Three-time Olympic medallist and two-time Pan American Games medallist Curt Harnett was today named Assistant Chef de Mission for Canada at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Harnett, Canada’s most decorated cyclist, will join Canada’s Chef de Mission and fencing great Jacques Cardyn in supporting the country’s athletes and coaches as they strive for the podium in this unique and important international event in October 2011.
“I am excited and honoured to be working alongside Jacques (Cardyn) to provide input and support to the next generation of Canadian athletes,” said Harnett. “With several London 2012 qualifying opportunities in Guadalajara and Toronto playing host in 2015, it is clear to see that the Pan American Movement is on a dramatic upswing and it is a great time to be part of this evolution.”
Harnett is a four-time Olympian and the only Canadian cyclist ever to win three Olympic medals. At the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games he won silver in 1,000 metres. He went on to capture bronze medals in sprint at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games in Barcelona and Atlanta. Also a veteran of two Pan American Games, Harnett won gold in 1,000-metre time trial and bronze in sprint in 1987.
“I’m thrilled that such a successful and inspirational athlete as Curt will join the team as assistant chef,” said Jacques Cardyn, who led the Canadian épée team to a fourth-place finish at the 1984 Olympic Games and to a gold medal at the 1983 Pan American Games. “He will be a huge asset to our Pan American Team, and a great role model and leader for the athletes.”
A two-time World Championship silver medallist and Canadian champion more than 30 times over, Harnett set a world record of 9.856 seconds in the 200-metre time trial during a 1995 World Championship event in Bogota, Colombia, a record that would stand for 11 years.
Curt has sat on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Cycling Association, the Canadian Olympic Association, and the City of Toronto’s Bid for the 2008 Olympic Games, focusing most of his attention towards athlete advocacy.
In 2005, he was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. The following year he was enshrined in the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. He is currently a motivational speaker, writer, broadcaster, promoter and mentor.
From now through the Games, Harnett’s chief responsibility will be to work alongside Cardyn in helping provide overall leadership to the Canadian Team in their final training and preparation, as well as act as liaison and representative for the Team at the 2011 Pan American Games.