Peter Judge to guide Own the Podium’s new-look winter sport team


April 17, 2014, CALGARY (ISN) – Peter Judge will lead a trio of respected high-performance sport leaders focused on helping Canadian athletes and coaches win more Olympic and Paralympic medals in 2018 and beyond as Own the Podium unveiled its new winter sport team on Thursday.

Judge, who officially joined Own the Podium as director of winter sport following the 2014 Olympic Winter Games where he led the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association to seven medals, has started to put together a new team of high-performance advisors. Todd Allison, who brings more than two decades of sport management, coaching and athletic experience with him to Own the Podium, will fill one of three vacant high-performance advisor positions. Allison will also be joined by Dave Ellis, the athletic director responsible for guiding Canada’s ski cross athletes to two medals in Sochi. Own the Podium will name its final new high-performance advisor later in the spring.

“This is a passionate and determined group of high achievers who have played a variety of key roles in Canada’s high-performance sport system,” said Anne Merklinger, chief executive officer, Own the Podium. “With Peter at the helm, I am confident this accomplished group of technical leaders will foster the critical relationships required for Canada’s winter sport organizations, coaches and athletes, to win more medals.”

Judge, who was originally named Own the Podium’s new director of winter sport last June, has represented Canada at seven Olympic Winter Games as a coach and/or team leader, and brings 40 years 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 skiers to 14 Olympic, 69 World Championship and more than 1000 World Cup medals. 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.

Todd Allison returns to Canada having spent the last four years with the United States Olympic Committee. A former high-performance director, team leader, coach and athlete with the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, Allison has spent the last decade supporting multi-sport organizations and major Games organizers. Allison was part of the sport department for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Allison also recently played a key role in the design and operation of the Whistler Sport Centre and Whistler Athletes Centre.

Dave Ellis has spent the last 15 years in a variety of roles with Alpine Canada Alpin. Starting out as the program’s strength and conditioning coach in 1999, Ellis became the director of sport science and was responsible for leading Canada’s high-powered ski cross squad as its athlete director over the last six years where he has led the planning and execution of podium results at the international level. Ellis started his sport career as an applied exercise physiologist at the Canadian Sport Institute in Calgary.

“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. “Success does not happen in isolation. Regardless of the position any of us have held, we realize it takes a team approach to get the job done. Todd and Dave have achieved great results while supporting this strategy. I know they will be key players in helping Canada build on our past successes, and push forward in our continued quest to be a world-leading Olympic and Paralympic sport country.”

Judge and the new winter high-performance sport advisors will work closely with winter national sport organizations, Sport Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee and the Canadian Sport Institute Network to build upon the common vision, while further developing 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.

Allison and Ellis will be counted on to identify the resources that athletes and coaches require to achieve excellence while working with the technical staff of the various national sport organizations. In addition to monitoring the progress of the sports on an ongoing basis, the high-performance advisors will provide support and counsel to high-performance directors and coaches, and provide solutions to gaps in high-performance plans and programs.

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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