“It takes a cohesive team to achieve success in any walk of life, and that certainly holds true in developing Olympic and Paralympic champions.”
— John Furlong, Chair, Own the Podium
These agreements commit multiple partners to collaborate and further develop new opportunities for young people to realize their full potential. Deeper alignment at this government level continued in 2016 as the COC invested with provinces around a Provincial Sport Organizations (PSO) assessment. This work successfully provided a transparent overview of the PSOs for the ministry responsible for sport funding to support 100 per cent of the recommendations made by ViaSport to allocate $8 million to B.C. while the process to include other provinces has begun.
The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (COPSI) also increased its involvement with the COC on multiple projects. Locally, a successful partnership with Jeux du Québec à Montréal was forged to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games and various provincial activations unfolded to celebrate Team Canada’s performances during Rio 2016.
• 121 NSF projects supporting 44 NSFs
• 85% of NSFs indicated positive impact/value experienced by their organization
• $700,000 awarded to Rio medallist athletes through the Athlete Excellence Fund
• $132,500 awarded to Rio medallist coaches through the Coaches Reward Program
In addition, the NSF Enhancement Initiative and the NSF Emerging Leaders Program supported Canada’s sport federations in a variety of projects related to revenue generation, leadership, alignment and sharing of knowledge. The Olympic Solidarity program continued in support of performance with familiarization, simulation, and test event projects for Rio 2016 and PyeongChang 2018 and partially funded solutions for 10 gaps identified before the Rio Games. The COC received more than $1 million to subsidize Games logistics costs through Olympic Solidarity’s Games Subsidy program.
The COC’s total athlete wellness program Game Plan excelled in 2016 to continue helping athletes to live better and more holistic lives. Its proudest success was hosting the second Game Plan Summit in Toronto following the Rio Games, allowing 125 Olympians, Paralympians, and national team athletes to come together, develop their skills, and learn in areas important to their individual development and needs. The Game Plan team also worked closely with the marketing partnerships group to sign Smith School of Business to an eight-year strategic partnership, including up to 1200 Canadian national team athlete scholarships. In December, the Game Plan Education Network was launched. The network consists of nine universities across Canada who have signed MOUs with the COC that will see national team student-athletes receive academic accommodations and flexibility.
The COC’s work as an international leader around LGBTQ inclusion continued in 2016 as 45 active ambassadors helped our organization participate in hundreds of events nationally and internationally. Becoming a steering committee member of the LGBTQI2S Sport Inclusion Task Force makes the COC a sport leader in the space and connects us with more than 50 organizations committed to the LGBTQ movement. The EYCO team also grew in capacity this past year with part time staff support from Sport Inclusion Coordinators added to partner organizations Egale and the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity.
The goal of unifying the Rio 2016 team took on many forms, including the creation of the first-ever Olympian Manifesto, which embodies what it means to be a Canadian Olympian and the legacy it represents. The language now bolsters all internal communications with the team. Adjacent to this collaborative thinking, a peer learning network was created to allow team leaders, managers and coaches to share knowledge and challenges among themselves and discover solutions.
“(I was) continually challenged and able to approach my environment through many different lenses, which helps me with problem solving and innovation.”
— Alex Davidson, high performance manager
During Games, an athlete and support team lounge provided accommodation for each client group to relax, work or share stories and/or challenges with peers, while our health services, performance technology and performance equipment team made improvements in their services. Our leadership and team dynamics program took further shape both in familiarization planning and excellent troubleshooting before, during and after the Games period.
Team Canada forged a very strong relationship with the local community in Rio which eventually gave an edge to our organization at many levels. Our Chef de Mission Curt Harnett and Assistant Chefs de Mission Isabelle Charest and Carol Huynh had great impact and were involved at all stages of preparation and during Games.
The COC’s Games operations team identified early the large area footprint of Rio 2016 would be a challenge and maintained a solutions-focused, integrated approach to deliver efficiencies across many functional areas. The result was positive feedback from athletes and very much a non-distraction to performance. We are also proud to report there were no significant security issues with Team Canada after successfully launching a new tool for our emergency preparedness and response plan and working closely with the RCMP, other international security organizations, Rio 2016 and local partners.
The COC is grateful for its partnership with the Government of Canada in helping deliver best-in-class security for Team Canada at Rio 2016 — one of our biggest successes at Games.
The introduction of the collaboration tool ‘TITAN’ used between Games Ops, IT & Sport Services departments helped to increase fluidity across accreditation-accommodation-travel planning and on-site delivery, which was no easy feat. At the Olympic Village, nearly 900 maintenance issues had to be addressed during the seven-day pre-opening period and the COC operations team ensured everything was in an acceptable state for athlete arrivals. Our strong working relationship with the Organizing Committee and the local community was essential. Staying at the performance centre were 126 individuals from 25 NSFs and 72 Mission Team members for more than 2500 bed nights over 42 days. The facility was used as a training venue and was utilized as a ‘one-stop shop’ for team orientations which included outfitting, mobile solutions set-up, and security briefings.
Rio 2016 BY THE NUMBERS
NSF support team: 203
Mission team: 169
Rank by Total Medals: 10
Sports in which Canada earned a medal: 11
Canadian best-evers set or equaled: 35
Canadian Records set or equaled: 13
Days on which Canada won 2+ medals: 5
Containers shipped to Rio: 18
Air freight pallets to Rio: 24
Beds in the Olympic Village: 433
Rooms booked: 2,327 (hotel) + 2,525 (performance centre)
Clothing items packed: 17,547