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Triple Olympic medallist appointed Canada Chef de Mission for Toronto 2015

Triple Olympic medallist appointed Canada Chef de Mission for Toronto 2015

By Duncan Mackay at the Westin Harbour Castle Conference Centre in Toronto

Former cyclist Curt Harnett was today named as Canada's Chef de Mission for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, his home cityOctober 10 - Three-time Olympic cycling medallist Curt Harnett has been appointed as Chef de Mission for Canada's team at the 2015 Pan American Games, it was announced here today.

The appointment of the 48-year-old, who is from the city, was made by Macel Aubut, President of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), during the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) General Assembly.

Harnett, winner of an Olympic silver medal in the 1,000 metres time trial at Los Angeles 1984 and bronze in the match sprint at Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996, will be responsible for a team of athletes, coaches and officials that is expected to exceed more than 1,100.

"What a truly incredible honour this is for me. I am ready for the task ahead and accept this massive responsibility," said Harnett.

"One of my goals as Chef will be to illustrate to all Canadians that these Games matter.
 

"They matter not just because an unprecedented amount of resources are being invested into sport, or because they afford Canada's best athletes the opportunity to compete at home, in front of a hometown crowd.

"They matter because come 2015, various cultures and languages will be coming into our home and we will host them with a true Canadian spirit - one of peace, fair play and equality.

"To me, these are values worthy of promoting and celebrating."

Curt Harnett was formerly one of the world's top cyclists, who won three Olympic and two Pan American Games medals, including a gold at Indianapolis in 1987 Curt Harnett was formerly one of the world's top cyclists, who won three Olympic and two Pan American Games medals, including a gold at Indianapolis in 1987

Harnett is a two-time medallist in the Pan American Games, winning a gold in the 1,000m time trial and silver in the match race at Indianapolis in 1987.

"Curt is one of Canada's most decorated Olympians, and we are so grateful that he has accepted this great responsibility," said Aubut.

"I have full confidence that Canada's Pan American athletes will benefit greatly from his extensive experience, unending passion and tremendous intensity."

At the last Pan American Games, in Guadalajara in 2011, Canada finished fifth overall in the medals table.

They won a total of 119 medals, including 30 gold.

The team is targeting a higher finish in 2015.

"With this investment, we are ensuring that every Canadian athlete who is eligible to compete will compete," said Aubut.

Contact the writer of this story at duncan.mackay@insidethegames.biz