Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

September 25, 2009 15:32 ET

Government of Canada Helps Canadian Athletes Own the Podium in 2010

WHISTLER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 25, 2009) - The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of State (Sport), today announced that the Government of Canada would assist its national funding partners by assuming payment of $11 million in funding for the Own the Podium (OTP) 2010 initiative.

The announcement was made at a Canadian Olympic Committee event for OTP 2010 in Whistler, British Columbia (http://www.pch.gc.ca/pc-ch/minstr/lunn/photos/2009/index-eng.cfm). Own the Podium 2010 is designed to help Canadian winter athletes achieve unprecedented medal success at the 2010 Winter Games. Partners include the Vancouver 2010 Organizing Committee (VANOC) and its corporate partners, the provincial and territorial governments, and the Canadian sport community.

"Our Government believes in providing our Canadian athletes with the resources and support they need to succeed and own the podium in 2010," said Minister of State Lunn. "Today I am proud to announce an $11-million payment to Own the Podium to support our winter Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Canadians are extremely proud of our athletes and we are ready to cheer them on as they go for gold in 2010."

"This funding provided by the Government of Canada is an enormous help to athletes as they undertake their final preparations to win in 2010," said Roger Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, Own the Podium. "The generous financial support from the Government of Canada, along with Own the Podium's other financial partners, has played a vital role in boosting Canadian athletes' performance on the international stage to the highest level this country has ever achieved. I know Canada's high-performance athletes thank the Canadian government for this funding, and we are so grateful for their continued support."

"The success of the 2010 Games will largely be defined for Canadians by the achievements of our athletes, and the Government of Canada has been crucial to ensuring that Canada fields the strongest team in our history," said John Furlong, VANOC Chief Executive Officer. "We are deeply grateful to the Government of Canada and in particular, the tireless support of Minister of State Gary Lunn, for further funding this program in light of the challenges of the current economy. Combined with upcoming fundraising initiatives, we are now very confident that Own the Podium will have all the resources required to ensure our athletes have everything they need to be successful."

Canadian athletes made history during the 2008-2009 season by finishing first overall in World Championship medal counts with a total of 29 medals. Canada's Paralympic athletes also showed what our athletes are made of, placing first overall in World Cups.

The Government of Canada's original contribution was $55 million over five years. This amount was to be matched by VANOC and its sponsors. However, due to funding pressures faced by VANOC given the current economic downturn, a shortfall exists. The Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and several provinces are also funding partners in this project. The Government of Canada's $11-million contribution helps to address this shortfall and, in partnership with VANOC's ongoing fundraising initiatives, will ensure that our athletes receive the support that they need.

Funding from the Government of Canada is distributed directly to national sport organizations and Canadian sport centres. Funding is based on the recommendations of Own the Podium 2010 to support training and competition opportunities, coaches' salaries, equipment, and sport science and medicine services for winter Olympic and Paralympic athletes with podium potential in 2010.

For more information on Own the Podium 2010, visit www.ownthepodium2010.com.

This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Gary Lunn, P.C., M.P.
    Minister of State (Sport)
    Press Secretary
    819-934-1131
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations
    819-994-9101
    1-866-569-6155
    media@pch.gc.ca