COC Selects Delegates to Attend International Olympic Academy

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) today announced that Olympians Alexandra Orlando and Anthony Wright have been selected to attend the 2009 International Olympic Academy (IOA). The 49th International Session for Young Participants begins June 10 and runs until June 24 in Olympia, Greece.

Both 2008 Olympians and 2007 Pan American gold medallists, Orlando and Wright have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the Olympic Movement in Canada and sport overall. Having achieved great success in international competition, they are also actively engaged in promoting sport and the Olympic values across Canada in volunteer capacities.

A rhythmic gymnast, Orlando was ranked as high as eighth in the world in the months before competing at the Beijing Olympic Games. That is a position few athletes in North or South America have ever achieved in a sport long dominated by Europeans. She captured three gold medals at the 2007 Pan American Games and six gold medals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games – carrying Canada’s flag at the Closing Ceremony of both Games.

Her credentials outside of competition are of impressive length. An independent consultant for Canada’s rhythmic gymnasts, Orlando is a board member and athlete representative of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Bid Committee, AthletesCAN and Gymnastics Canada. She travels to most 2015 Pan Am bid events, was spokesperson for Active Healthy Kids Canada, lobbied the Harper government with the COC for more funding for summer sports, performed for the Canadian Commonwealth Games Committee and represented athletes at the 2006 press conference of Canadian sport ministers, among many other sport-related engagements.

Wright has played for Canada’s national field hockey team since 2005. At the 2007 Pan American Games, he was part of one of the most dramatic moments for Canada when the team defeated the favoured, defending champion Argentina in an overtime shootout. The gold medal also qualified Canada for the 2008 Olympic Games, where the team finished 10th. In so doing, Wright became the fourth member of his family to represent Canada at an Olympic Games.

Wright is an RBC Olympian and a member of the COC’s Adopt an Athlete program. He has been a board member of BC Athlete Voice, a member of the UBC Thunderbird Athlete Council and both a participant and later a guest speaker at the Olympic Academy of Canada.

The aim of the IOA is to create an international cultural centre in Olympia, to preserve and spread the Olympic Spirit, and to study and implement the educational and social principles of Olympism. The special topic for this year’s academy is “The Olympic Games as a Celebration: Evaluation of the Olympic Games of Beijing and the Course towards the Olympic Games of Vancouver”.  More information on the IOA can be found at