Canada Set To Compete At The 2008 Olympic Games in One Year

    TORONTO, Aug. 7 /CNW/ - Wednesday, August 8 marks the one-year countdown
to the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
    The goal for the Canadian team, as set by the Canadian Olympic Committee
(COC), the Road To Excellence program and the national summer sport
federations is for Canada to finish amongst the top-16 nations in the overall
medal count.
    Led by Chef de Mission and 1984 diving Olympic gold medallist Sylvie
Bernier and Assistant Chef de Mission and 1996 kayak Olympian Peter Giles, the
2008 Canadian team will be comprised of approximately 340 athletes.
    "After a strong performance at the 2007 Pan American Games, several of
Canada's summer athletes have demonstrated the potential to reach the podium
at the 2008 Olympic Games," said Bernier. "The final year leading up to an
Olympic Games is crucial for Canada's athletes. Together with Assistant Chef
de Mission Peter Giles, I look forward to continuing to work with the Canadian
Olympic Committee to help provide optimum support for Canada's athletes and
coaches competing in Beijing."
    The 2008 Olympic Games, scheduled from August 8-24, will feature a total
of 28 sport disciplines, 302 events, more than 200 participating countries,
and an estimated 10,700 athletes.
    To date, Canada's athletes have secured positions for the 2008 Olympic
Games in 30 different events through their performance in archery, diving,
equestrian, field hockey, modern pentathlon, sailing, shooting, softball and
swimming. In addition, multiple athletes have achieved international
qualifying standards in athletics and swimming events. A complete list of the
Olympic berths which Canada has earned for the 2008 Olympic Games can be
viewed by clicking
    In preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games, the COC is currently
conducting its Familiarization, Simulation and Test Event Participation
program in Beijing. The goal of the program is to provide increased onsite
high performance support to Canada's Olympic hopefuls during their training
camps and test event competitions in Beijing. This includes providing a
simulation of the COC's onsite high performance centre, conducting
motivational athlete outreach sessions, testing air quality, heat acclimation,
cooling and recovering strategies, and assisting athletes in adapting to the
Beijing environment by providing them with the opportunity to become familiar
with the Olympic training and competition venues as well as the local culture.
    During the lead up to the Opening Ceremony in Beijing, the COC will
provide members of the media with weekly sport profiles and biweekly story
ideas beginning in January 2008.
    On Monday, November 19, 2007, the COC will hold a Media Summit to give
the media an opportunity to meet and interview the top Canadian hopefuls for
the 2008 Canadian Olympic team in Beijing. The event will take place at the
Brookstreet Hotel in Ottawa.
    The Summit will be held in conjunction with the second session of the
COC's Olympic Excellence Series for 2008 Olympic hopefuls, which will take
place November 17-21. The Olympic Excellence Series is designed to provide
athletes, coaches and their support team with the practical skills and
strategies necessary to help them achieve podium success in Beijing.
    Members of the media wishing to attend the 2008 Canadian Olympic Media
Summit are asked to pre-register online by visiting
    At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Canada finished 19th overall with
12 medals. The United States of America led all nations with 102 medals
followed by Russia with 92. China was third with 63 while Australia and
Germany tied for fourth with 49 podium results each.

    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:

For further information:

For further information: Eric Michalko, Manager, Media Relations,
Canadian Olympic Committee, Phone: (416) 324-4146, Cell: (416) 528-6742,
Email:; Sylvie Bigras, Gestionnaire, Communications,
Comité olympique canadien, Cell.: (613) 298-1625, Courriel:

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