February – MP Ron Liepert’s Report

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After years of training, the Canadian Olympic Team is ready and in PyeongChang, South Korea to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics. It is scheduled to be our nation’s 23rd appearance at the Winter Olympics, having competed at every Games since their inception in 1924 The opening ceremonies for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games, on February 9th, will kick off the games. They will be held for 17 days followed by the Winter Paralympic Games in the same location from March 9 – 18, 2018.

‘Own the Podium’ is a Canadian not-for-profit organization that was created in 2006 as ‘Own the Podium – 2010’ and their goal was to prepare Canadian athletes to reach medal finishes at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Own the Podium (OTP) is the organization responsible for assessing the performance potential of Canadian high-performance sport (both individual and team) and due to the success in 2010, has continued to support Canadian athletes in their Olympic pursuits for both winter and summer games. Through funding by OTP, athletes have more resources to allow for the time commitment for the training required to reach the podium. Funding for the OTP program is largely from the federal government (the Canadian government announced the creation of Podium Canada, an umbrella body for the ‘Own the Podium – 2010’ in 2006) and individual donors.

As we discussed in the last months message, athletes from across the country come to train at the excellent facilities and within the top-notch programs located in our riding at Canada Olympic Park. By the continual development of the park, the athletes are given every opportunity to thrive in their quest to achieve an Olympic Medal.

With Canada sending a team of no less than 226, they will be competing in every event with the exception of nordic combined. Here is a little trivia about our team- with 20 medals, including 13 gold, Canada is the most successful country in Olympic ice hockey. In Ice Skating, Canada qualified 17 athletes (8 male and 9 female) across all four individual and pairs events. This meant Canada qualified the most figure skaters out of all nations.

As we all watch and cheer on our Olympic athletes, I want to say thank you for representing Calgary Signal Hill, and Canada. Let’s ‘Own the Podium’.

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