Release: Cindy Yelle named CEO of the Canadian Olympic Foundation

Cindy Yelle's Headshot

TORONTO (February 13, 2020) – On Thursday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Olympic Foundation (Foundation) announced Los Angeles 1984 Canadian Olympic Team member Cindy Yelle (née Õunpuu) as the Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer.

Before joining the Foundation, Yelle was considered one of Canada’s leading professionals in health-based philanthropy. She previously served as Senior Vice President at the SickKids Foundation and has spent the past nine years as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute Foundation.

While there, Yelle planned a cohesive marketing and revenue generation strategy to launch and achieve an unprecedented goal of raising $100M through the “Where Incredible Happens” campaign, the largest of its kind in Canada.

Reporting to the Foundation’s Board of Directors and the COC’s Chief Executive Officer and Secretary General, David Shoemaker, Yelle will oversee the organization’s mission to generate philanthropic fundraising to meet the needs of Canada’s high-performance sport system and assist Canada’s athletes in becoming ambassadors for sport, healthy living and the pursuit of excellence across the nation.

She joins Olympians Charmaine Crooks, Jeff Glass, Steve Podborski and Mark Tewksbury who sit on the Foundation Board.

“As someone who has lived the life of a high-performance athlete, I understand the importance of supporting current and next generation athletes and coaches with the funds they need to succeed on the field of play,” said Yelle. “Our athletes and the Olympic Movement unite us and they make us believe in our own potential. It doesn’t matter where we are from, sport is something that brings us all together in such a beautiful and uniquely Canadian way.”

Yelle was named captain of the Canadian World Championship and Commonwealth Championship women’s swim teams and was inducted into the Ontario Aquatic Hall of Fame in 2001.

“We are so pleased to welcome Cindy to the Canadian Olympic Foundation as Chief Executive Officer,” said Perry Dellelce, Chair of the Foundation. “Her exceptional experience in leadership, philanthropy and as an esteemed athlete will bring an incredible momentum to the Foundation’s work and to the Canadian Olympic Movement.”

The Canadian Olympic Foundation has enabled Canadians, Canadian athletes and their coaches to strive for excellence in sport since 2007. As the official charitable organization of the Canadian Olympic Committee and Team Canada, the Foundation aims to inspire every Canadian to be capable of greatness, through sport and Olympic values.



Josh Su, Specialist, Public Relations
Canadian Olympic Committee
C: 647-464-4060

Photi Sotiropoulos, Director, Communications and Media Relations
Canadian Olympic Committee
C: 416-476-9174