Chong Welcomes Medalists in Ottawa

May 15, 2006

Government of Canada Recognizes Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Medalists

OTTAWA– Canadian medalists were recognized today in the House of Commons for their achievements at the 2006 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy in February and March.

The athletes and head coaches were honoured by Members of Parliament in the House of Commons and at a reception. Canada placed third in the medal count with 24 medals at the Olympic Games. The total is the highest medal count Canada has ever achieved at an Olympic Winter Games. Canada achieved a top-six finish at the Paralympic Winter Games with 13 medals.

“All of Canada is proud of the outstanding successes of our Canadian athletes at the 2006 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Throughout the Games, our athletes demonstrated what can be achieved through consistent effort and dedication,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “The Government of Canada recognizes how important sport is to Canadians. We are committed to promoting physical fitness and wellness and to helping Canadians of all ages stay fit and healthy. Our athletes inspire us to be more active, and community sport is where tomorrow’s high performance athletes are developed.”

“I congratulate all our athletes who provided Canada with impressive performances at the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. This is an exciting time for sport in Canada,” said Minister for Sport Michael Chong. “Our athletes are important role models for children and young people. They help deliver important messages about the benefits of active and healthy lifestyles. They have paved the way for the next generation of Canadians to participate in competitive sports.”

“Congratulations on your recent success. Canadians from all across the country are looking forward to seeing you compete and excel before a home crowd during the 2010 Winter Games,” said Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver–Whistler Olympics David Emerson. “These will truly be Canada’s Games, leaving a legacy of improved sport venues, as well as high performance sport programming and a spirit of excellence that will be felt by all for years to come.”

The Government of Canada is the largest investor in Canada’s sport system, and Budget 2006 re confirmed the Government’s support for sport. The budget proposed a children’s fitness tax credit that will be provided on up to $500 of eligible fees for programs of physical activity for every child under 16. The Government is also committed to developing a new policy to guide decisions on hosting international sport events in Canada.

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