Patricia Chafe, who has a track record of success working with a variety of winter and summer sport organizations, will take the reins of Own the Podium’s winter sport program in an effort to help Canada achieve its continued goal of being a top winter sport nation.
The newly-named director of winter sport brings two decades of management experience working at all levels in high performance sport. Her most recognizable accomplishments have come while serving two stints with Skate Canada in the roles of Chief Sport Officer (2013-17) and Director of Planning and Analysis (2002-05). Over the last year, Chafe also played a lead role in assisting many of Canada’s summer sports – women’s soccer, diving and athletics – for international success as a high-performance advisor on Own the Podium’s summer sport team.
“Patricia is a calm, confident leader whose business acumen and skillset bring immense value to our organization,” said Anne Merklinger, chief executive officer, Own the Podium. “Patricia understands the high-performance environment in Canada. She has longstanding relationships with our key sport and government partners and is a proven performer who knows what is required to help Canada’s winter sport organizations win more medals.”
As an integral part of Skate Canada’s medal-winning team, Chafe provided leadership and management to all departments within the sport division while assisting the chief executive officer in developing a long-term strategic performance plan that resulted in podium performances throughout the pathway. She was counted on for ensuring alignment in the delivery of the sport in Canada, which included establishing and maintaining a fully integrated podium pathway. Chafe provided a strong vision for the sport delivery from the grassroots to elite level that included training for coaches and officials, and event delivery.
Chafe ventured on her own (2005-13) to run a high-performance sport consulting business where she continued to have a positive impact on Canada’s skating community. During this time, she also provided analytical support for the development and implementation of a long-term athlete development model for national and provincial sport organizations while facilitating strategic planning for many of these governing bodies.
“Canada’s winter sport community has established a strong foundation of medal-winning success thanks to the vision and heavy lifting of our sport leaders throughout the country. Our record-setting performance in PyeongChang is proof of that,” said Chafe, who holds four university degrees including a Ph.D. in Mathematics.
“The world is not standing still and nor should Canada. We need to build on our past success to help our country achieve even greater goals moving forward.
“This as an incredible opportunity for me to take on the challenge of harnessing this energy with our partners and national sport organizations in an effort to create a positive environment for our athletes and coaches to deliver even more podium results, and further solidify Canada’s position as a top winter sport nation, in 2022 and beyond.”
In her new role, Chafe will immerse herself back into Canada’s winter high performance sport culture, working closely with Own the Podium’s sport advisors, technical specialists along with national sport organizations, the Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Sport Canada, Coaching Association of Canada and Canada’s network of Canadian Sport Institutes. As director of winter sport, Chafe will be responsible for bringing funding recommendations to the senior management team, leading annual reviews, and developing new policies and programs designed to achieve long-term excellence at the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Working out of the Ottawa office, Chafe will transition into her new position within Own the Podium, April 30, 2018.