The OLY Canada team and the Canadian Olympic Committee are pleased to announce the creation of the OLY Canada Commission; including eight inaugural elected and appointed Commission Members. The OLY Canada Commission represents “Team Canada Olympians” which includes both active and retired Olympians, and brings Canada into alignment with the IOC, as well as the governance requirements of the World Olympians Association.

“I’m thrilled that our OLY Canada Commission has been recognized by the World Olympians Association,” COC Chief Executive Officer and Secretary General, David Shoemaker said. “OLY Canada has led important initiatives such the OLY grants and Games anniversaries. With a new commission to help guide OLY Canada, we are excited to see what’s on the horizon.”

The objective of OLY Canada is to empower all Team Canada Olympians (active and retired) as ambassadors of the Olympic Movement. A united and engaged Team Canada Olympian community brings the Olympian status beyond competition on the field of play and brings the Olympic Movement closer to Canadian society. In contrast, the COC’s Athlete Commission’s mandate is to represent the voice of current and aspiring Olympians and Pan American Games athletes and to provide their perspective in crucial areas such as athlete rights, safe sport policies, and Olympic Team selection policies. 

“On behalf of the World Olympians Association, I welcome the news that the National Olympians Association of Canada, formerly Olympians Canada, has restructured to become the OLY Canada Commission,” Joël Bouzou OLY, World Olympians Association President, said. “Under this new structure, the Commission will be strengthened, enabling it to continue its important work in providing leadership and opportunities for all Canadian Olympians. Congratulations to the newly appointed and elected members of the OLY Canada Commission who will help to further our cause of supporting Olympians at every stage of their lives.”

The inaugural OLY Canada Commission members are:

  • Elected Members serving four year terms: David Calder OLY (Rowing – Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012), Christine Nesbitt OLY (Speed Skating – Turin 2006, Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014), Claire Carver-Dias OLY (Artistic Swimming – Sydney 2000) and Olya Ovtchinnikova OLY (Fencing – Beijing 2008);
  • COC Board Appointed Members serving two year terms: Charmaine Crooks OLY (Athletics – Moscow 1980, Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996) and Christian Farstad OLY (Bobsleigh – Lillehammer 1994, Albertville 1992);
  • COC Athletes’ Commission Appointed Member serving terms based on their time on the AC: Philippe Marquis OLY (Freestyle Skiing – Sochi 2014, PyeongChang 2018); and
  • COC Staff Appointed Member: Sandra Sassine OLY (Fencing – Beijing 2008, London 2012). 

“It’s an honour to be appointed to represent Team Canada Olympians,” said two-time Olympian and OLY Canada Commission Member Christian Farstad OLY. “Under this new structure, the Commission Members will continue the important work accomplished by Olympians Canada to provide leadership and opportunities for all Team Canada Olympians to positively contribute to the Olympic Movement.”

In addition to serving as ambassadors of the Olympic Movement, the OLY Canada Commission will also help expand outreach to Retired Team Canada Olympians. An immediate initiative will be to celebrate work done by Retired Team Canada Olympians in the lead up to Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 as well as begin planning for the 25th anniversary of Atlanta 1996. 

To learn more about OLY Canada, please visit:


David Calder, OLY said:

“It is an honour to be elected by my peers to the commission.  I look forward to working with the Canadian Olympic Committee and all Team Canada Olympians to promote the values, ideals and principles of Olympism, increase enthusiasm for the Olympic Movement in Canada and to support our competing athletes to achieve their best performances.” 

Christine Nesbitt, OLY said:
“It’s an honour to be elected to represent Team Canada Olympians. I believe that Canadian Olympians have valuable insights and experiences that can contribute positively to the COC, WOA, and the Olympic Movement. I look forward to working together with the other elected members in order to do just that.”
Olya Ovtchinnikova, OLY said:

“To be elected as a representative of Team Canada Olympians is a big honour. I always say that Olympian legacy extends well beyond the field of play – we spread the values of Olympism long after retirement from sport. And it will be our job, as the OLY Canada Commission, to amplify these voice and actions in Canada and on the world stage with the World Olympians Association.”
Claire Carver-Dias, OLY said:

“I’ve long been a believer in the power of the Olympic movement to inspire and drive positive change in our communities and world. It’s an honour to have been elected to serve alongside my fellow Olympians to ensure the movement continues to make a difference.”
Philippe Marquis, OLY said:

“It is so exciting to finally see the creation of the OLY Canada Commission. Canada has a rich sport legacy and an amazing group of multi-generational Olympians. It’s special to join force with a group of athletes that share the Olympic spirit and is fueled to share it from coast to coast!”

To contact the OLY Canada Commission, please reach out to

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  • avatar image
    Greg edgelow
    May 12, 2021

    Congratulations to all the Olympians elected and appointed!

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