By Tom Degun

Ozzie SawickiJanuary 23 - The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) has named veteran alpine skiing coach Ozzie Sawicki as Chef de Mission for Sochi 2014.

The Alberta native has worked across numerous sports in his career, most recently serving as a performance advisor to the Canadian Para-equestrian team at London 2012.

He also served as head coach and programme director of the Canadian Para-alpine skiing team from 2000-2004 and as Athletics Canada Para-athletics programme head coach from 2009 until 2011.

In addition, he was a Team Canada mission staff member at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics and an International Paralympic Committee (IPC) official for alpine skiing at Vancouver 2010.

"The opportunity to lead a team that is striving towards excelling at the highest performance levels on an international stage is a chance of a lifetime," said Sawicki.

"I'm looking forward to ensuring our athletes have all the support they need, so that the success and momentum Canada experienced at the Vancouver Games can be carried through to Sochi, Russia."

Sawicki will now be looking to help Canada towards their goal of finishing in the top three nations at the Sochi 2014 Paralympics after they finished third at the home Games at Vancouver 2010 with 19 medals, 10 of which were gold.

Germany topped the medal table as Russia finished second.
Wheelchair curlingCanada will be looking to better their performance at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Paralympic Games where they finished third on the medal table

"We are so fortunate to have a Chef de Mission of the calibre of Ozzie Sawicki," said CPC President David Legg.

"Ozzie is hugely qualified for this role, given his 25 years of experience in sport and industry.

"His knowledge of the Paralympic community at all levels and his understanding of what is involved in building a successful Paralympic team will be great assets to Team Canada as they prepare to take on the world in Sochi."

Sawicki's first public engagement as Chef de Mission will be the Sochi Performance Update and Government of Canada Funding Announcement in partnership with Own The Podium this week at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

He will then visit Sochi in March for the Chefs de Mission Seminar, oversee the selections of the key volunteer mission staff and begin meeting regularly with athletes and coaches to review their needs and provide them with the support and services they need to succeed.

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