Harper Government Supports Canadian Athletes as they Prepare for Sochi

OTTAWA, Dec. 23, 2013 /CNW/ - As Canada's athletes continue their preparations to go for gold at the upcoming Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), today reflected on the record amount of Government of Canada funding that has been injected into the Canadian sport system this year.

"Our Government, through the Sport Canada support system, invests nearly $200 million a year in Canada's sport organizations and athletes," said Minister of State (Sport) Gosal. "The Sport Support Program, the Hosting Program and the Athlete Assistance Program continue to provide our athletes with the resources and tools they need to compete and win on the international stage."

Since 2006, nearly $1 billion has been invested in the Canadian high-performance sports system, making the Government of Canada the largest single contributor to sport in the country. This helps provide our athletes with a strong support system that includes access to high-quality training environments and world-class coaching. The Government is also working with national sports organizations to create opportunities to host international competitions on home soil and to help our athletes concentrate on training to achieve their podium dreams.

This support has allowed Canada to emerge as a leading sport nation by providing our athletes access to cutting-edge sport science and research, a world-class training environment and some of the best coaching in the world. Furthermore, more than 1,800 athletes are provided $28 million every year in direct funding to assist with their living and training expenses, as well as post-secondary education costs.

Canadian athletes continue to train and prepare for the upcoming Games in Sochi, Russia. To help them achieve podium success, our Government has invested over $153 million in winter sport over the last four-year winter sport cycle. This is an increase of over $25 million or a 20 percent increase since the last four-year cycle prior to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and Paralympic Games.

"Canadians are understandably proud of our country's success as a leading sport nation," said Minister of State (Sport) Gosal. "That is why, as a government, we are proud to support our athletes and help them achieve their podium dreams. Their success inspires us all, including our future Olympians and Paralympians."

The 2014 Sochi Winter Games promise to be an exciting event for all Canadians. It is an opportunity to promote our culture and our values of openness and fair play. It is a chance to affirm our reputation as a leading sport nation. It is an occasion to come together as Canadians to support our athletes in their pursuit of excellence.

SOURCE: Canadian Heritage

For further information:

(media only), please contact:

Robert Lynch
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Bal Gosal, 
P.C., M.P.
Minister of State (Sport)

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

(This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Media Room.)


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