December 12, 2013 (Toronto, ON) – Today, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) announced its plan to inject $37 million over the next four years directly into high performance sport through Own the Podium (OTP), Canada’s independent technical agency. At an event held at the Air Canada Centre, the record-level investment gathered Olympians, sport executives, government officials, marketing partners and young athletes at centre ice to celebrate the continued financial support of Canada’s sports system.
“We are so proud to be boosting the funding and support for Canadian high performance sport,” said Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee. “At the COC, we know it takes a village to raise a champion, and we’re so appreciative of the outstanding support we receive from our private-sector partners. They have great faith in high performance sport and in the idea that sport has the capacity to change lives. It’s their support that makes this investment possible.”
“Canadians love hearing our national anthem and seeing the Canadian flag raised above the Olympic and Paralympic podiums,” said Anne Merklinger, Chief Executive Officer, Own the Podium. “A culture focused on excellence and podium performance is now fully entrenched within Canada’s athletes and coaches. This commitment reinforces the Canadian Olympic Committee’s and Government of Canada’s leadership in partnering with Own the Podium to deliver the critical resources athletes require to be fully prepared to climb onto the podium at major international competitions.”
The funding announced today will go toward both summer and winter sport for the next four years.
“Congratulations to the Canadian Olympic Committee on their continued commitment to Canada’s high-performance athletes,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “Our Government is committed to high-performance sport in Canada, and we are very pleased to partner with the COC to maintain Own the Podium as an innovative high-performance initiative that will continue to produce podium finishes for Canadian athletes.”
“As an Olympic champion with a continued desire for more international success, I know how critical it is to have the proper resources and support available,” said Rosie MacLennan, London 2012 Olympic gold medallist. “Today is a great day for sport in Canada. This funding will ensure that Canadian athletes can continue to train, compete and reach the top.”
“Canada’s Own the Podium initiative is world leading, experiencing great success and is having direct impact on Canadian athletes,” added Aubut.
With OTP’s successful foundation rooted in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Canadian athletes won 26 medals overall and a record-setting 14 gold medals. This February, in Sochi, Canada’s goal is to improve on the medal count from 2010 and contend for the top spot in terms of most medals won overall.
The Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will take place February 7- 23, 2014.