Canadian Olympic Committee Votes in New President-Elect and Board Members at Quadrennial Elections

Marcel Aubut has been named president-elect of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), following the organization’s quadrennial elections held today in Vancouver as part of the Hall of Fame Induction Weekend. The COC also elected new board of directors members, each of whom will serve a four-year term through 2012.

This represents the first time in its history that the COC has a president-elect in place as Marcel Aubut will serve alongside long-time COC President Michael Chambers. Following a 2005 decision by the COC’s membership, Chambers will remain in office until the time of the COC’s Annual General Meeting in 2010 following the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

“I feel honoured to have been chosen to lead the COC by those who are among the most important people in sport in Canada. It is clear that the support came from every region of the country. They choose me as their leader and I will not disappoint them,” said Marcel Aubut. “The COC, National Sport Federations and athletes can count on me to work with all stakeholders in the Canadian sports system to take this organization to the next level and secure the means to realize our dreams. We will succeed if we all work together. Though language was not an issue in this election, I am proud to be the first francophone to lead this prestigious organization. I am also especially proud to have been elected in Vancouver, the host city of the upcoming 2010 Olympic Winter Games.”

“We had two exceptional candidates running for the position of president-elect, and I am pleased that we will retain the services of both, with Marcel Aubut as our president-elect, and Tricia Smith serving as vice-president,” said Chambers. “The COC Members have also elected an exceptionally qualified set of officers and Board members. We now proceed forward on very solid footing.”

Marcel Aubut, a corporate lawyer in Quebec City for more than three decades, is one of Quebec’s most visible and well-known personalities in the world of sport. Aubut is a prominent figure in professional hockey, stemming from his roles of president and CEO of the Quebec Nordiques. In 2005, he was elected to the COC Board of Directors and Executive Committee. In business he has served as director of many corporations while in philanthropy he has been involved with many charities. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1987 and in 1993 became an Officer of the Order of Canada.

The COC’s two new vice-presidents are Tricia Smith and Gordon Peterson, who will serve their first terms in this capacity.

Tricia Smith is a Vancouver-based lawyer and a four-time Olympian in the sport of rowing. She is a silver medallist from the 1984 Olympic Games, and owner of seven world championship medals. Smith was Canada’s Chef de Mission at the 2007 Pan American Games. For nearly 30 years, she has served in various capacities with the COC, and also has roles with VANOC, the International Rowing Federation and both the International Council of Arbitration for Sport and the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada.

Gordon Peterson is a lawyer based in London, Ont., who has been a COC member since 1993 and has represented the sport of diving on the COC Board since 1998. A board member for the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada, Peterson has also served on various COC committees over the years, including the critical Team Selection Committee.

Wayne Russell, former CEO of Own the Podium, was acclaimed to a second term as treasurer. Based in Chelsea, Quebec, Russell has been a COC board member since 1997 and has a long association with Hockey Canada, including serving as executive vice chair and chair of the board. He is also the founding chair of the Canadian Hockey Foundation, the fundraising arm of Hockey Canada.

Eight non-officer members were also elected to the COC Board of Directors. They are:

Therese Brisson, an Olympic gold (2002) and silver (1998) medallist in women’s ice hockey, team captain for three seasons and six-time world champion. She has served as director of the COC’s Athletes’ Council and is currently a member of the Finance & Administrative Committee.

Charmaine Crooks, of Vancouver, is a five-time Olympian in athletics and silver medallist at the 1984 Olympic Games. Canada’s flag bearer at the 1996 Olympic Games, she received a 2006 IOC Women and Sport Trophy for supporting gender equality. Crooks, an IOC member and vice-chair of the World Olympians Association, has also served in various roles with the COC, VANOC, the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Pan American Sports Organization and Olympians Canada.

Martha Deacon, Canada’s Chef de Mission for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Past president of Badminton Canada, she is a previous COC Board member and has a wealth of experience as mission team member at multiple Olympic, Pan American and Commonwealth Games.

Jean Dupré, vice-president of the COC from 2005 to 2009 and board member for 17 years, currently serving on the Team Selection and Finance Committees. He has served as director general for Speed Skating Canada since 1996.

Gene Edworthy is a Calgary-based optometrist who competed for Canada in luge in the mid-1980s as well as in 10 Canadian Luge Championships up until 2000. A COC board member since 2001, he is a past board member of the Calgary Olympic Development Association and past president of the Canadian Luge Association.

William Hallett, of Vancouver, long-time member of the COC as well as past president of Triathlon Canada. He is also senior vice-president and chief operating officer of Sport BC.

Walter Sieber, vice-president of the COC and internationally renowned sport expert. He has held many roles with the IOC since 2000, is a board member for VANOC, was Director General of Sports for the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games and is considered a leading authority on international football (soccer).

Larry Smith, president and chief executive officer of the Montreal Alouettes, the football team for which he played nine seasons. He was also commissioner of the Canadian Football League for five years.

Effective today, the COC is adopting a new governance structure, led by a 20-member board of directors – a committee of the 79-member Session. The COC’s board of directors is comprised of 12 elected members, three IOC members, one coach’s representative, two Athletes’ Council representatives, the Chair of the Canadian Olympic Foundation and the COC’s chief executive officer (who is a non-voting member).

The Session consists of a representative of each National Sport Federation representing Olympic, Olympic Winter and Pan American Games sports; the IOC Members in Canada; six members of the Athletes’ Council; a coach’s representative; International Federation Presidents residing in Canada; 12 directors-at-large; and the COC’s chief executive officer.