Canadian Olympic Committee president Marcel Aubut speaks at a historic fundraiser in Quebec City May 22 that raised more than $800,000 in funds for Canadian athletes.
Mister Georges Cope, Premier Charest, Minister Bal Gosal, Mayor Régis Labeaume, Mister Marcus Very(sp), President Jacques Rogge, dear friends, partners, and athletes. Wow! What a great day for our athletes.
Welcome everyone to the beautiful city of Quebec. A city that knows and would like to develop the profound value of competitive sport. Today, my friends, will remain engraved in our memories for years to come.
Born from a simple idea, this conference luncheon has grown beyond our wildest dreams. You ask why? Well, I have the answer. Because our passion, our love and our willingness to give all our support to our athletes is stronger than ever.
Our meeting gathers for the first time all of the active forces from Quebec City, Quebec and Canada. These active forces demonstrate our heroic efforts toward solidarity and fidelity for one of the greatest treasures our country has, our athletes, our Olympians.
The extent and complexity, yes, I said complexity, to make this event a success never discouraged anyone. On the contrary, it was a source of inspiration because the cause is noble and well worth it. We never lost sight that the event is, before anything, to support the excellence of our athletes who are so dear to our hearts.
Whether it be the high quality organizing committee, co-presided by Claude Rousseau, where more than 600 volunteers and staff worked extremely hard 24/7, or the 80+ companies and organizations and partners who are here voluntarily, but especially all of you who are here today. Four thousand one hundred to be exact.
Know that your actions contribute in a substantive way to athletes realizing their dreams and inspiring youth in schoolyards, skating rinks, and soccer fields across our great nation.
The support of our honorary President, George Cope, was fundamental. I would like to sincerely thank him on behalf of all athletes in this country.
Mr. Cope, we want to thank you for your unwavering support for our athletes day in and day out. Merci, George.
I also salute the particular involvement of the Quebec government, which was no doubt inspired by a lover of sport, a great lover of sport, our Premier Jean Charest.
As with the unique and exceptional contribution of the culinary athletes, I am very proud of our seven chefs that I would like to mention; François Blais, Jean-Luc Boulay, Seth Corrado, Dominic Guilbeault, Joseph Sarrazin, and Daniel Vézina under the direction of Marie-Chantal Lepage, who with their reputation of excellence still provided the same quality of taste beyond compare at this inaccessible location, a very primitive location for this type of event.
I would like to share a quote of someone who needs no introduction. He once said, and I quote, our world today is in need of peace, tolerance and brotherhood. The values of the Olympic Games can deliver these to us.
At least show us that sports unite by overcoming national, political, religious and languages barriers. At least can show us world we all long for.
He also said, and I quote, athletes, you are the models to emulate and your accomplishments on and off the playing field will inspire and motivate future generations. These quotations filled with passion and conviction for the Olympic cause belong to none other than the leader of the Olympic Movement and President of the International Olympic Committee, Dr. Jacques Rogge.
Dr. Rogge, on behalf of all Canadian athletes, federations and trainers, I would like to thank you for the leadership and determination that you demonstrate. Please accept our recognition of your legendary generosity. Your presence has prompted unprecedented mobilization here. This is all because of you. And our energy is renewed and inspired for the London Olympic Games.
It is through all the sacrifice that the athletes and trainers will translate your steadfast and essential support in order to attain their best possible performance.
Next stop. London.
Speaking of London, it’s now for me a great honour to introduce to you one of the best of the best, an icon, a hero, a Canadian hero.
It is a tremendous honour that I introduce the person that will have the essential role as delegation head of the Canadian Olympic Team in our goal to finish among the first 12 countries in the medal rankings at the Olympic Games that will commence in London in just 66 days. 66 sleeps!
As I often say, it won’t be easy. In fact, it will be quite hard. But excellence never is.
Mesdames et Messieurs, ladies and gentlemen, the one and the only one, le grand champion olympique, Mark Tewksbury