March 5/10 14:14 pm - Own the Podium Applauds Federal Government Investment in Athletes
Posted by Editor on 03/5/10
Own the Podium and Canada’s high-performance athletes congratulate the Harper government for responding to its request for replacement funding in the Own the Podium program, a unique initiative which played a critical role in Canada winning a historic 14 gold medals at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The federal government announced in Thursday’s budget it will provide $22 million a year into the Own the Podium program. (Note: The federal government had earlier indicated it was going to cut back on funding)
The Federal government’s commitment to Own the Podium now totals $69 million annually, which includes a base level of funding of $22 million per year that will be directed to winter sport. For summer sport, the government of Canada’s support is set at $36 million a year, which will be invested to athletes preparing for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The remaining $11 million will go toward creating programs targeted to further developing winter and summer athletes and targeted investments into Canadian Sport Centres.
“We have heard, overwhelmingly, from Canadians about how proud they are of our athletes’ tremendous performance in Vancouver and Whistler. It is clear that Canada wants to support our athletes in their pursuit for excellence and this replacement funding will help Own the Podium deliver on that desire,” said Roger Jackson, chief executive officer, Own the Podium. “Through Government support, Canada’s athletes have come a long way in their pursuit of excellence, and we are thrilled that Prime Minister Harper along with Ministers’ James Moore and Gary Lunn have taken a lead in ensuring this success will continue well into the future.”
“As an athlete who benefitted from Own the Podium support, I am thrilled that our Canadian government has stepped up to show their support for Canada’s winter athletes”, said Mellisa Hollingsworth, 2006 Olympic bronze medalist in skeleton. “Own the Podium has been one of the key difference makers in my career and I know that this investment will not only continue to help me with my goals in Sochi but it will also benefit the record number of athletes who came so close to landing on the podium in Vancouver and Whistler.”
Own the Podium is a national sport technical initiative that was created in 2005 to help Canada become the number one nation (total medal count) at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and to place in the top-three nations (gold medal count) at the 2010 Paralympic Games. The initiative has also set a goal for Canadian athletes to have a top-12 placing at the London 2012 Olympic Games and in the top eight nations at the 2012 Paralympic Games. Both of these initiatives reflect what Canadians want from Canada’s high-performance athletes and helps advance the “excellence” goal of the Canadian Sport Policy. Own the Podium’s largest contributor of funding is the Government of Canada.
For a full summary of Own the Podium initiatives and programs including breakdown of support and services by sport, please visit us at www.ownthepodium.org on the Internet.