Canada’s most accomplished Olympic luge athlete, Alex Gough, has been re-elected by her peer group to serve another two-year term on the organization’s Board of Directors.
With Sam Edney leading the day-to-day high-performance program, and Gough adding her voice to the Board of Directors, Canada’s medal-winning luge athletes are playing a critical role in shaping a new era for the sport and the next generation on the track towards Beijing 2022.
“It is a tremendous honour to have the opportunity to bring the athlete voice to the Board of Directors for another term to ensure the leadership of Luge Canada is informed and educated on issues that are important to elite athletes in Canada,” said Gough, who won a silver and bronze medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games before going on to earn an Engineering degree at the University of Calgary this spring.
“I committed nearly two decades of my life to chasing my dreams of standing on the Olympic podium in luge. It is a privilege now to be able to give back to a sport that has given me so much, by helping this new generation of athletes achieve their own sporting goals.”
A four-time Olympian, Gough’s remarkable track to the international podium included 27 individual and 16 team relay World Cup medals, along with two individual and four team relay World Championship medals, in addition to her two Olympic medals.
A handful of new faces will be joining Gough on the Board of Directors.
Accomplished Calgary-based lawyer, Peter Major, along with former Canadian luge athlete and business leader, Brian Onushko, will both serve two-year terms as Board Members at Large.
Major, whose practice is focused on commercial litigation, arbitrations and mediations has been successful in all levels of Court in Alberta. Major also brings experience in corporate governance, intellectual property, employment, commercial real estate and estate law. A former President of Alberta Golf, Major also has leadership skills in non-profit sport.
Onushko, who competed in men’s singles and doubles from 1985-89, brings more than three decades of corporate leadership experience to Luge Canada. Currently holding a business development position with Cisco Systems Canada, Onushko will use his experience to provide support to the organization’s business planning and fundraising strategies.
Sally Bennett, Manager Sport at the Whistler Sliding Centre, will serve a one-year term on the Board where she will replace Lucinda Jagger who needed to step down for personal reasons. Daniela Bruch was appointed by the Board to serve a one-year term.
Luge Canada will also welcome back Zan Aycock for two more years on the Board of Directors. Aycock won her election as Secretary of the Board.
Steve Harris was also re-elected to another two-year term where he will continue as president of the Board. Harris was originally elected in 2015 to lead the diverse and experience Board focused on business development and winning medals.
Harris, a Calgary-based police officer, has more than three decades of international luge experience, not to mention significant leadership experience in strategic planning while working with not-for-profit and charitable groups as a member of the Calgary Police Service. He has made a positive impact on all facets of the sport from the grassroots to elite level through a variety of volunteer positions.
“After celebrating a historic performance by our athletes and coaches at the 2018 Olympics, Luge Canada has had to take time to step back and begin planning to ensure the necessary support is in place to guide a new generation of elite athletes,” said Harris.
“We have assembled a new leadership team to guide us, retained the knowledge of medal-winning athletes at the Board and staff level, and have welcomed new coaching resources which are all critical pieces to laying the foundation for a promising future. We have a long road ahead of us to continue meeting our sport and business goals, but as a collective team, we will face our challenges and create innovative opportunities at all levels of the sport to reshape luge in Canada.”
Chris Wightman, Tyler Seitz, Ron Stitt and Jim Hemlin are all serving in their last of a two-year term to round out the 11-member Board of Directors.