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Updated: Thu, 12 Dec 2013 12:22:51 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Canadian Olympic Committee sets $37M development budget



Canadian Olympic Committee president Marcel Aubut has announced a $37 million budget for Canada's Own the Podium project, aimed at developing medal-winning Olympic athletes. CBC

Canadian Olympic Committee president Marcel Aubut has announced a $37 million budget for Canada's Own the Podium project, aimed at developing medal-winning Olympic athletes. CBC

The Canadian Olympic Committee said today it will put $37 million over the next four years into high-performance sport and the Own the Podium program.

COC president Marcel Aubut made the announcement Thursday at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

"Today is about excellence and partnership in high-performance sport," Aubut said. "We know it takes a village to raise a champion, and I would like to thank our partners for the outstanding support we receive from them every day."

The $37 million injection is up from the $25 million the COC invested between 2009 and 2012.

"Canadians love hearing our national anthem and seeing the Canadian flag raised above the Olympic and Paralympic podiums," said Anne Merklinger, chief executive of Own the Podium.

"This commitment reinforces the Canadian Olympic Committee's and government of Canada's leadership in partnering with Own the Podium to deliver the critical resources athletes require to be fully prepared to climb onto the podium at major international competitions."

Minister of State for Sport Bal Gosal joined Aubut in announcing the funding to develop Olympics-ready Canadian athletes.

"Our government is committed to high-performance sport in Canada, and we are very pleased to partner with the COC to maintain Own the Podium as an innovative high-performance initiative that will continue to produce podium finishes for Canadian athletes," he said.

Beginning with the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Own the Podium helped produce a record-setting 14 gold medals for Canada. The country's goal is to improve on that at the Sochi Winter Games from Feb. 7 to 23.

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