CBC’s Top 25 Loaded with Olympic Personalities

CBC Sports released their list of the 25 most important figures in Canadian sport and it is no surprise that members of the Olympic Family are strewn throughout the rankings. From athletes to executives, CBC’s list shows that the Olympic Movement in Canada is in the hands of important, inspiring people.

COC President Marcel Aubut, who holds the top office in the Canadian amateur sport world, was the highest-ranked Olympic executive — coming in at No. six. He jumped from No. 23 on the 2009 list in the wake of Canada’s historic Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and with Canada’s ambitious goals going forward.

“It is a great honour to be listed among such great Canadian sport leaders,” said Aubut. “This demonstrates the leadership position the COC holds within the Canadian sporting community and the importance of the Olympic Movement in Canada.”

Hockey star Sidney Crosby tops the list for the first time. Crosby’s overtime winner in the Olympic gold medal game in Vancouver capped off the historic 14-gold-medal Games for Canada and started a national celebration.

Coming in at No. 14, Clara Hughes is the highest-ranking amateur athlete on the list. Hughes is the proud owner of four Olympic Winter Games medals (gold, silver, two bronze) in speed skating, two summer Olympic medals (two bronze) in cycling and had the distinct honour of leading the Canadian Olympic Team into the Opening Ceremony at the 2010 Games. Not content to rest on her laurels, Hughes is looking at a return to competitive cycling at London 2012.

Other Olympic heavy hitters in Canadian sport include Hockey Canada CEO Bob Nicholson (9th), VANOC CEO John Furlong (12th), and former COC CEO Chris Rudge (24th). Furlong has since joined the successful Own The Podium program, acting as Chair of its advisory board, while Rudge is currently spearheading plans for the 100th Grey Cup in Toronto.

Wayne Gretzky (17th), Johann Olav Koss (18th), Alex Baumann (20th), Steve Yzerman (23rd) represent the rare breed of athletes who have taken their athletic success to the executive level. Gretzky, a 1998 Olympian and the greatest scorer in hockey history, went on to become the architect of the 2002 men’s ice hockey gold medal team. Koss, Norway’s most famous Olympian, won five Olympic medals before retiring his blades to become President of Right To Play. A legend in Canadian Olympic swimming, Baumann now acts as CEO of Own The Podium. A member of Gretzky’s championship team in 2002, Yzerman then took over as Executive Director for the 2010 gold medal squad.

2010 has truly been an inspirational year for the Olympic Movement in Canada. Never have Canadians being so loud and proud of their athletic champions. We have no doubt that the leaders recognized on this list will continue to keep the spirit of the Olympic Games alive in Canada for years to come.

To view the entire list visit: www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2010/12/20/spf-year-in-review-influential.html?ref=rss