Harper Government Supports the 2012 IBU Cup 6 and Cup 7 Biathlon Races

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CANMORE, Alberta, February 10, 2012 - On behalf the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), Blake Richards, Member of Parliament (Wild Rose), today announced the Government of Canada’s contribution to the 2012 International Biathlon Union (IBU) Cup 6 and Cup 7 Biathlon races being held at the Canmore Nordic Centre from February 11 to 16.

“Our Government is pleased to provide support to Biathlon Canada for the 2012 IBU Cup 6 and 7 events,” said Minister of State Gosal. “This exciting competition allows Canada’s best biathletes to demonstrate their ongoing determination and dedication to their sport by competing against other world-class athletes on home soil.”

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I welcome athletes from Canada and around the world to Canmore, Alberta,” said Mr. Richards. “The Canmore Nordic Centre, a legacy of the 1988 Winter Olympics, remains a world-class facility where athletes, visitors, and residents benefit from extraordinary outdoor activities in a beautiful setting.”

“Biathlon Canada is extremely grateful for the financial support of the Government of Canada towards this international biathlon event,” said Joanne Thomson, Executive Director, Biathlon Canada. “For Biathlon Canada to be able to host this sort of event provides great opportunities to build up volunteer and officiating capacity at our venues, as well as to expose our Canadian athletes to competitions with the best athletes in the world. To be able to host the world at our Canadian venues is a special opportunity and a great advantage for the athletes who train at the venue on a daily basis. We look forward to continued partnerships with the Government of Canada to ensure that we can host the best events possible when we are awarded this opportunity.”

Biathlon Canada is the governing body overseeing all aspects of the sport of biathlon in Canada. Its mission is to achieve consistent international podium performance by leading, promoting, developing, and governing biathlon in Canada to the highest standard of excellence.

The Government of Canada is the single largest contributor to sport in Canada and supports participation and excellence from the playground to the podium. A contribution of $150,000 was provided to Biathlon Canada through Sport Canada’s Hosting Program in support of the 2012 IBU Cup 6 and Cup 7 events. The Government of Canada also committed $750,000 in 2011–2012 to Biathlon Canada through the Sport Support Program.