COC Photo: Greg Kolz

Diamond Jubilee Honour for Unsung Heroes

OTTAWA – Today, 41 members of the Canadian sport community whose dedication has too often flown below the radar will each be honoured with the receipt of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for their contribution to Canadian sport.

“We owe so much to those who work tirelessly behind the scenes to advance sport excellence in Canada,” said Marcel Aubut, President of the Canadian Olympic Committee and member of the three-person panel who submitted the nominations to Rideau Hall. “It is a true privilege to be able to shine a spotlight on these 41 heroes who have given so much to Canadian sport and asked so little in return.”

Short biographies of those who will be receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal under the auspice of the Canadian Olympic Committee can be found on here:

The individuals, whose names were submitted to Rideau Hall by the Canadian Olympic Committee, will be represented by President of Karate Canada, Rébecca Khoury and Albertville 1992 Chef de Mission Walter Sieber at a special ceremony with His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston.

“It is an enormous honour to be recognized by my peers in this way,” said Sieber. “But it is an even greater honour to be named among this incredible group of Canadians who have contributed so much toward the strengthening of our nation’s sport system.”

“While I’m delighted to receive this honour, I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of a multitude of people involved in the growth and promotion of Karate in Canada.” said Khoury. “This recognition is truly a testament to the passion and joint endeavour of so many, who have helped give Karate Canada a stronger and more solid foundation, and who have enabled it to rise to an unprecedented level of success and visibility. Our entire community is therefore grateful for this prestigious award.

In the autumn of 2012, the Canadian Olympic Committee sent out a call for applications to the sport community, asking for the names of those who should receive the honour. The nominations that were received were evaluated by a panel of three distinguished judges, including Canadian Olympic legend and International Olympic Committee member in Canada Richard Pound, Olympic champion Catriona Le May Doan, and President of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Marcel Aubut. Together, they carefully evaluated the applications and, with the approval of the Board of Directors of the COC, submitted the nominations to Rideau Hall.

“It is a testament to the evolution of sport in Canada that we are able to recognize the contribution of these extraordinary individuals in our different communities in this way,” said Pound. “I feel privileged to have played a part in this process and offer my heartiest congratulations to the recipients. They are all exceedingly deserving of the honour.”

“For every Canadian Olympian who steps onto the podium, there are a myriad of dedicated coaches, administrators and support team members at all levels who have made that success possible but whose contribution remains largely unknown,” said Le May Doan. “This has been a wonderful opportunity to honour those who have given so much to their sport and to our country.”

In the coming weeks and months, local celebrations will take place in order for the recipients to receive their medals in person, and be publically recognized for their contribution.

“I offer my most sincere congratulations, on behalf of the Harper Government, to the 41 recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal announced today by the Canadian Olympic Committee,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State for Sport. “Without dedication such as theirs, the sport landscape in Canada would be very different. Canadians are supremely grateful for their contribution.”

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