Canadian Olympic Committee invests $37M into Own The Podium

The gold (left) and bronze medals manufactured for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. (SERGEI...

The gold (left) and bronze medals manufactured for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. (SERGEI KARPUKHIN/Reuters)

Terry Davidson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:48 PM ET

Canada’s Olympic body is pumping $37 million into the Own The Podium program in hopes of bringing home more medals.

The head of the Canadian Olympic Committee announced on the ice surface of Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on Thursday that the funding is for the next four years and will be handed over to the OTP, a non-profit organization launched in 2005 to improve Canada’s medal haul in both winter and summer Olympic sports.

“At the COC, we know it takes a village to raise a champion,” said COC president Marcel Aubut, adding that the funding comes from the group’s corporate sponsors in the private sector. “Together, with our government and private sector partners, what we are building ... is an envy to many other countries.”

When interviewed by the Toronto Sun, OTP boss Anne Merklinger wouldn’t say how the $37 million will be divided between summer and winter sports, choosing instead to say that all athletes would benefit from the funding, and that the chief focus for OTP right now is the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi.

It was reported in September that OTP officials discussed funneling more money into the winter sports instead of summer sports as a way of bettering its investment in terms of increasing Canada’s overall medal count.

Merklinger also did not directly answer whatever came of those discussions, but did say that the COC’s latest investment will hopefully mean a greater number of Canadian athletes winning bronze, silver and gold.

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