CANMORE, Alta.—After spending the last decade in Alberta’s oil patch, Shane Pearsall is returning to the Canadian sport community, January 1, as the chief executive officer for Cross Country Ski de Fond Canada, the Board of Directors announced on Monday.
The Chef de Mission for the 2006 Canadian Olympic Team, Pearsall was the chief operating officer of Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton (BCS) for three years before returning to his career in the oil and gas industry in 2006 where he took on leadership positions with AltaGas and EnCana Corporation/Cenovus Energy.
A member of Canada’s National Men’s Hockey Team in 1980, Pearsall is most recognized in the sport community for his work at BCS where he developed a corporate strategy designed to build extensive relationships with the organization’s major government and corporate partners that continue with him today, motivated a team of dedicated professionals, and managed a financially sustainable budget – all of which contributed to providing a pathway for athletes to deliver countless World Championship, World Cup, and a record-setting four Olympic medals for the sports of bobsleigh and skeleton in Torino.
“Shane is very well respected in the Canadian sport community and is no stranger to cross-country ski circles in Canada, so our selection committee felt he was an ideal fit to lead our sport to 2018 and beyond,” said Jamie Coatsworth, chair, Cross Country Ski de Fond Canada. “We were fortuitous our leadership opportunity aligned with Shane’s availability, in order to move quickly and get him on board to lead our passionate staff. Shane is a proven performer in sport and business, and is driven to succeed in steering our sport’s future.”
In 2007, Pearsall played an instrumental role in connecting Cross Country Ski de Fond Canada with one of its premier, and longstanding, corporate partners in AltaGas.
“I learned a great deal while working in the corporate sector, and value the knowledge gained during this time, but I never lost touch with sport,” said Pearsall. “Sport has become big business, and has many synergies with the corporate sector. Success starts within our own walls. It is critical we work together as a tight-knit community who is aligned and believes in the brand, are committed to the long-term strategic goals, and are relentless in our pursuit of excellence if we truly want to create more Olympic and Paralympic champions for Canada in cross-country skiing, and in turn put more kids on snow. I am absolutely honoured to have the opportunity to join the Nordic community.”
Working with Cross Country Ski de Fond’s network of provincial sport partners, Pearsall is committed to leading a continued focus on delivering the tools athletes and coaches – from the grassroots to elite levels – need to ski onto the podium.
He will take over the reigns of the governing body for cross-country skiing in Canada in the New Year from Pierre Lafontaine, who announced recently he would be returning to his native Ottawa to lead Cycling Canada.
“Shane and Pierre have tremendous respect for one another, and are already working together to ensure a seamless transition in our leadership,” added Coatsworth. “Our sport is in good hands, and I am looking forward to celebrating many milestones in our continued progress with Shane leading the charge.”