COC logo press release

COC welcomes three new members to the OLY Canada Commission

TORONTO (June 4, 2024) — On Tuesday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) officially welcomed the newest members of the OLY Canada Commission – two elected members, Maxime Dufour-Lapointe OLY (freestyle skiing) and Jennifer Walinga OLY (rowing), and one commission-appointed member, Olympic champion Bruny Surin OLY (athletics).

Surin won gold at Atlanta 1996 as part of Team Canada’s men’s 4x100m relay team. He is currently Team Canada’s Chef de Mission for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. He is a philanthropist, motivational speaker, and committed role model for young athletes.

Dufour-Lapointe made her Olympic debut at Sochi 2014 in women’s moguls. She and her sisters Justine and Chloé were just the third trio of sisters to ever compete in the same individual event at the Winter Games. Walinga made her Olympic debut at Seoul 1988 as a member of the women’s coxed four that finished seventh.  She was also a member of the women’s coxless four and women’s eight that won gold in both events at Barcelona 1992 but was forced to withdraw due to an injury just before competition.

In accordance with the IOC and World Olympian Association governance requirements, the COC OLY Canada Commission represents active and retired Team Canada Olympians by supporting OLY Canada programming and empowering Team Canada’s Olympian community in spreading the spirit of Olympism throughout Canada. In contrast, the COC Athletes’ Commission represents athletes on the COC Board of Directors. The members also present and advocate for Canadian Olympic athletes’ perspectives at the COC.

Following the election and appointment of new members, the members of the OLY Canada Commission for the current term are:

Elected Members

Appointed Members

  • Mercedes Nicoll OLY (Snowboard – Turin 2006, Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014, PyeongChang 2018) – Appointed by COC Athletes’ Commission
  • Bruny Surin OLY (Athletics – Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000) – OLY Canada Commission Appointed Member
  • Sandra Sassine OLY (Fencing – Beijing 2008, London 2012) – COC Staff Appointed Member

The departing members of the commission are Charmaine Crooks OLY (Athletics – Moscow 1980, Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996), Christian Farstad OLY (Bobsleigh – Albertville 1992, Lillehammer 1994) and Olya Ovtchinnikova OLY (Fencing – Beijing 2008).


“Charmaine, Chris and Olya have worked tirelessly to build the Canadian Olympians’ network. They have dedicated their ideas and time to these efforts, from the very first meetings to the formalization of the commission in 2019. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to these three trailblazers for everything they have done to lay the foundation for a successful OLY Canada Commission.”

– Claire Carver-Dias, Olympic bronze medallist in artistic swimming, Chair of the OLY Canada Commision

“I’m extremely grateful to have been elected to the OLY Canada Commission. The Olympic values are very dear to me and I wear them close to my heart. It’s a very honorable mandate to be able to promote the values of the Olympic movement through this position, all while mobilizing the support of our wonderful community of Olympians, active or retired.”

– Maxime Dufour-Lapointe, Olympian in freestyle skiing

“I am so grateful to the OLY network for their support and am committed to advancing the Olympic principles as a sport researcher and advocate. I will bring my experience and training in communication and organizational culture to the OLY commission to help connect and galvanize the OLY network of leaders in sport and look forward to working with this group of inspiring individuals on the commission.”

– Jennifer Walinga, Olympian in rowing

“I’m deeply grateful to have been elected as a member of the OLY Canada Commission. I’m honoured to be able to represent Team Canada’s Olympians and to help elevate the status of Olympians beyond competition, all while bringing the Olympic Movement closer to Canadian society.”

– Bruny Surin OLY, Team Canada’s Chef de mission for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games

“Canada has many incredible Olympic athletes representing the Olympic Movement values of excellence, respect and friendship. The OLY Canada Commission is a great way to empower this group and contribute to a united and engaged community of Team Canada Olympians. I am thrilled to welcome Maxime, Jennifer and Bruny to the OLY Canada Commission and look forward to the impact their leadership will bring.”

– Tricia Smith, four-time Olympian and COC President



Samantha Sokol
Specialist, Communications
C: 647-385-7107

Koteki Inaba
Program Manager, Public Relations
C: 438-337-6010

Follow us on Twitter