNW/ - Olympic medallists Steve Podborski (Toronto)
and Joé Juneau (Pont-Rouge, Quebec) were named today as Assistant Chefs de
Mission for the Canadian Olympic Team at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter
Games.
    Podborski, a member of the "Crazy Canucks" alpine team, and Juneau, an
11-year National Hockey League (NHL) veteran, will join Canada's Chef de
Mission Nathalie Lambert in supporting the country's athletes and coaches in
their quest to own the podium in February 2010.
    "As an Olympian and a fan supporting our Canadian Olympic team in
Vancouver in 2010, I am humbled to be asked for more," Podborski said. "To be
able to help our athletes succeed and reach the top is wonderful. I am totally
pumped to have the chance to make a difference in their performance. These
Games could very well end up being the best Olympic experience of my life and
they've been darn good already."
    In 1980, Podborski became the first North American man to win an Olympic
medal in downhill skiing - a bronze in Lake Placid. On the national alpine
team from 1974 to 1984, he had eight career World Cup victories and reached
the podium in 20 of 89 races. For the 1981-82 season, Podborski won the
overall World Cup title, becoming the first non-European ever do so. An
Officer of the Order of Canada (1982), Podborski was inducted into the
Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1985 and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in
1987. He has been Canada's Athlete of the Year twice. A member of the Canadian
Olympic Committee, he was Executive Director of International Relations for
the Vancouver 2010 Olympic bid. He is an athlete ambassador for the charitable
organization Right to Play.
    "It is a true honour to be named Assistant Chef de Mission and to have
this wonderful chance to work alongside Nathalie and Steve to lead Team Canada
in 2010," Juneau said. "I am very proud to represent my country once again,
while representing the region of Nunavik whose leaders and educators have
strongly supported my participation at these Olympic Winter Games. I will do
my best to represent and support our Canadian athletes so we can come out very
successful."
    At the Albertville 1992 Olympic Winter Games, Juneau led Canada to a
silver medal in hockey. The centre led all Olympic players in scoring with 15
points (six goals, nine assists). Later that year he turned professional with
the Boston Bruins and scored 102 points as a rookie in the NHL. Over 828
career games he would score 572 points, play for six teams and reach the
Stanley Cup twice. In 2006, Juneau launched a grassroots hockey program in
Kuujjuaq, a small town in the northern reaches of Quebec, in the Nunavik
region. The area has high rates of alcoholism, drug addiction, poverty and
suicide. There, Juneau teaches more than 700 students between five and 18 the
finer points of hockey - using the sport as a tool to show children the
importance of education, to develop leadership, introduce them to a healthy
lifestyle and prevent criminality throughout Nunavik. Juneau works with local
teachers to ensure his students attend classes and work hard. In September
2007, Juneau moved with his family to Kuujjuaq to be a close part of the
community.
    "I'm thrilled to have Steve and Joé as my assistant chefs," said Chef de
Mission Nathalie Lambert, three-time Olympic medallist in speed skating. "Not
only are their athletic careers inspirational, but they inspire even more by
who they have become as individuals and what they do in their everyday life.
They will be great assets to the Canadian team."
    The chief responsibility for both Juneau and Podborski will be, over the
next year, to work alongside Lambert to help provide overall leadership to the
Canadian Team at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and to represent the athletes
to the media and the public. Juneau will be stationed in the Vancouver Olympic
Village and Podborski in the Whistler Olympic Village so athletes competing in
both locations are well represented and supported. Lambert will be stationed
in Vancouver but will travel to Whistler when needed.

    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 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: Isabelle Hodge, Manager, Media Relations,
Canadian Olympic Committee, Phone: (416) 324-4122, Cell: (416) 806-4342,
Email: ihodge@olympic.ca; Sylvie Bigras, Press Chief, Canadian Olympic
Committee, Cell: (613) 298-1625, Email: sbigras@olympic.ca

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