In the fall of 2010, I become involved with the Olympic Foundation assisting the 2011 Red Mitten Campaign and acting as the Foundation representative at the Gold Medal Plates dinners across Canada. The Olympic Foundation is a relatively new charity in the sports philanthropy landscape, allowing Canadians who believe in the power of sport to donate directly to the Olympic Movement, supporting the next generation of athletes.
I think the Red Mittens are awesome and I wear the warm, red fuzzies often. The Vancouver 2010 Olympics gave Canadians permission to feel proud. What a gift! We now know that it is OK to let our hearts swell for the ideals of our nation and our breath deepen for our Canadian brothers and sisters. The Olympic movement creates something that cannot be placed on a balance sheet. How can you bottle love & excitement? How can you put self esteem & feelings of unity under a microscope? This is why I will always support the Olympic Movement.
Having experienced the support of Canadians throughout my Olympic journey, I was overcome with the desire to pay it forward. Over my eight years of international competition, I saw an incredible increase in the support the Canadian public has given our athletes. To ensure we continue on this trajectory towards sustainable & valuable support for our athletes, I joined the Canadian Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission. Recently, I was elected to the Vice-Chair position, where I sit on the Board of Directors with Deidre Dionne, the chair of the Athletes’ Commission.
Like any large organization, there are problems within the movement. What large organization, or person for that matter, has kept their nose completely clean for 108 years. We are all bound to make mistakes. How we fix them is the real judge of character. I firmly believe that the Olympic Movement is on the forefront: embracing transparency, eliminating systemic problems, and making each Olympic Games better than the last.
Canada has been on the forefront of this ideological battle. Dick Pound & Beckie Scott, two great Canadians, were instrumental in the creation of the World Anti Doping Association (WADA), founded in 1999. With a body like this, Athletes are now more accountable than ever to their long-term health and the ethics surrounding competition.
Social, Environmental & Economic Sustainability was at the forefront of the Vancouver 2010 Games. Socially, all the flowers made for the medal ceremonies used the labour or marginalized women. The 2010 games were the most environmentally friendly event the world has seen, leaving a legacy of the Sustainable Sport & Event Toolkit for other large events to follow. Finally, my former teammate Jake Wetzel preformed an economic analysis of the games, proving that there was zero net loss for the hosting city of Vancouver.
I am a firm believer in the good. Find the good and make it better. We must build on the good. There is a lot of good in the Olympic Movement to build upon and I will add my bricks when I can.