April 28, 2006 – The Canadian Olympic Committee announced today that Olympian Sylvie Bernier (diving, Ste-Foy, Que.) has been appointed as Canada’s Chef de Mission for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
The first female athlete from Quebec to win an Olympic gold medal, Bernier reached the top of the podium in the 3-metre springboard diving event at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Recently, Bernier served as the Assistant Chef de Mission for Canada at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, where Canada captured a record 24 medals en route to achieving its goal of a top-three overall finish.
“I am truly honoured to have been selected as Canada’s Chef de Mission for the 2008 Olympic Games,” said Bernier. “I’ve always considered it a privilege to serve the Canadian Olympic Team in a leadership capacity and I look forward to working closely with the Canadian Olympic Committee over the next two years as we strive to provide optimum support for Canada’s athletes and coaches competing in Beijing.”
Bernier’s successful diving career includes winning a silver medal at the 1982 Commonwealth Games and a bronze medal at the 1983 Pan American Games. A consistent performer on the world stage, Bernier captured a remarkable 10 gold medals and recorded a total of 21 podium finishes during her 31 international competitions between 1978 and 1983.
Following her retirement from diving, Bernier was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada and was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the International Aquatics Hall of Fame.
After her sporting career, Bernier earned a degree in business administration and became involved in broadcasting as a commentator and host of various television and radio shows, including the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988, in Barcelona in 1992, in Lillehammer in 1994, in Sydney in 2000 and in Athens in 2004. She was also part of the Quebec morning show “Salut Bonjour” for 15 years.
“As an Olympic gold medallist, an Olympic broadcaster, an Assistant Chef de Mission and a Canadian icon, Sylvie Bernier is the perfect choice to lead Canada in 2008,” said COC Vice President Jean DuprÃ©. “At the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, Sylvie demonstrated that she has a unique ability to relate to Canada’s athletes, coaches and team members. She truly has a passion for high-performance sport in Canada and the value of her knowledge and expertise will be immeasurable as we continue to build a culture of summer Olympic excellence en route to Beijing.”
As Chef de Mission, Bernier’s chief responsibility over the next two years will be to provide overall leadership to the Canadian Team at the 2008 Olympic Games.