Olympic committee looks ahead for more glory

By BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

The president of the Canadian Olympic Committee and the chief executive of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics came bearing gifts Monday in Ottawa for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Marcel Aubut and John Furlong celebrated the first anniversary of Canada's historic 14th gold medal at the Vancouver Games -- won by the men's hockey team -- by presenting Harper with a set of Olympic and Paralympic medals and torches and autographs of Canada's 2010 Olympic champions.

"All the elements are there for winning again (in 2012) and improving the Summer Games rankings," Aubut said. "The only thing that's important we know we're going to miss are the fans behind us, yelling for us."

Success at the London 2012 Summer Olympics will depend on how well the COC can transfer its winter dominance and lessons learned in Vancouver to Canada's less-successful Summer Games team.

Canada went from 12 medals at Athens 2004 to 18 at Beijing 2008, but remained stuck at three gold medals for the fourth consecutive Summer Games.

Executive managing director Caroline Assalian said the Vancouver 2010 team benefited from team unity and support from governments, corporate sponsors and the public.

Canadians also profited from home advantage in Vancouver.

"We may not duplicate this in London," Assalian said. "Athletes have not competed in London as much as we think they have."

Canadian Olympic hopefuls have 514 days to get to know London. The Games open there July 27, 2012.

bob.mackin@sunmedia.ca

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