Canada used to be an importer of coaching talent to get better results in sport.
After a successful Winter Olympics -- and dominance in some summer events -- we've become an exporter. Other countries -- at least four of them -- are seeking our success and the coaches that led to it.
It's not just where you'd think, in the national sport of hockey.
Russia's Olympic bobsledders are wooing retired two-time medalist Pierre Lueders -- named a national coach for Canada this summer -- to help them for the Sochi Games in 2014. In short track speedskating, four-time Olympic medalist Eric Bedard is coaching in Dresden, Germany and Guy Thibault is coaching members of the U.S. national team.
Also fled in the diaspora: diving coach Hui Tong, former coach of Canada's national team, went to Australia to head up their Institute of Sport diving program. He was about 10 years in Canada and he's become a top coach Down Under, with four Olympic medalists.
The Brits have been picking off some top Canadian coaches in track and field: Kevin Tyler, former coach of world medalist Tyler Christopher -- and the former 400-metre star of Canada went nowhere this year without him.
Derek Evely was coaching hurdler Adam Kunkel, a Pan Am Games medalist and world finalist. He also coached Canada's top 400-metre woman, Carline Muir. He's at one of Britain's top track universities, Loughbrough, where Sebastian Coe trained.
Joel Filliol, one of the coaches who helped triathlete Simon Whitfield to a 2008 silver in Beijing, is national triathlon coach in Britain.
Peter Eriksson, the Swedish-born, coach who turned Chantal Petitclerc into a world beater in a wheelchair, is now helping British paralympians do the same thing.
Meanwhile, Lascelles Brown, the Jamaica-born brakeman who won, Olympic medals for Canada in Turin and Vancouver, has taken the back of Monaco's bobsleigh to train with their Sochi prospects.
Canadian cycling's B2ten shot
Private financial supporters have been willing to step up. The Canadian Cycling Association will partner with the private funding body B2ten in a program that will focus on women's national track cycling, the CCA said Wednesday.
B2ten will provide the team with training resources to prepare for the 2012 London Olympic Games -- Canada can't furnish international level facilities -- and for analysis and testing of athletes not currently on the national team.
Six athletes, who are not currently on the national team, have been targeted through initial off-track testing and assessment. These athletes will participate in a series of training camps in Los Angeles in December and January.
Under the partnership, the Canadian track cycling team also will train in Los Angeles until the summer of 2012.
The expertise and resources being brought to bear in women's team pursuit allow us to create a training environment for the national team that was not previously possible, said Jacques Landry, CCA high performance director and head coach.
Cycling around the world and back
Canada's track cycling team has four World Cup events on four different continents, capped off by the 2011 UCI Track World Championships in the Netherlands. Eight cyclists will travel to Melbourne, Australia, to hit the track of the first World Cup event of season from December 2-4, 2010.
We spent quality time as a team preparing for the season in a series of training camp this summer, said Richard Wooles, head coach of the Canadian track cycling team, in a statement.
Our training data has shown an improvement between 3 and 10 per cent in performance on average.
The team is headlined by two-time world champion and five-time Canadian champion Tara Whitten. The UCI Track World Championships will be held in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, March 23-27.
The four World Cup events of 2011 are in Melbourne, Cali, Columbia, Beijing and Manchester, England. The national cyclists headed for Melburne are: Tara Whitten of Edmonton; Laura Brown of Calgary; Stephanie Roorda of Calgary; Monique Sullivan of Calgary; Zach Bell of Watson Lake, Yukon; Travis Smith of Calgary; Joseph Veloce of Fonthill, Ont.; Stephane Cossette of Chicoutimi, Québec.
New drug testing introduced
Canadian athletes may be asked for a blood sample in addition to a urine specimen when they get asked for an anti-doping test.
The idea is to track down the use of human growth hormone (hGH), which is detectable in blood but not urine.
Athletes can expect blood samples to be taken regularly throughout the course of their career, and can rest assured that blood collection personnel are highly-trained and certified," said Paul Melia, president and CEO of the CCES. He said blood testing would act as a deterrent and help maintain integrity in sport.
The CCES is also implementing the World Anti-Doping Agency's new athlete biological passport rules, said Melia to get a profile of what normal hormonal levels are in an athlete over time.
Own the Podium architect resigns
Last week, Cathy Priestner-Allinger, one of the architects of the very successful Own the Podium program -- which not only ended Canada's gold medal drought at home but created a record number of Winter Games gold medalists -- resigned from OTP's board of directors to avert conflict. That's because she has been asked to do the same for the Russians. The next 2014 Winter Olympic hosts were embarrassed by a poor sixth-place medal performance in Vancouver.
She called the invitation by the Russian Olympic Committee "an opportunity" in a Canadian Press report.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin understand the value of a dominant performance in Sochi in the spheres of organization, fiscal responsibility and prestige. He's put deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov in charge of the Games. Zhukov recruited Priestner-Allinger and asked her to bring helpful colleagues into the circle. An obvious inclusion is husband Todd Allinger, who worked on Canada's Top Secret high-tech program to look for technical advantages within the rules of the Games -- better waxes, faster blades, aerodynamic tests.
In a post-Olympic season, there's a cutback in funding and superfluous, experienced coaches looking to continue in their craft.
"We're not going to poach ... we have no desire to do that," said Priestner-Allinger, who was an executive for the Salt Lake City Olympics and worked for the Turin Olympics before her OTP position. Sport administrators from the Eastern Bloc have been taking more lucrative job opportunities abroad in the past decade and now there's a shortfall in expertise in Russia.
Cochrane, Lacroix Canada's swimmers of the year
Ryan Cochrane of Victoria. B.C., and Montrealer Audrey Lacroix have been recognized as Swimming Canada's swimmers of the year.
Cochrane broke the Olympic medal drought for Canadian swimmers with a 1,500-metre bronze at Beijing. "But I don't think there's any more pressure to win another Olympic medal in 2012 than I already put on myself," he said. "It was my goal coming into Beijing and it will be the same in London."
He said technologically advanced suits -- the impervious, polyurethane style have now been banned -- weren't a big matter in his distance event, "but I'm disappointed the governing body let it get out of control."
He thought it was ridiculous that four people were needed to package an athlete into the ultra-tight, water-shedding suits.
Cochrane andAudrey Lacroix of Montreal won top honours as swimmers of the year at Swimming Canada's Big Splash gala in Toronto.
Brent Hayden of Mission, B.C., was feted for the race of the year for the world's fastest 100-metre freestyle swim in 2010 -- and did it without a supersuit. Benoit Huot of Montreal, para-swimming multiple world record holder and newcomer Summer Mortimer of Newmarket took the para-swimmers of the year trophies. Richard Weinberger of Victoria, bronze medalist at the Pan Pacific championships, is open water swimmer of the year.
Hayden not sorry to see swimsuit gone
The Vancouver-trained Hayden said in an interview he's glad of the polyurethane suit's demise: "When the world saw 49 world records set at the last world championships, it was all about the swimsuits, a battle of the manufacturers instead of the swimmers. Now that [world governing body]FINA has taken the technology out of the equation, we can compare ourselves with the great swimmers of the past. The outlawing of non-permeable polyurethane bodysuits has brought the mortal factor back into swimming," he said.
"Swimmers who appeared to be great swimmers are now just good swimmers. A guy who was going under 47 seconds in the sprint, was going over 48 seconds a year later because he couldn't use the high-tech suit."
Hayden did make one swim in the high-tech suit two years again and was also under the old short course world 200-metre record. "I wasn't happy about it. It was the suit, not what I was doing."
Pierse on the road to recovery from dengue fever
Annamay Pierse of Vancouver is staging a comeback season after ending the 2010 long course year with a case of dengue fever, contracted during the New Delhi Commonwealth Games, which sapped her strength and made her lose about 10 pounds. "It was a disastrous year. Everything that could have gone wrong did. It was just a mosquito bite, but there's nothing you can do, no treatment for it. You just have to let it take its course," she said.
"You hurt all over. There's crazy pain all over your boy and your hands and feet swell. It hurt even to watch TV because it hurt to move my eyes. You feel like you're been a punching bag. I wouldn't with it on my worst enemy," said Pierse, who got the disease late in her trip to New Delhi. She's now building her strength and mileage back for the coming season, "but it's a season where I know I'm going to get my butt kicked."
IOC gives women's ski jumping a second look
Christoph de Kepper, IOC chief of staff, was in Toronto to talk to Canadian Olympic Committee members at the group's planning session and said women's ski jumping is favoured to be on the Sochi sports agenda in 2014:
"We learned [at the time of the Olympics in Canada]the fighting sprit of the women ski jumpers... Nobody in the IOC or Olympic movement would criticize the way they defended their cause. It's a good cause. It's legitimate to fight for your participation at the Games," he said in an interview.
"We always said we will leave the door open ... The IOC discussed this matter at recent meetings in Acapulco... and we discussed 11 new events, including ski jumping. There is no decision taken yet but there is an openness from the IOC to consider women's ski jumping. At the 2011 World Championship we'll look at the level of performances and based on that we'll take a decision for the 2014 Games."
On the topic of North American TV rights for the 2014 Olympics. it was suggested CBC and CTV could have double-barreled bids, depending whether NHL hockey players are participants or not. Negotiations start in 2011.
He said there was no precedent for such a strategy of conditional offers,
"It's not in the IOC tradition to accept offers that are conditional... In the end if we have offers that are conditional, it's likely these offers will be looked at twice.... But if your competitor makes an unconditional offer, they you run a risk (of rejection)."
Seven Canadians qualify for ISU Grand Prix Finals
The last of six International Skating Union Grand Prix figure skating events in Paris saw seven Canadians qualifying for four ISU Grand Prix finals -- one men's single skater, a pair and two dance couples. The finals take place in Beijing, Dec. 9-12.
In men's, three time-Canadian champion Patrick Chan, 19, of Toronto is the solo skater making his third trip to the final. He was fifth in both 2008 and 2007. Chan, who trains Colorado Springs under Christy Krall and Lori Nichol, won gold and silver in Grand Prix events this year
In pair Kirsten Moore-Towers, 18, St. Catharines, Ont. and Dylan Moscovitch 26, Waterloo, Ont., make their first Grand Prix final appearance. They train with Kris Wirtz and Kristy Wirtz in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.
Olympic ice dancers Vanessa Crone, 20, of North York, Ont., and Paul Poirier, 19, of Unionville, Ont., got gold and silver at their assignments in Canada and the United States. It's their second time in the final, for Crone and Poirier who are coached by Carol Lane, Jon Lane and Juris Razgulajevs in Scarborough, Ont.
Canadian ice dance bronze medalists Kaitlyn Weaver, 21, Waterloo/Houston, Tex., and Andrew Poje, 23, of Waterloo, won a silver medal at their first event in Japan and placed fourth at Skate America. They are coached by Pasquale Camerlengo, Shae-Lynn Bourne and Angelika Krylova in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.