By welcoming home our athletes and coaches after what was our best-ever non-boycotted summer Olympic Games, we showed our work was as collaborative as it was empowering.
More importantly, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and its broader sport network united in unprecedented ways to define a system that has now become a platform for positive change.
The results speak for themselves.
We witnessed 35 best-ever Olympic performances and 13 Canadian records set or equaled as well as 62 medallists, 87 per cent of whom were female, deliver on the field of play to propel us far beyond our goal of a top-12 nation.
This group of summer athletes and coaches raised the bar, giving individual performances that collectively inspired a nation to be better — even outside of sport. But they also showed they had what they needed to perform when it mattered most.
This is a clear testament to the improved and collaborative approach the COC has taken alongside the National Sport Federations (NSFs) over the past year. By also working closer with Own the Podium and amplifying the COC’s commitment to supporting coaches and NSFs, we collectively delivered on the vision to build a stronger sport network. And it shows.
In fact, it paints a highly encouraging picture as we continue to change the future of sport in Canada for the better.
During 2016, the COC elevated its emphasis on the next generation of athletes, announcing a commitment of more than $132 million in funding for the Canadian sport community. Coupled with a rejuvenated relationship with the Canadian Olympic Foundation, this approach not only
bodes well for young athletes, it creates honest opportunity.
Corporate partners are behind us, too.
With encouraging renewals of longtime relationships and the announcing of new ones, the COC is hugely motivated to continue working closer with its partners to develop and invent programs that breed success.
The COC also welcomed a renewed energy internally during 2016, architecting its values to fuel a workplace philosophy and governance that is born out of respect and integrity. This saw strong work from our nomination committee and a thorough governance review that will guide us upward and onward as a leading national Olympic organization.
This trajectory is already proving itself in the lead-up to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang as every member of the COC family persists in their dedication to the power of sport. It is a commitment to the Olympic Movement that is palpable and I wish to thank you wholeheartedly on behalf of every athlete and coach who strive to perform for our shared cause.
In 2016 we strengthened the platform on which amateur sport in this country is built — together. In doing so, we have helped transform our country into a home of great promise.
As Canadians, we should all be very proud.