Five-time Paralympian Todd Nicholson named chair of Own the Podium

Canadian Paralympic Committee

August 21, 2018

Own the Podium has named Todd Nicholson Chair of the Board



OTTAWA – Todd Nicholson of Ottawa, Canada’s Chef de Mission at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, is the new chair of Own the Podium, the independent sport technical agency announced on Monday.

“Congratulations to Todd Nicholson on being named Chair of Own the Podium,’’ said Marc-André Fabien, president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. ‘’We know firsthand Todd’s leadership and passion for sport in Canada, and his drive for excellence will lead Canada towards more success at Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022.’’

Nicholson guided Canada’s Paralympic Team to a record-setting 28 medals in PyeongChang as Chef de Mission. The five-time Paralympian was team captain of Canada’s national Para ice hockey team for 15 years. That span was highlighted by three Paralympic medals: gold (2006), silver (1998), and bronze (1994).

“I’m extremely proud and honoured to carry the torch for OTP while working with our partners at the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee in an effort to lead Canada to more Olympic and Paralympic podium performances,” said Nicholson, who replaces John Furlong – the first-ever chair of Own the Podium.
“Canadian athletes are coming off record-setting performances at the last two Games, but we cannot stop here. We must continue to challenge ourselves, embrace change, take risks and seek opportunities to be even better on the global stage leading towards Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022.”

He is also an elite athlete in a number of summer sports including wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis, triathlon, duathlon, marathons. 

His volunteer contributions advocating for the participation and inclusion of all people in their communities is equally impressive.
“Todd is a very well-respected leader with the major players in the Canadian sport community, and understands what it takes to achieve excellence,” said Anne Merklinger, chief executive officer, Own the Podium. 

“He is a proven performer in sport and in the boardroom, is generous with his time volunteering to countless initiatives, and he is driven to succeed. We are privileged to have Todd leading our mission of helping Canadian athletes reach and remain atop the podium in Olympic and Paralympic competition.”
Nicholson has also served as chair for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletes’ Council, was a governing board member for the IPC, and served as the IPC Athlete Representative to the International Olympic Committee.

‘’He has contributed to the Canadian sport community in so many different ways throughout his career including as a Paralympic multi-medallist,’’ added Fabien. “We are excited to continue working with Todd in his new role as we look to achieve more Paralympic podium performances.”  
Nicholson, a director with Own the Podium since 2015, chairs a new-look Board of Directors including: Araba Chintoh, Rob Hatch, John Mills, Sue Paish, and Tara Whitten. They are joined by returning Board members Therese Brisson, Chris Clark, and Duncan Fulton.
“We have a great group of board members, both new and old, who have been involved in the sporting community for some time but also are connected to the nation’s business community,” said Nicholson. 

“All of us, and the OTP staff, our national team coaches, athletes, and administrators are focused on success. In my role, I want to help drive the best-practices and considerable knowledge that exists across our organization and the Canadian sporting community to ensure we are supporting our athletes with the right tools and best practices that will allow them to reach the podium nationally, and internationally.” 

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