The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) announced today that Beckie Scott has been appointed as Canada’s Chef de Mission for the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games (WYOG) in Innsbruck, Austria.

“I am absolutely thrilled and incredibly honoured to have been asked to be the Chef de Mission of the Canadian team competing in Innsbruck 2012,” Scott said. “The first winter edition of the Youth Olympic Games will be sensational and I can’t imagine a greater experience for young competitive athletes. I really look forward to guiding, assisting and sharing this memorable event with our team.”

Scott is a three-time Olympian, a double medallist and one of Canada’s best cross-country skiers ever. She made history at the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games by winning a gold medal in pursuit. In so doing, she became the first North American woman to win an Olympic medal (of any kind) in cross-country skiing. Four years later, Scott took to the podium again, teaming with Sara Renner to win the silver medal in team sprint.

“Beckie is the ideal candidate for these inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games,” said Caroline Assalian, the COC’s Executive Managing Director, Sport and NSF Relations. “She has intimate knowledge of these Games from her work on the IOC Coordination Commission for Innsbruck 2012. More importantly, the WYOG are about inspiring youth and living the Olympic Values. Beckie has demonstrated her commitment to those values. She believes in the Youth Olympic movement which is why she has decided to make the Canadian Youth Olympic Team a priority.”

During the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, Scott was elected to the IOC Athletes’ Commission for an eight-year term. She is also a member of the IOC’s Coordination for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games – as well as the Coordination of the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games.

As a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Athlete Committee, Scott is a passionate and influential lobbyist in this area. Among her many initiatives was an athletes’ petition that requested an independent drug-testing body for all World Cup and Olympic competitions.

She was also a part of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games as a board member for the organizing committee, VANOC. In 2006, Scott became a member of the COC’s Executive Committee as well as the Athletes’ Council, consequent to her election as an IOC member. She also serves on the board of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.

As Chef de Mission, Scott will take on the role of official representative and spokesperson of the Canadian Youth Olympic Team, and be a key member of the overall leadership team for Canada’s participation in the Winter Youth Olympic Games. Her leadership and Olympic experience are invaluable assets to the delegation. Scott’s knowledge of sport and the Olympic Movement will be of utmost importance in the interaction with stakeholders, both nationally and internationally.

The inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games will take place from January 13 – 22, 2012 in Innsbruck, Austria, site of the 1964 and 1976 Olympic Winter Games.