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Release: Curt Harnett Named TORONTO 2015 Chef de Mission

October 10, 2013

Four-time Olympian, three-time Olympic medallist and Board Member of World Bicycle Relief Canada will lead Team Canada at the TORONTO 2015 Games

TORONTO – Today, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) proudly unveiled its Chef de Mission for the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games. The announcement was made in a speech delivered by Marcel Aubut, Canadian Olympic Committee President, during the first-ever Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) General Assembly meeting held in Toronto.

“We are so excited to at last, inform Canadians and those across the Americas of the individual who will be responsible for leading our TORONTO 2015 Canadian Pan American Team,” said Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee. “Curt is one of Canada’s most decorated Olympians, and we are so grateful that he has accepted this great responsibility. I have full confidence that Canada’s Pan American athletes will benefit greatly from his extensive experience, unending passion and tremendous intensity.”

“What a truly incredible honour this is for me. I am ready for the task ahead and accept this massive responsibility,” said Curt Harnett, four-time Olympian, three-time Olympic medallist and the new Chef de Mission for Canada’s TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games Team.

“One of my goals as Chef will be to illustrate to all Canadians that these Games matter,” added Harnett. “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.”

Canada’s 2015 Pan American Team is expected to be the largest team ever fielded at an international multi-sport competition. The unprecedented size of the Canadian Team for TORONTO 2015 will exceed 1,100 with the inclusion of athletes, coaches, and mission staff and is a result of the COC’s landmark financial investment.

“With this investment, we are ensuring that every Canadian athlete who is eligible to compete will compete,” added Aubut.
On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to congratulate Curt Harnett on being named the Chef de Mission for Canada’s 2015 Pan American Games team,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “Curt’s experience, both as an athlete and as 2011 Assistant Chef de Mission for Team Canada in Guadalajara, will provide our athletes and coaches with unparalleled leadership, knowledge, and enthusiasm leading up to and during the Games.”

In addition to the amazing experience of competing on home soil, competing at the Pan Am Games will provide crucial major Games experience in the run-up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

As with all major Games under its watch, the COC works hand-in-glove with its valued sport partners in Canada’s National Sport Federations, Own the Podium and Canadian Sport Centres to deliver a best-in class Games preparation process for Canadian athletes.

The TORONTO 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games will take place from July 10-26 and August 7-14 respectively in Toronto, Canada, with various events also held in communities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe.


Canadian Olympic Committee Media Office:
Luc Beaudin, Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations
Cell: 514-206-6720

Jane Almeida, Manager, Media Relations
Tel: 416-324-4120 / Cell: 416-540-1788

Dimitri Soudas, Executive Director Communications
Tel: 416-324-4136 / Cell: 289-388-6419


The Chef de Mission’s primary role is to provide overall leadership to the Canadian Team; support and promote the Team by creating an on-site environment for athletes and coaches conducive to achieve optimal performance; encourage and motivate the COC Mission staff, providing the services to the Team, through creative and innovative leadership thinking; and serve as the spokesperson for the Canadian Team.

1.      Represents the Canadian team members and their activities leading up to and during a Major Games;
2.      Functions as a member of the Games Planning Team, working closely with the COC staff;
3.      Selects the Assistant Chef de Mission, in consultation with the Executive Director, Olympic Preparation & Games;
4.      Participates in the selection process for all mission staff in collaboration with the Assistant Chef de Mission and COC staff;
5.      Assists in the training and orientation for the Games Mission Team members;
6.      Liaises with various stakeholders, on behalf of the Team, namely: NSFs; athletes; coaches; managers, support team members; Games Organizing Committee; Sport Canada; other multi-sport organizations, High Commission or Consulate office, and other Chefs de Mission from NOCs;
7.      Participates as a member of the Issues Management Team dealing with any major issues or crisis situations during the games;
8.      Assists in providing relevant and timely information to team members and Mission Team prior to and during the Games;
9.      Represents the Team at Chef de Mission meetings and addresses team concerns with Organizing Committee;
10. Prepares, in conjunction with COC staff, progress reports and a final report for presentation to the COC Board, Executive Committee and Athletes’ Council as required; and
11. Performs other duties as required and assigned by the CEO throughout the duration of the organization of the Games and of the Team.

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