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Canadian Olympic Committee Welcomes Prime Minister Harper\’s Appointment of Michael D. Chong as Minister for Sport

February 6, 2006 – The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) welcomed today’s announcement by the new Federal Government of a senior Minister responsible for sport, and applauded its’ appointment of Michael D. Chong as Minister for Sport.

“We have been advocating for the Federal Government to appoint a senior Minister for sport for quite some time, and we are very happy to see that with his actions today Prime Minister Harper has recognized how important sport is to Canadian culture”, said Chris Rudge, Chief Executive Officer of the COC.

The COC also applauds Prime Minister Harper’s choice of Minister Chong for the position of Minister of Sport. “Mr. Chong has professional experience in the world of sport, and will undoubtedly be an advocate for sport in Canada. We’re looking forward to working with the Minister to ensure an ongoing commitment to increased federal funding of high performance sport for both winter and summer sports”, said Rudge.

“It is an incredibly exciting time for sport in Canada, with the Canadian sport community united in its’ focus on high performance results. In particular, we look forward to working with Minister Chong as we build towards podium success at the 2010 Olympic Winter and Paralympic Games in Vancouver, and as we launch our summer sport equivalent to Own the Podium after the Torino Games”, said Rudge.

With the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and Vancouver 2010 only a few years away, the COC is calling on the federal government to provide ongoing, sustainable funding to help high performance athletes achieve international success. The COC looks forward to working with Minister Chong to advance the sport movement in Canada and bring Canada closer to the sport spending levels of our major international competitors. 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.

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