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Own the Podium – —New director of sport science, medicine and innovation to build on successful foundation laid by Dr. Jon Kolb who retires after PyeongChang—

OTTAWA—Dr. Andy Van Neutegem, will look to play a critical role in driving more podium performances for Canadian athletes while taking over as Own the Podium’s new director of sport science, medicine and innovation.

Van Neutegem succeeds the highly successful Dr. Jon Kolb as the new leader of the Sport Science, Medicine and Innovation program. Dr. Kolb will be retiring after the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

“Jon’s leadership set a strong foundation that has made it possible for Canadian athletes to remain competitive against the world’s best and helped Canada achieve ambitious performance targets,” said Anne Merklinger, chief executive officer, Own the Podium. “If you are not doing innovation then you are simply not competitive in today’s Olympic and Paralympic environment. We can’t thank Jon enough for his tireless efforts to ensure Canada sets the gold medal standard in sport medicine, science and innovation, and we are thrilled to have Andy continue this charge well beyond 2018.” 

A strategic leader with more than 20 years of experience driving high performance planning and podium performances, Van Neutegem has held senior sport leadership and academic positions in Canada and the United Kingdom. He has led two national teams (wheelchair rugby and sledge hockey) to multiple podium results and successfully developed domestic and international programming that have become examples of excellence for the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic community.

“Andy is a highly accomplished leader who understands the high performance environment and working in a multi-sport arena.” said Merklinger. “He brings an extensive skillset that has impacted all facets of the game including the planning and implementation of world leading high performance programs, building relationships and introducing innovative approaches to today’s highly competitive sport environment. His extensive background working in the trenches with high performance athletes, coaches, sport science and medicine practitioners, combined with his academic credentials, will make him a key player on our management team.” 

Holding a PhD in the field of sport psychology, Van Neutegem has also steered multi-disciplinary sport science and sport medicine teams that are integrated, solutions driven and research oriented. He has been a team leader and high performance director at multiple Olympic and Paralympic Games and World Championships, where he has guided many Canadian athletes to the podium. Most recently, Van Neutegem has established expertise in developing and implementing Podium Pathways, the sport-defined excellence stages that apply to athletes on a trajectory towards podium results.

 “Sport science and innovation is a difference maker in putting more Canadians on the international podium,” said Van Neutegem. “The rest of the world is not standing still with regards to their preparations for international competition and nor should we. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Canadian sport system to find creative ways to have a tremendous positive impact on the performances of our athletes and coaches by leading a robust sport science, medicine and innovation program. It will be an incredible challenge that I look forward to taking on with our key partners.”

In his new role, Van Neutegem will lead the development and implementation of world-leading high performance sport science, medicine and applied research and innovation strategies to achieve podium success at the Winter and Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.  

Van Neutegem will officially begin his new position with Own the Podium on March 1, 2018.

About Own the Podium
Own the Podium, a not-for-profit organization, prioritizes and determines investment strategies for 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.

Chris Dornan  
Own the Podium                         
T: 403-620-8731