The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) has selected Vancouver’s Tricia Smith as Chef de Mission for the Canadian team at the 2007 Pan American Games, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 13-29, 2007.

Smith, 48, who was elected to the COC’s Executive Committee last weekend, was a member of four Olympic Teams in Rowing, winning a silver medal in Los Angeles in 1984 in the women’s coxless pairs event. She also won a gold medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games and has earned seven World Championship medals.

“I’m honoured to serve as Canada’s Chef de Mission for the upcoming Pan American Games,” said Smith. “I hope my background as a competitive athlete and Olympian as well as my volunteer roles with many Canadian and international sport organizations will help smooth the way for the Canadian team’s success in the Pan American Games in Rio.”

Smith, a four-time Olympian, started her Olympic career at the 1976 Olympic Games in the first-ever Olympic regatta for women. She also competed in the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games and was named to the 1980 team. Smith was on Canada’s first medal winning team at the 1977 World Championships. She also co-founded and co-chaired Rowing Canada’s first Athletes’ Advisory Council with the goal of providing athlete input into the decision-making of the organization and was a member of the COC’s first Athletes’ Advisory Council. Although Smith herself didn’t compete at the Pan American Games, her mother Pat (MacIntosh) Smith competed in the 1955 Pan American Games in basketball.

“Tricia has devoted much of her time and energy over the years to supporting and advancing amateur sport in Canada,” said COC President Michael Chambers. “Her sincerity, enthusiasm, leadership ability and dedication to sport in Canada make her a natural fit to lead Canada’s team at the Pan American Games.”

After retiring from her rowing career following the 1988 Olympic Games, Smith practised law in Vancouver, and is now a Partner at Barnes Craig & Associates, managing claims for liability insurers, providing risk management consulting and acting as an Arbitrator on a variety of sport issues. Smith is also a member of the Executive Committee of the International Rowing Federation (FISA), Board Member of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS), Past President of Olympians BC and a volunteer on numerous other Boards. She was Canada’s representative to the World Olympians Association and a board member of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Bid.

The Pan American games are a continental version of the Olympic Games which includes the Olympic Program sports and others that are not part of the Olympic Games. These Games are conducted every four years, always one year before the Olympic Games. Rio de Janeiro was awarded the 2007 Pan American Games on August 24, 2002.