In the Beginning
Canada has had three opportunities to host the world for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The first two Olympic Games launched programs to life athlete performance (Game Plan ’76 and Best Ever ’88). The legacy of the 1988 Olympic Winter Games positioned Canadian sport to focus on achieving ambitious goals after winning the right to host the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in July 2003.
Foundation of Own the Podium
In February 2004, Canada’s 13 winter national sport organizations, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Sport Canada, WinSport Canada and VANOC met to develop a plan that would become known as Own the Podium – a mission to harmonize all parties and provide top-up funding to high-performance programs to help Canadian athletes aim to be the number one nation at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and in the top-three of the gold medal count at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
Launched in January 2005, Own the Podium awarded its first sport grants in advance of the 2005-06 season.
Own the Podium Today
Own the Podium, a not-for-profit organization, prioritizes and determines investment strategies to national sport organizations in an effort to deliver more Olympic and Paralympic medals for Canada.
Thanks to the generous leadership of the Government of Canada, Own the Podium has continued beyond 2010, and will continue to support its two program thrusts – ensuring Canada’s summer and winter athletes are fully prepared to increase its medal haul at the 2012 and 2014 Games and beyond. Both these initiatives advance the excellence goal highlighted in the Canadian Sport Policy.
Working in partnership with Sport Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), national sport organizations, Canadian Sport Centres, and funding parties across Canada, Own the Podium focuses its enhanced excellence funding on coach/technical leadership, training/competition, and sports science/medical support to aid sports identified with the greatest medal potential in managing an effective high-performance program.
Own the Podium's largest contributor of funding is the Government of Canada with additional funding provided by the Canadian Olympic Committee and its Canadian Olympic Foundation, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, along with the corporate community.