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

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, August 4, 2016


How wonderful it is to join you here in Rio!

The Olympics appeal to the best in us, to our sense of excellence, fair play and healthy living. Both Sharon and I are proud to express our gratitude to our Olympians and to the values they represent.

And we’re pleased to have the opportunity to thank you for your support of our athletes and for your commitment to the Olympic effort and to sports in Canada.

As patron of the Canadian Olympic Committee, I’m always proud to see the fruits of your labour. It’s particularly wonderful to see how this place, Canada Olympic House, will be a home away from home, a gathering place for athletes, and their family and friends.

I would like to acknowledge the presence of George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, two members of the Order of Canada, who designed Canada Olympic House. The dedication to excellence and the great generosity of the COC as well as Glenn and George have strengthened Canada’s Olympic spirit and helped to make our country a great sporting nation.

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

As avid sports enthusiasts, Sharon and I have an inkling of the incredible hard work and dedication our athletes put into their Olympic dream. They represent some of the top ranked athletes in the world, which give us all a reason to be proud.

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

Like each of you, we want to offer our 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 few weeks, we 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 Rio de Janeiro, I encourage you to share the story of Canada, and to learn about the cultures and traditions of others.

This is a chance to bring people together, to inspire people to dream big and to get active.

And let’s not forget that, above the competition, the Olympic spirit is about building ties, forging friendships and fostering collaboration between nations.

Finally, let me extend my gratitude to all the volunteers who work so diligently to ensure the Olympics are successful. You show us all the true meaning of generosity.

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!