Our Winter Olympic team went to Sochi to proudly represent their country and perform to the best of their ability. They certainly succeeded in spectacular fashion, earning 10 gold medals, 10 silver medals and 5 bronze medals.
They provided us with terrific moments in sport that inspired fervent national pride and demonstrated again and again that Canadians can compete with the very best on the world stage and succeed brilliantly.
The country will not soon forget sisters Justine and Chloé Dufour-Lapointe standing on the podium together with gold and silver in the women’s freestyle skiing moguls’ competition, our women’s curling team going undefeated the entire Sochi Winter Games, Alex Bilodeau, Charles Hamelin, Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse repeating gold medal performances in their respective sports four years after their successes at the Vancouver 2010 Games, Canadian athletes earning medals in newly introduced winter Olympic sports like Dara Howell and Kim Lamarre in women’s skiing slopestyle, Jan Hudec’s bronze medal in alpine skiing men’s Super-G, Canada’s first podium finish in men’s Olympic alpine skiing in 20 years, and the ice poetry of silver medal skaters Patrick Chan, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to name a few. Of course, we will all remember the spectacular win by our Women’s Hockey Team coming back from a two goal deficit to win the gold medal. The victory in men’s hockey was also richly deserved.
These special moments and many others will no doubt inspire young people in Whitby – Oshawa and across the country to follow their sporting dreams.
In addition to the Team’s remarkable performance, our athletes also showed great sportsmanship and camaraderie, capturing the true spirit and meaning of the Games.
I would also like to thank the countless sports clubs, associations, teams and volunteers here at home who have created a network in Canada that yields so many world-class athletes. Our Government will continue to support your important work.
Following Canada’s success at the Olympic Games earlier this month, the Paralympic Games will now take place from March 7 to 16.
Canada’s team at the Paralympic Games is estimated at 125, including 55 athletes competing in 5 sports.
Our athletes are high performance heroes and an enormous source of pride for all Canadians, as well as outstanding role models for our youth. As such, I am proud to highlight the measures introduced in Economic Action Plan 2014 which support our Canadian athletes by:
- Supporting retirement savings opportunities for amateur athletes, providing them more flexibility to save for retirement and ease their eventual integration into the workforce.
- Providing additional funding of $10.8 million over four years for Special Olympics Canada to support training and competition opportunities for Canadian athletes with intellectual disabilities, and
- Maintaining our record level of support for sport including ongoing programming support for our Olympic, Paralympic and Special Olympic athletes and coaches. Beginning in 2015-16, Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes to dedicate ongoing funding of $23 million per year for the Sport Support Program.
I, along with all Canadians, look forward to cheering on our para athletes in Sochi this winter as they take on the world while proudly wearing the Maple Leaf.