COT Names Specialists to Lead Health and Science, Mental Performance and Athlete Preparation for London 2012

Dr. Julia Alleyne Selected as Chief Medical Officer

In preparing for the 2012 Olympic Games, the Canadian Olympic Team today announced four specialists who will help ensure athletes are fully supported in their quest for the podium. Dr. Julia Alleyne has been named chief medical officer, Marc Rizzardo chief therapist, Dr. Kimberley Amirault-Ryan lead mental performance consultant and Marnie McBean specialist, athlete preparation.

“We are assembling the best, most experienced team of specialists to help athletes and team members – in partnership with NSFs – turn in their best performance at the 2012 Olympic Games,” said Caroline Assalian, executive managing director of sport and NSF relations at the Canadian Olympic Committee.

“With less than two years to London’s Opening Ceremony, these Olympic specialists are sharing Olympic and London-specific strategies with summer National Sport Federations. The goal is to create an optimal performance-focused Olympic environment, for athletes, coaches and team members.”

As chief medical officer, Dr. Julia Alleyne will lead the Team’s overall health and science services. Medical director of Sport CARE at Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital, she served as Canada’s assistant chief medical officer at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Dr. Alleyne was also a member of Canada’s health and science team in 2002, 2008 and 2010, and has worked extensively with Skate Canada, Gymnastics Canada and the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine. In 2003, Dr. Alleyne was named a recipient of the Most Influential Women in Sport and Physical Activity Award.

Marc Rizzardo will reprise his role as chief therapist, which he held at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. For the 2012 Games, he will support Dr. Alleyne by managing the team of therapists. A physiotherapist in Burnaby, B.C., he was Canada’s chief therapist for the 2007 Pan American Games, and a member of the 2008 Olympic health and science Team, as well as sport-specific therapist at the 1984 Olympic Games. Rizzardo has worked as a physiotherapist for many prominent sport organizations including the Canadian Soccer Association, Fencing Canada and the Minnesota Wild National Hockey League franchise. At the last Summer Games, Rizzardo was head physiotherapist for the women’s football team in Beijing.

Dr. Kimberley Amirault-Ryan will lead the team of mental performance consultants to help prepare athletes to compete at the London Games. For the past decade, Dr. Amirault-Ryan has worked in this role in professional sport for the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, New York Knicks and the Columbus Blue Jackets. For 12 years, she has worked with Canada’s women’s hockey, cross-country ski and speed skating teams. Most recently she was Canada’s lead mental performance consultant for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Dr. Amirault-Ryan is director of sport psychology at the Canadian Sport Centre in Calgary. In 2009, she was one of Canada’s most influential women in sport and physical activity.

One of Canada’s most accomplished Olympians, Marnie McBean has been selected as specialist, athlete preparation for the 2012 Team. In this role, McBean will be an advisor to athletes and teams, helping them prepare and build confidence for a unique Olympic environment in London. A regular motivational speaker, she has served as athlete services officer and preparation specialist in 2006, 2008 and 2010. McBean won four medals – three of them gold – at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games. With partner Kathleen Heddle, she is the first Canadian to become triple Olympic champion.

The Games of the XXX Olympiad run July 27 to August 12, 2012.