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Canadian ski team gears up for 2002 Olympics

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Two Whistler skiers named to training team

After two of its morre successful seasons in the last decade, and with the Salt Lake City Olympics less than a year away, Alpine Canada – the national governing body for alpine ski racing – is ready to capitalize.

On May 17, the Alpine Canada announced its new businesses development strategy and partner servicing plan. The main focus of this plan is sponsorship support and retention, and acquiring new partners to increase revenue for the organization.

"We will direct our attention to our sponsors’ needs," said Nick Wilson, vice president of business for Alpine Canada. "We will deliver pro-active attention to their commitments and exceed their expectations."

To accomplish their goals, the business side of Alpine Canada has built a new management team.

Cori Wooley, president of ON-Course Strategies Corp. (OCS) joins the team by heading up the partner servicing strategy as the new director of partner servicing.

Wooley brings more than 15 years of sports marketing experience to the team on both the client and agency side. While at Labatt Breweries, her portfolio included the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, the Toronto Blue Jays, Indycar Auto Racing, Hockey Canada, the National Football League and The Bell Canadian Open.

She will also bring two key OCS staff that have played a major role in the planning and execution of Alpine Canada events over the past year – Pat O’Brien as events co-ordination and Carolyn Taves as administration co-ordinator.

"With companies looking for new ways to tap into their markets, we need to zero in on what we can do to build the value of our properties, and at the same time build the value for our sponsors, and then deliver as promised," said Wooley.

Greg Scott also recently joined Alpine Canada as the vice president of business development.

Canadian ski team training groups announced

Putting its finances in order isn’t the only priority on the Alpine Canada to-do list this month. With just over eight months until the Olympics, athletes are already training hard with the Canadian Alpine Ski Team for a shot at the podium.

National and development team skiers are currently training on snow at Sunshine Village in Alberta, and over the course of the summer will take part in camps in Oregon, Chile, Switzerland, Austria, France, and Mike Wiegele’s Heli Ski Resort near Blue River, B.C. Alpine Canada athletic director Joze Sparovec also plans to integrate the national program with other national ski teams, such as the Austrian, German and French teams, during the training months.

Dryland cross training has also started at the National Sports Centres in Calgary and Quebec City.

"We’ve had a lot of success with this approach to training," said Sparovec, referring to the 12 World Cup podium obtained by Canadian skiers since the program started in 1999. "With the program we have in place the athletes will be getting the sport-specific attention they need, and in a team-oriented atmosphere."

The official athlete training groups – who gets in and where – were announced on May 17. The actual national team won’t be announced until November. The Canadian Olympic Association will announce Canada’s Olympic Team on Jan. 11, 2002.

"The selection of this group reflects our focus on athlete-performance delivery in Salt Lake City at the Olympic Games next February," said Sparovec. We are putting more money into less athletes in order to ensure that Canada is fielding the most competitive and well rounded team in Salt Lake City. The resources of Alpine Canada are directed at obtaining this Olympic success."

The list of athletes selected to train with the national team this summer is identical to last winter’s senior team. On the women’s side it includes:

Emily Brydon, 20, of Fernie, B.C.

Sara-Maude Boucher, 22, of St-Denis de Brompton, QC

Allison Forsyth, 22, of Nanaimo, B.C.

Britt Janyk, 21, of Whistler, B.C.

Julie Langevin, 20, of Mont Tremblant, QC

Anne-Marie Lefrancois, 24, of Charlesbourg, QC

Megan Mullen, 21, of Banff, AB

Anna Prchal, 21, of Outremont, QC

Genevieve Simard, 20, Val Morin, QC

Melanie Turgeon, 24, of Beauport, QC

The men’s list includes:

David Anderson, 21, Rossland, B.C.

Julien Cousineau, 20, Lachute, QC

Cameron Culbert, 24, North Bay, ON

Jeff Durand, 25, Calgary, AB

Mike Giannelli, 23, Burnaby, B.C.

Thomas Grandi, 29, Banff, AB

Erik Guay, 21, Mont Tremblant, QC

Jan Hudec, 20, Banff, AB

Jeff Hume, 21, Whistler, B.C.

Vincent Lavoie, 24, Cap Rouge, QC

Darin McBeath, 24, Calgary, AB

Chad Mullen, 27, Banff, AB

Ryan Oughtred, 25, Kelowna, B.C.

Stefan Overgaard, 22, Toronto, ON

Edi Podivinski, 31, Toronto, ON

Jean-Philippe Roy, 22, Ste-Flavie, QC

Luke Sauder, 29, Cambridge, ON

Ryan Semple, 20, Mont Tremblant, QC

Kevin Wert, 26, Rossland, B.C.

Turgeon, who is coming off the best World Cup season of her career with three podiums and seven top-10 finishes, will train in Quebec with Lefrancois and Boucher.

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