TORONTO — Team Canada Chef de Mission for Rio 2016, Jean-Luc Brassard, announced on Tuesday he will be assisted by two-time Olympic medallist, Carol Huynh in leading Canada’s Olympic Team at the summer Games in Brazil next year. Brassard made the announcement to dozens of Canadian medal hopefuls assembled in Toronto for Olympic Excellence Series, a three day seminar on Games preparation ahead of Rio.
Carol Huynh made history at Beijing 2008 when she captured gold in women’s freestyle wrestling in the 48kg category. It was Canada’s first-ever Olympic gold medal in women’s wrestling and the country’s first gold medal at the Beijing Games. She again stood on the podium at London 2012 after winning the bronze medal. Huynh is also an 11-time Canadian champion, a two-time Pan American champion, a Commonwealth champion and a four-time medallist at the World Wrestling Championship.
The British Columbia native is the daughter of two Vietnamese refugees who came to Canada in the 1970s to settle in the northern town of Hazelton where she started wrestling at the age of 15 while in high school.
Huynh retired from competitive wrestling after London 2012, but has since been giving back to her sport and her community in multiple ways in Canada and internationally. She is the head coach at Calgary’s Junior Dinos Wrestling Club, assistant coach at the Dinos Wrestling Club, and next generation coach at the Canadian Sport Centre, also in Calgary. When wrestling was taken out of the Olympic programme after the London Games, Huynh was chosen by fellow world-class wrestlers to advocate on their behalf at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires in 2013 to have wrestling readmitted into the Olympic programme which she did successfully.
“I’m so happy Carol accepted to join the team as Assistant Chef de Mission. She has exhibited passion, class and extraordinary commitment to sport throughout her career as an athlete, coach and sports advocate. Those are the qualities we looked for to fill the role. I couldn’t think of a better partner to lead the Team as we enter our Olympic year and head to Rio de Janeiro. She will be an inspiration to a new generation of Olympians.”
Jean-Luc Brassard, Team Canada Chef de Mission at Rio 2016,
Olympic gold medallist
“Carol Huynh brings a wealth of experience to the Team. She was a tough competitor, and is now an inspiring coach and passionate advocate for sport. I’m thrilled to have her on board and know she will bring the same commitment and enthusiasm to her new role. Carol is someone our athletes can look up to on their journey to Rio and she will be a powerful force on our team.”
Tricia Smith, President, Canadian Olympic Committee, four-time Olympian and Olympic silver medallist
“I feel so honoured to join Team Canada as Assistant Chef de Mission. My Olympic experience has largely defined my life and I’m excited to accompany other athletes along their journeys. I have been given an extraordinary opportunity to give back to sport, the Olympic Movement and the country. I’m entirely committed to make the best of that opportunity. I thank everyone involved for trusting me with this role. I’m eager to get to work. ”
Carol Huynh, Team Canada Assistant Chef de Mission at Rio 2016,
and two-time Olympic medallist