Sept 22, 2014 (ISN) – CANMORE, Alta.—Olympian Madeleine Williams will take over chair responsibilities for
Cross-Country Ski de fond Canada’s Women’s Committee – a group of high-profiled
professionals who are focused on shaping opportunities for girls, and women, in all
facets of cross-country skiing across the country.
The Women’s Committee is an operational committee of Cross-Country Ski de fond
Canada (CCC) and exists to ensure equality of opportunity for girls and women as
participants, competitors, coaches, officials and leaders in cross-country skiing in
each of its five regions across the country (Atlantic; Quebec/Nunavut; Ontario;
Manitoba/Saskatchewan/Alberta/ NWT; and British Columbia/Yukon).
Williams, who retired from competitive ski racing after achieving her Olympic dream
while representing Canada in the sport at the 2010 Games in Vancouver-Whistler, is a
talent both on and off the trails. Williams competed at numerous World Cups, two
Under-23 World Championships and three World Junior Championships.
Williams’ pursuit of excellence continued into the classroom during her 10-year
career in the national program. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
with Distinction from Athabasca University in 2009 helped propel Williams to chase a
law degree. She recently graduated from McGill University Faculty of Law, with both
Civil and Common Law degrees.
“I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to chair CCC’s Women’s Committee,”
said Williams, who was also part of a group of young skiers who ran the inaugural
Fast and Female event spearheaded by Olympic Champion Chandra Crawford.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from everyone in the CCC community,
as we work towards a brighter future for everyone, regardless of gender, in our
During Williams’ tenure at McGill she published an article in the International
Sports Law Journal making policy recommendations to improve gender equity in elite
“Madeleine is relentless in her commitment to excellence – both as an athlete and in
her law career – and I know the future of women in our sport is in good hands with
Madeleine chairing this highly accomplished group of women who are passionate and
dedicated to the success of cross-country skiing,” said Davin MacIntosh, CEO of CCC.
The Committee’s focus is on educating women on the roles they have an opportunity to
pursue in cross-country skiing and facilitating the participation of women in areas
where affirmative action is required.
Williams takes over the reins as chair of the committee from two Canadian
trailblazers, Beckie Scott and Milaine Theriault, who both opened the door to new
opportunities for thousands of Canadian girls both on and off the field of play.
During their two-year term as co-chairs, Scott and Theriault renewed the Committee’s
membership and infused new energy. One of the more significant enhancements that
was facilitated by the Committee was a change to the CCC bylaws that will ensure
that at least 2 females hold positions on CCC’s board of directors at all times.
Scott and Theriault will continue to serve on the Committee that will also include:
Camille Pepin (Quebec); Kathy Davies (Alberta); Marie-Helene Thibault (Alberta); Sue
Holloway (Ontario); Sharleen Hoar (British Columbia); Pavlina Sudrich (Yukon); and
staff member Stephane Barrette.
“Beckie and Milaine are huge inspirations for me, and have done an incredible job
creating new opportunities to get involved in cross-country skiing that have changed
the lives of women in every corner of this country,” said Williams. “I am anxious to
work with Beckie, Milaine and all of the accomplished women in this group, to build
on our past successes as we collectively chase our goal of developing more young
girls into elite skiers.”
Reporting to CCC’s CEO, Williams will work collaboratively with management Committee
Members during her two-year term.
Williams is currently articling with Justice Canada in Edmonton where she lives with
her husband, National Ski Team athlete Graham Nishikawa.