Christine Girard is a two-time medal winner at the Pan American Games ©Jess Deeks / Canadian Olympic Committee

Olympic weightlifting champion Christine Girard has been announced as Canada's Chef de Mission for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.

Girard claimed under-63 kilograms bronze at Beijing 2008 before becoming Canada’s first-ever Olympic weightlifting gold medallist at London 2012.

Both of those medals were awarded several years later when athletes who had initially placed ahead of her were disqualified due to doping infractions.

This experience led to Girard becoming an active ambassador and advocate for safe, ethical and fair sport.

She is an International Testing Agency education ambassador and an International Weightlifting Federation Anti-Doping Commission member.

During her weightlifting career, Girard won a full set of Commonwealth Games medals with gold coming at New Delhi 2010.

She has also achieved Pan American Games success, winning silver at Rio 2007 and gold at Guadalajara 2011.

"I feel so grateful and excited to be named Team Canada's Chef de Mission for Santiago 2023," said Girard.

"Looking back on my own career, I still fondly remember the Chefs who supported me.

"One of my goals as Chef de Mission is to pay that forward.

Canada will be led by Olympic weightlifting champion Christine Girard at Santiago 2023 ©Getty Images
Canada will be led by Olympic weightlifting champion Christine Girard at Santiago 2023 ©Getty Images

"Athletic integrity and values mean a lot to me.

"What matters even more than what happens on the field of play is how we’re representing ourselves and our country off of it.

"I’m really looking forward to sharing these values and experiences with Team Canada athletes.

"The Pan American Games are unique because each athlete has a different goal for competing.

"For some, it will play a significant part in their Olympic journey, as it did for me.

"For others, it could be to gain international experience, qualify a spot for our country for Paris 2024 or to showcase their sport which is not represented at an Olympic Games.

"Whatever their goal is, I am here to support them however I can."

Eric Myles, chief sport officer for the Canadian Olympic Committee, said Girard was "everything you could ask for in a Chef de Mission".

"She is an incredibly accomplished athlete," said Myles.

"She is an inspirational role model and a strong advocate promoting clean play.

"With her ability to build relationships and connect with athletes, as well as her experience and her passion, Christine will be a great asset to Team Canada on the road to Santiago 2023."

Canada are ranked third in the all-time medals table for the Pan American Games with only the United States and Cuba winning more.

They placed fourth at Lima 2019 with 35 golds, 65 silvers and 52 bronzes.