Dr. Roger Jackson, an international sport leader and Olympic gold medallist in rowing, has been named the Chief Executive Officer of Own The Podium – 2010, the project partners announced today. In conjunction with today’s announcement, the partners also unveiled the Own The Podium – 2010 emblem, which has been attached for editorial use by media outlets and publications.

The partners for the Own the Podium project are Canada’s 13 winter National Sport Federations, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Calgary Olympic Development Association (CODA), the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).

Launched in January 2005, Own The Podium – 2010 is a $110-million sport technical initiative designed to help Canada become the number one nation in terms of medals won at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and to place in the top three nations at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. The focus of the initiative is to provide additional resources and high performance programming to Canadian athletes, coaches and support personnel to help them achieve podium success in 2010.

VANOC committed to raise half of the $110 million required through corporate support from Bell Canada, Hbc, RONA, General Motors, RBC and Petro Canada. The Government of BC also stepped up immediately to provide $5 million for the program.

“I am very excited about this challenge because the special funding provided by the partners creates new and innovative opportunities for the winter sports to develop properly towards 2010,” said Dr. Jackson. “This initiative and funding is a milestone event in Canadian sport history. Olympian Cathy Priestner Allinger, who co-wrote the Own the Podium report, and several others have done a tremendous amount of good work to get this program launched. I very much look forward to working with the Own The Podium staff, the winter sports and the funding partners to achieve these exceptional goals for our sports and our country.”

“The Canadian Olympic Committee welcomes Roger Jackson’s engagement as CEO of Own the Podium – 2010,” said COC President Michael Chambers. “Roger’s internationally recognized sport technical expertise combined with his intimate knowledge of Canadian sport will provide Canada’s winter National Sport Federations with tremendous assistance in their development and implementation of world-class programs geared for international podium success for their athletes and coaches. Own the Podium – 2010 will be a fundamental success factor in helping Canada’s athletes convert international success into Olympic podium success at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.”

“The 2010 Games will truly be a success if Canada’s athletes perform successfully in Vancouver and Whistler,” said VANOC Chief Executive Officer John Furlong. “With the proven leadership of Roger, we are ensuring that Canada’s Olympic hopefuls will be put in an optimum position to achieve podium success in 2010.”

“The Canadian Paralympic Committee is confident that Roger’s decades of sport experience will help Paralympic sports achieve their goal of a top-three finish for Canada at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games,” said Brian MacPherson, CPC Chief Operating Officer. “We look forward to working with him to continue our efforts to develop the top Paralympic athletes in the world.”

“The appointment of Dr. Jackson is great news for high performance athletes like me who have aspirations of podium success in Turin and also in Vancouver,” said 2006 Olympic hopeful, Regan Lauscher, who last year became the first Canadian to win a silver medal at a World Cup luge event. “As a three-time Olympian himself, Dr. Jackson knows first hand the type of support athletes and coaches need leading up to the Olympic Games.”

In the role of Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Jackson will be responsible for developing and implementing Own The Podium – 2010’s business, strategic and operating plans as well as issuing recommendations on the most effective methods to allocate its resources. He will report to representatives of the 13 winter National Sport Federations and the winter sport funding partners including the COC, VANOC, CPC and the Department of Canadian Heritage.