TORONTO, March 19 /CNW/ - The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) expressed
profound disappointment in the Harper Government's 2007 Federal Budget today
after the document failed to commit to investing in the ongoing development of
the Road To Excellence summer sport program.
"With less than 18 months until the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the
federal government missed a great opportunity today to boost support for
Canada's summer athletes," said Chris Rudge, COC Chief Executive Officer.
"When we released the Road To Excellence report last June, the Canadian
Olympic Committee strongly outlined the urgent need for the federal government
to adequately support Canada's summer athletes. While we applaud the federal
government for recognizing the success of the Own The Podium 2010 winter sport
program and accelerating the contribution of the program's annual funding, we
are extremely disappointed that the Harper Government would fail to recognize
the potential of the Road To Excellence initiative. Without proper support, it
will be extremely difficult for Canada's summer athletes to achieve the same
level of international success as their winter counterparts."
"Over the next few months, the COC will continue to take on a leadership
role with all our sport partners to identify ways to help build an efficient
and effective Canadian sport system," added Rudge.
The Road To Excellence Business Plan, released in June 2006, was
developed by the 28 Olympic and Paralympic summer sports, the COC, the
Canadian Paralympic Committee and Sport Canada as an initial action plan to
start the process of creating a more coordinated, effective Canadian sport
system resulting in world-class programs, policies and financing that will
help Canada achieve podium success. The plan targets a top 16 placing for
Canada at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and a top 12 placing at the 2012
Olympic Games in London.
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: Media Contact: Eric Michalko, Manager, Media
Relations, Canadian Olympic Committee, Office: (416) 324-4146, Cell: (416)
528-6742, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org