Skip navigation

Rogge plans to visit Canada

Canadian Press

Athens — Canadian sport officials are encouraged that the head of the International Olympic Committee plans to visit Canada to encourage increased spending on amateur sport.

Jacques Rogge said he will make the trip before the end of the year to speak to federal and provincial governments about sport funding prior to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

"It's very high on my agenda," Rogge said in his Games ending news conference Sunday.

Rogge said Canadian IOC members and the Vancouver 2010 organizing committee have urged him to make the trip.

As well as going to Vancouver, Rogge said he plans to stop in Ottawa to attempt to get sports funding on the agenda of the federal government.

"Government funding will be needed," he said.

Michael Chambers, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee, welcomed Rogge's plan.

"We wish that the government will allocate greater resources to both our summer and winter athletes," Chambers said.

"If it takes the president of the IOC to wake some folks up on Parliament Hill, I'll buy the ticket. I see nothing but positives with respect to President Rogge's suggestion in that regard."

Canada is the only nation to host an Olympics and not win a gold medal, at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary.

"We were so good at it we did it twice," said Chris Rudge, the COC's chief operating officer.

Chambers said the IOC wants to see host nations succeed at Games.

"The IOC has an interest in trying to see to it that a host nation has for themselves and their own athletes a superlative performance result at those Games and leading into those Games," he said.

"It's wonderful to have a partner in our effort to have the appropriate resources placed in the hands of our athletes."

Rogge said has gone through the same process with the Italian government as it prepares for the 2006 Winter Games in Turin.

"I don't think I will have to do that in Beijing (in 2008)," he said.

The Chinese government has made a big push to strengthen their athletes ahead of the Beijing Games. China was third in the medal standings at Athens.

Recommend this article? 2 votes

Back to top