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Canadian Olympic Team Official Website

Speech Delivered By: Curt Harnett (Chef de mission TORONTO 2015)

THE UNVEILING: TORONTO 2015 CHEF DE MISSION 

 

Introduction

Thank you, merci Marcel.

wow, talk about a flattering introduction.

I haven’t seen that many photos of me in one place since my ex returned the ‘curt box’ back in high school.

[pause]

But seriously, thank you so much for that.

You know, I don’t think I’ve ever met a harder working, more dedicated, volunteer in my life.

Marcel, thank you for the role that you and your entire team at the COC are playing in changing the landscape of sport in our country.

You’re making a difference. Please keep on doing what you’re doing.

[pause]

new role, same intensity

[buen-os di-os mi a-mig-o]

Wow! Chef de mission for the Toronto 20-15 Canadian pan american team!

I’m not sure if you can tell, but i am a little excited to be given this opportunity.

and what an incredible honour it is. i am ready and accept this massive responsibility.

for those already familiar with me, and the way i work: you can be certain that i am pledging 100% of me.

… to the challenge… the anticipation… and to the work that awaits us all.

the challenge of making sure our athletes are fully prepared to take on the world here at home.

the anticipation of welcoming the best athletes and coaches from across the Americas to Canada.

and the challenge of illustrating to as many Canadians as possible – these games matter.

why it matters

 

it matters because there is an unprecedented investment into sport in this region.

it’s something that we in sport have long waited for.

and it is critical.

it ensures that our athletes continue to pursue excellence, right here at home.

and that we, as a sporting nation, retain the world-class coaching that athletes require to compete and win.

this investment will provide the foundation for success of all our athletes – from across this country – for years to come.

DURING MY COMPETITIVE YEARS, I HAD TO TRAVEL INTO THE UNITED STATES TO GET ACCESS TO PROPER FACILITIES AS i PREPARED TO TAKE ON THE WORLD.

WELL TO THAT, I SAY: NO MORE.

TORONTO 2015 IS A GAME CHANGER.

i say this because this is not just about a few weeks of competition – it’s about building a legacy for future generations.

yes, of course, this includes A WORLD CLASS sports infrastructure – buildings, courts, fields, housing and transportation.

but this is also about realizing all those benefits that are less measureable – and not as obvious.

SURE, talking to our kids about the values of peace, fair play and equality in sport is one thing.

but SHOWING THEM BY inviting THE PAN AMERICAN FAMILY INTO our home and hosting them here – with a true canadian spirit – is much more powerful.

this will go a long way in DEFINING THE next generation of athletes and leaders in our country.

ThAT is the power of sport.

 

[pause]

 

 

conclusion

I know that so much work has already been done, and i thank all of those who have made a real difference in getting us to where we are today.

and today is another important step in delivering an unforgettable pan am games.

thank you for the great honour of leading what will be the largest canadian pan american team ever.

I look forward to meeting, working and cheering with as many of you as possible.

[APPLAUSE/wait]

 

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