Peter Judge to guide Own the Podium’s winter sport program beyond 2014

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Judge to build on strong OTP foundation while helping shape new vision

CALGARY–One of Canada’s most accomplished and respected sport leaders, Peter Judge, has been named the new director of winter sport for Own the Podium, the world-leading organization designed to help Canadian athletes win more international medals announced on Thursday.

The current chief executive officer of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association will transition into his new position following the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games so not to disrupt the sport’s preparations for Sochi. Anne Merklinger, Own the Podium’s chief executive officer, will continue managing the director of winter sport duties with each of the organization’s three high-performance advisors during the transition period until Judge fills the position on March 1, 2014.

“Peter is a passionate, decisive and pragmatic leader who has played a key role as an executive, coach and athlete in creating one of Canada’s sport dynasties that is now into its fourth decade,” said Merklinger, who added that Judge’s distinguished career made him a natural choice to take the winter program to the next level. “Peter has been a proven performer throughout his career in sport, and will be counted on to develop the critical relationships required for Canada’s winter sport organizations, coaches and athletes, to win more medals.”

Judge, who has represented Canada at seven Olympic Winter Games as a coach and/or team leader, brings four decades of experience while immersed in a variety of roles in sport around the world. A medal-winning athlete and coach with the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team, Judge has guided countless Canadian freestyle ski athletes to 10 Olympic, 69 World Championship and more than 1000 World Cup medals.

“The Own the Podium program has transformed sport in our country. The entire nation is now focused on excellence. This shift, where the country no longer settles for mediocrity, is a movement I have had significant interest in since its inception, and the reason I returned to the Canadian sport community in 2004,” said Judge, who will relocate to Calgary following the Sochi Games. “Success does not happen in isolation. Regardless of the position I have held, I realize it takes a team approach to get the job done. This will become more critical moving forward if we want to continue our quest to be a world-leading Olympic and Paralympic sport country.”

Judge also filled coaching positions in the United States, Australia and China before moving into his current position as chief executive officer at the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association in 2004. Judge has positioned the organization as one of the strongest sport programs in the country with creative business strategies to strengthening financial resources available for its athletes.

In his new role, Judge will work alongside Own the Podium’s winter high-performance sport advisors, winter national sport organizations, Sport Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, and Canadian Paralympic Committee to build upon the common vision and further develop the strategic priorities for Canadian athletes and coaches to achieve excellence. Judge will also formulate funding recommendations to OTP’s senior management team, lead annual reviews, and develop new policies and programs designed to help more athletes win medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

“I look forward to working with Canada’s sport leaders to develop strategies that will achieve our shared goal - to put more athletes on the international podium,” said Judge. “We have a small gene pool of athletes relative to other leading sport countries, which presents a challenge that requires us to forge stronger relationships between sports, and leverage our financial resources. The world is not standing still. We need to build on our past successes and push forward. We must continue to be innovative, and sharpen our focus, to maintain Canada’s position as a world-leading sport nation.”

Inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame, Judge has served as a member of Own the Podium’s hiring committee in 2005, chairman of the winter sport caucus, a member of the Vancouver 2010 Bid Committee, an “A” session member representative with the Canadian Olympic Committee since 2004, a member of the COC’s Team Selection Committee, and vice-chair of the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Sport Orientation and Strategies Committee. He is also a five-time winner of the Coaching Association of Canada’s Coaching Excellence Award.

About Own the Podium

Own the Podium, a not-for-profit organization, prioritizes and determines investment strategies to national sport organizations in an effort to deliver more Olympic and Paralympic medals for Canada. Own the Podium’s largest contributor of funding is the Government of Canada with additional funding provided by the Canadian Olympic Committee and its Canadian Olympic Foundation, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, along with the corporate community.

A national sport technical initiative, Own the Podium was created in 2005 to help Canada become the number one nation at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and to place in the top-three nations in the gold medal count at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. Canada remains committed to being a world-leading winter sport nation. Own the Podium has set a goal for Canadian athletes to contend for number one in the overall medal count at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, and to be in the top-three nations in the gold medal count at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. Both of these initiatives reflect what Canadians want from Canada’s high-performance athletes and helps advance the “excellence” goal of the Canadian Sport Policy.

For a full summary of Own the Podium initiatives and programs, including a breakdown of support and services by sport, please visit us at on the Internet.

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