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COC Selects Delegates to Attend 2010 International Olympic Academy

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) today announced its selections for the 2010 International Olympic Academy (IOA). Vancouver residents Michelle Collens and Denis Marchand will attend the 49th International Session for Young Participants that begins June 16 and runs through June 30 in Olympia, Greece.

The aim of the IOA is to create an international cultural centre in Olympia, to preserve and spread Olympic spirit, and to study and implement the educational and social principles of Olympism. The special topic for this year’s academy is “The Olympic Movement as a platform for peace.”

Collens’ most recent role was sport tourism manager at 2010 Legacies Now, the organization working to create lasting legacies for the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. With tremendous Olympic spirit, Collens is very active in sport and community initiatives in British Columbia. Both pre- and post-Games, she helped National Olympic Committees (NOCs) locate training facilities in B.C., guided local communities in sport hosting plans, and was deeply involved in the province’s sport tourism. The 2006 Canadian Olympic Academy graduate has been involved in a long line of sport events including a Canada Winter Games and Summer Games, BC Summer Games, World Sledge Hockey Challenge (which she helped bring to Kelowna by promoting a barrier-free facility to city council), World Junior Hockey Championships and a Short Track Speed Skating World Cup. On the grassroots level, she has coached girls volleyball since 2006.

Marchand, a former national snowboarder, worked for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic/Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) in International Client Services. There he was responsible for all mountain operations, developed protocol for mountain venues and made arrangements for visiting heads of state and Canadian officials including Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Marchand was also a coordinator with the IOC’s NOC relations department, based in Lausanne, Switzerland. A strong believer in Olympic values, Marchand was for more than a decade an athlete, instructor, coach with Canadian snowboarding – and has even helped build snowboard cross courses.

The COC congratulates both Collens and Marchand – both past participants of the Olympic Academy of Canada – and wishes them well on the next phase of their involvement in the Olympic Movement.

More information on the IOA can be found at www.ioa-sessions.org.