Crooks was just 17 years old when she made the Canadian Olympic team, starting
an impressive track and field career than lasted 20 years. She and her relay
teammates took away a silver medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Games and in 1996 at
Atlanta she was Canada’s flag bearer for the opening ceremony.
is one of only two Canadian women to be asked to join the International Olympic
Committee, an organization that despite its problems remains one of the most
powerful and recognized groups in the world. Barely a year goes by when Crooks’
efforts, whether humanitarian or sport driven, are not recognized in some form.
was recently elected vice president of the executive committee of the World
sat down in Vancouver with reporter Clare Ogilvie to talk about her life and
her passion for sport, and what the Olympics can really do to create change on
a personal and global level.
Vancouver and Whistler have just marked the two-year countdown to the Games.
What does Vanoc need to focus on in the next two years to get ready?
Crooks: Really we are now in the operational phase and we are learning from the
test events, such as the ones that happened recently. It is now about holding
steady on the course. The high praise we just got from the IOC (The
International Olympic Committee visited Vancouver for an update last week) was
confirmation that we are on track but we must never take our eyes off the
What do you enjoy doing when you are not involved with all of your Olympic,
sport, and humanitarian commitments?
Well, I am reading two good books right now, (President Bill) Clinton’s book
Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World and I am reading (former chair of
the U.S. Federal Reserve) Alan Greenspan’s book The Age of Turbulence:
Adventures in a New World. It is fantastic. I love reading books about key
leaders who have changed our lives and who have impacted us. But I am a pretty
driven person and I love to work. Of course, I love to have fun and love
gourmet cooking, especially Caribbean food.
some work for charities as well. My dad passed away from prostate cancer and my
mom from a very rare lung cancer, so if there is a chance for me to do
something in their honour I will do that.