The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Opening Ceremony of the Canada Olympic House

London, England, Friday, July 27, 2012

My wife, Sharon, and I are delighted to be here with so many sporting leaders and supporters of the Canadian Olympic team at the outset of the Olympic Games.

Earlier this spring, I was deeply honoured to accept patronage of the Canadian Olympic Committee. The Olympics appeal to the best in us, to our sense of excellence, fair play and healthy living, and I am proud to lend my support to our Olympians and to the values they represent.

Allow me to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of our athletes and for your commitment to the Olympic effort and to sports in Canada. Your dedication to excellence and your great generosity have strengthened Canada’s Olympic spirit and helped to make our country a great sporting nation.

I also want to congratulate the Canadian Olympic Committee, its partners, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade DFAIT and Sport Canada on creating this true welcoming space at Canada House for people to gather and support our athletes.

For the next few weeks, Canadians will put themselves to the test on the greatest stage in sports.

As an avid sports enthusiast, I have an inkling of the incredible hard work and dedication our athletes put into their Olympic dream. They are in the top ranks of athletes the world over, and we all have reason to be proud.

The Olympics inspire us with a wonderful sense of possibility, and that is why your support of Canadian athletes is so vital.

Like each of you I want to offer my congratulations and very best wishes to the coaching staff and of course the athletes on reaching this pinnacle of excellence.

Besides cheering on our athletes over the next three weeks, I also urge you to take advantage of the remarkable opportunity the Games provide us beyond the sporting arena.

The Olympics are an unparalleled gathering of peoples from around the world. During your time in London, I encourage you to share the story of Canada, and to learn about the cultures and traditions of others.

As the organizers of the London Olympics have stated, these games have the potential to “inspire a generation” in so many ways—not least by building ties of friendship and co-operation between peoples.

Together with our athletes, we represent the Canadian Olympic movement, so let us seize this opportunity to make the world a better place through sport.

Enjoy the Games!