Sylvie Fréchette Appointed as Assistant Chef de Mission for Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games

Olympic and world champion synchronized swimmer Sylvie Fréchette was today named Assistant Chef de Mission for the Canadian Olympic Team at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The inspirational athlete and legend in Canadian sport will join Mark Tewksbury, Canada’s Chef de Mission, in supporting the country’s athletes and coaches at the Games of the XXX Olympiad.

“From the moment I came back from Las Vegas, I realized that it was more than just coming home, it was coming back to my roots and my passion,” Fréchette said from her hometown of Montreal. “Since then, I’ve spent a year with the COC in their Montreal office, I’ve met with our Canadian athletes at the Excellence Series and most recently, was part of the COC Mission Team at the Vancouver Games, all of which made me realize that sport is a passion that runs in my blood. It is this passion that I cannot wait to share with the athletes in 2012, helping them reach their goals and dreams on the world’s biggest stage.”

At the 1992 Olympic Games, Fréchette became only the second Canadian in history to win gold in the solo event. She returned to the Olympic stage in 1996 and captured silver in the team event. Before then, she won gold at the 1986 and 1991 World Championships – at the latter, she became the first synchro swimmer ever to receive a perfect score. In all, she won 65 international medals (25 of them gold) and 10 national titles.

“Sylvie fits the bill in every important way: she is a professional, she is an excellent communicator but more than this, she naturally garner tremendous respect and our 2012 Olympians will relate well to her as a person and as an accomplished athlete and Olympian,” said Tewksbury, an Olympian with Fréchette in 1992. “Her experience and insight will be pivotal to Canada’s goals in London. She has fought through adversity, endured challenges, and remains an Olympic champion of the highest calibre.”

Her list of awards and recognitions is vast, and includes the 1994 Canadian Olympic Order and inductions into no fewer than five sport Halls of Fame. She is both a member of the literary world, having published “Gold at Last” in 1993, and the entertainment industry, having spent eight years helping design and oversee Cirque du Soleil’s “O” show in Las Vegas.

Fréchette has leant her expertise to fellow Olympians as well, first helping choreograph the routine for figure skating pair Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games and, more recently, working in the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Athlete Relations division and acting as an athlete mentor for the 2010 Canadian Olympic Team.

Her chief responsibility will be, over the next year-and-a-half, to work alongside Tewksbury to represent and help inspire athletes and team members and to act as spokesperson for the Canadian Team.