“Thanks for the lovely mittens and the photo card – which brought me to tears! Photo of the opening of the Grenoble Games! Brought back so many memories! So much appreciated!”
— Marcia Beckner, Speed Skating 1968
Through athlete marketing initiatives in 2018, excluding personal endorsements deals, NSF appearances or anything external to the COC, more than $1.5 million went directly into the hands of athletes. These initiatives include the HBC Strength in Stripes and the Petro-Canada fuelling athlete & coaching excellence (FACE) programs. Over 1,100 Team Canada athletes appeared at more than 220 events during the 2018 calendar year.
In 2018, our Education Team partnered with Classroom Champions to facilitate direct interaction between Olympians and Canadian students. Through four successful moderated live chats focused on goal-setting, achieving success and overcoming failures through their experiences at the Olympic Games, athletes connected with over 250,000 students from coast-to-coast. This partnership helped supplement the more than 100 educational resources available free of charge from the Canadian Olympic School Program, which were downloaded over 100,000 times in 2018 by educators, athletes, coaches and community groups to help promote Olympic values. The resources were downloaded over 45,000 times during the month of February alone.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Canada Olympic House Welcome message:
Canadian Olympic School Program:
Pride Parades & ‘Be You’ Pop-Up:
GAME PLAN – In 2018, we continued to spread awareness of Game Plan and reached out to as many athletes, past and present, as possible. We ensured that athletes and coaches participating at the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games had multiple touchpoints with Game Plan representatives, including two members of the Game Plan team on site at Games. Our outreach culminated in a record 130 athletes in attendance at Game Plan Summit in Calgary in May.
“Game Plan has changed my life…. The opportunity to pursue personal development opportunities is nothing short of amazing.”
— Sport Canada Survey Respondent
BY THE NUMBERS:
Our improved Games-time initiatives extended across all levels of the organization, aligning all COC Teams and NSFs in our Games planning and delivery objectives. This alignment improved Mission Team engagement, streamlined information sharing with NSFs and increased their overall awareness of the demands placed on them during Games.
Being seen as a performance partner is a key objective for our team along with ensuring National Sport Federation High Performance Directors and Team Leaders feel that their challenges and gaps have been addressed and resolved proactively and effectively. Participants in our post-Games survey rated the COC as a performance partner 4.5/5 and 100% of respondents gave the COC’s attention to challenges and gaps a good or excellent rating.
GAMES PLANNING BY THE NUMBERS:
Support Staff (NSF): 217
Mission Team: 162
Buenos Aires 2018
Support Staff (NSF): 32
Mission Team: 11
Medals: 11 (9 Canada + 2 Canadians on mixed country teams)
Our Games Team took key learnings from PyeongChang and applied them to Games planning, beginning with preparation for the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games and continuing through Tokyo 2020. The team worked to align our operations planning for Lima and Tokyo, to ensure the best possible use of our available resources. Through constant communication with our NSFs and sport partners, we ensured that all stakeholders are kept engaged and up-to-speed in our planning process.
In July, our team undertook a Tokyo “Games Time Weather” visit with six NSFs plus our Sport Partners with the main objective of experiencing the heat and humidity that will be a major factor in 2020. Specialists in meteorology, physiology and medical science took part in the visit and a multi-party “Tokyo Environment” working group was subsequently formed to ensure optimal preparation and at Games strategies are in place for the 2020 Olympic Team. In December, our Beijing “Team Leader Site Visit” with 29 participants from 10 NSFs plus our Sport Partners visited the three Games clusters, becoming one of the first NOCs to officially visit with the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee. These visits were supplemented by additional trips to the host cities to continue relationship building with the Organizing Committee, local partners and contacts.
Under the theme of IKIGAI, a Japanese concept relating to the reason one gets up in the morning, the event was headlined by long distance swimmer Diana Nyad, Right to Play founder and Olympic champion Johann Koss and Canadian wrestling icon Daniel Igali. Participants were inspired by Olympic medallist lugers Sam Edney and Alex Gough, who told a great tale of individual resilience in the face of the uncontrollable environment that the Games offer. Olympic Lab participants were taken on a journey, learning from purposeful high performers to experiencing mindfulness with coach Peter Kirchmer and ultimately drilling down to gain clarity on their own purpose through a workshop led by Dr. Karen MacNeil.
OLYMPIC CO-OP – ln just over a year, the CO-OP program has grown considerably within the sport system. This peer-to-peer program is designed to bring together Team Canada members within the same role across different Sports Federations to discuss “what keeps them up at night.” During the 90-minute video call, peers troubleshoot their day-to-day challenges in confidence, guided by an executive leadership coach. Together, they develop solutions to bring back to their NSFs. These calls are offered to CEOs, High Performance Directors, Coaches, Mental Performance Consultants and Integrated Support Team members.
“Although it is rarely convenient to carve some time off my schedule for professional development purposes, I always end up happy I did after. This was my second peer learning session and both have been extremely useful for me. Great investment of time for us all.”
— Olympic CO-OP participant
Some of the themes discussed were: safe sport, building culture, how to motivate athletes year round and emotional intelligence. Most recently, the program was expanded to be offered in-house at the COC with the Olympic Performance team as well as to the Senior Managers and Directors during an offsite meeting.
ln 2019, we will continue to explore how this proven process can help with problem-solving and creative solutions within the COC and other populations.
COACHING ENHANCING PROGRAM – The program has had a large impact in a short period of time. There were a total of 115 coaches involved who participated in various activities, including workshops held across the COPSIN, customized professional development and the Women in Coaching initiative. Two coaches have been financially supported as part of the re-integration/retention program. Upwards of 150 coaches have already registered for the 2019 coach summit.
MAJOR GAMES CANADA – A shining light in how we continue to become more integrated within the sport system, the Franchise Holders Working Group changed their name to Major Games Canada (MGC) and created a new landing webpage: www.majorgames.ca. MGC are responsible for the management and coordination of multi-sport games in Canada and internationally. Their mandate is to develop an optimal sport delivery model, providing athletes and coaches the opportunity to perform at their optimal level at multi-sport games. All the Franchise Holders share a common goal of providing a positive and enriching experience for their clientele in a multi-sport games environment. In a context of shared commitment and desire, the Franchise Holders work collaboratively in a consolidated and integrated approach to develop strategic partnerships to best serve their primary clientele groups.
THE INSIDER – The COC’s Insider releases approximately three articles per month, covering three areas of our businesses. With over 1,800 subscribers in both English and French, we are surpassing industry standards in terms of “Open Rates” and “Click Rates.” For the last three stories, we have an “Open Rate” of 55% compared to an industry average of 21% and we have a “Click Rate” of 21% compared to 2.6% industry-wide. This is a clear demonstration that the Insider is being well received and that the content shared is relevant and helpful to our target audiences.