HomeTag Own the Podium

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Cross Country Canada (CCC) has begun a reboot process as the new Olympic cycle starts. Corporations call this a reset, a rebranding, a new direction, restructuring, and various other names that try to disguise the challenges and issues that come with enacting real change. The reboot process traditionally starts with an acknowledgement that the current level of success, and that of the foreseeable future, doesn’t align with the goals or the potential of the organization....

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Cross Country Canada (CCC) has appointed a new high-performance and development advisor, CCC’s CEO since November 2016. On the upside, he explained that another sponsor and investment firm, Haywood Securities, has agreed to sponsor the NorAm circuit as it has in the past. Asked if budget cuts were among the biggest challenges affecting CCC at the moment and the reasoning behind the latest layoffs, Pearsall said, “Yes. If things had stayed the same that would’ve...

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If you made it past the article’s title, then get ready to immerse yourself in the intricacies of Canadian high-performance sports funding. OK, here it goes…money, money, money. Add this for effect, $. Imagine for a moment you’re the CEO of a national sporting body and you’ve got high aspirations — things like championship and Olympic medals. There’s an infinite amount of puzzle pieces to organize and assemble. There are two critical pieces to even...

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What a year for Cross Country Canada (CCC). For the first time in history, its men’s team stood on a World Cup gold and its women’s team pulled off its Canada’s 2017/2018 national-team nominations earlier this month, FasterSkier caught up with CCC’s High Performance Director Thomas Holland and the World Cup co-coach Ivan Babikov to discuss the program moving forward.  What’s changed since last year? Not much. With a strong season behind them, an Olympic season ahead and a solid coach...

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Tom Hall as a guest. If you’re into elite canoe and kayak, Hall may be a familiar name: he’s a 2008 bronze medalist from the Beijing Olympics in sprint canoeing and represented Canada internationally for twenty years — he retired from competitive sports in 2012. Today, Hall is a journalist and editor as well as the interim executive director for for a Canadian athlete advocacy organization called about Canada’s sports funding program Own The Podium, titled ‘The Wrong Track’. It’s...

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For the past 13 years, Eric de Nys has been ingrained in the sport of cross-country skiing and its offshoots, including biathlon. He spent 10 years as a coach on Cross Country Canada’s national team, leading the women’s World Cup team in his final two years there. Based in the same town and out of the same training facilities in Canmore, Alberta, de Nys parted ways with the national team after the 2014 Olympics and October 2015, de Nys...

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Looking up from the finish line on Sunday, Canada’s Len Valjas saw something he would never forget. Amidst a sea of waving Swedish flags, a trio of men ran toward him. Their arms were outstretched and a chorus of cheers escaped all three as they charged toward their teammate. Just a week ago, Valjas had celebrated his fifth place in 2012 in Gällivare, Sweden, with Valjas, Harvey, Devon Kershaw, and Ivan Babikov. A little less...

In his first week as president/chair of Cross Country Canada, Jamie Coatsworth -- a longtime financial supporter of Canadian nordic skiing -- talks about the position and how he ended up filling the vacancy left by Richard Lemoine. "Sort of looking up around the room, I spoke to some of the other board members," Coatsworth said. "And I said somebody’s gotta do it."

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Own the Podium increased biathlon's budget from last season's $200,000 to a still-low $250,000 - less than its post-Vancouver award despite better performances. "I see great potential in the Nordic sports where a single athlete who is at that level can win multiple medals," Biathlon Canada's Chris Lindsay said. "We’re potentially going to be missing out on a bunch of those podiums."

Note: This is the first of two pieces based on an interview with Biathlon Canada’s High Performance Director, Chris Lindsay, from earlier this spring. Any way you look at it, 2012 was a good year for Canadian biathlon on the World Cup. Jean-Philippe Le Guellec, Brendan Green, and Zina Kocher all notched multiple top-tens. While Green continued an ascent that began with top-20 finishes in 2010 and 2011, for the older two athletes, the results...