Pierre Lafon­taine New CEO of Cross Coun­try Canada

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Pierre Lafon­taine has been hired as Cross Coun­try Canada's (CCC) new Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer (CEO) be­gin­ning Dec. 1.

One of Canada's most distin­guished sport lead­ers, Lafon­taine brings a wealth of in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence with him, hav­ing served as CEO and na­tional coach of Swim­ming Canada from 2005-13, fol­lowed by two years as CEO of Cana­dian In­teruni­ver­sity Sport. He has worked in all lev­els of the sport sys­tem in Canada, the U.S. and Aus­tralia. Prior to work­ing at Swim­ming Canada, Lafon­taine spent three years as head coach of the Aus­tralian In­sti­tute of Sport.

“We are com­mit­ted to con­tin­u­ing our growth and suc­cess, and I can't think of a bet­ter man to lead a new era for our sport in this coun­try than Pierre,” said Jamie Coatsworth, chair of the CCC board.

Lafon­taine is widely ac­claimed as an in­no­va­tive leader in the swim­ming com­mu­nity, not only in ath­lete and coach de­vel­op­ment, but also in build­ing re­la­tion­ships with key stake­hold­ers: Own the Podium, Cana­dian Olympic Com­mit­tee and Cana­dian Par­a­lympic Com­mit­tee. Lafon­taine has achieved podium re­sults as a CEO and coach at ma­jor in­ter­na­tional events from the Olympics and Par­a­lympics to World Cham­pi­onships, to Pan Am and Com­mon- wealth Games.

“There are many syn­er­gies be­tween swim­ming and cross-coun­try ski­ing. They are tech­ni­cally-driven sports that have ath­letes with great en­gines who are fiercely ded­i­cated to achiev­ing ex­cel­lence,” said Lafon­taine, who will re­lo­cate to Can­more, Alta. from Ot­tawa, Ont.

“We need to work hard to main­tain our strong re­la­tion­ships with ex­ist­ing cor­po­rate and sport part­ners, while find­ing in­no­va­tive ways to bring new spon­sors that want to be part of a great fam­ily that is fo­cused not only on ski­ing for medals, but also on en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple of all ages across Canada to ski for life,” added Lafon­taine.

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has com­peted in Nordic-com­bined, cross-coun­try and ski jump­ing. Af­ter the clo­sure of Big Thun­der Ski Jump­ing Cen­tre in 1995, Crooks fo­cused on cross-coun­try with his home­town Big Thun­der Nordic Ski Club, train­ing hard on the ski trails of Kamview.

In his very first Na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, he claimed two medals in the ju­ve­nile di­vi­sion. Ad­vanc­ing to the ju­nior level, he earned a spot on the Cana­dian Na­tional Ju­nior Team and rep­re­sented Canada at two World Ju­nior Ski Cham­pi­onships, where his 11th-place fin­ish in the sprints in 2003 was one of the best ever by a Cana­dian male.

The 2003 over­all ju­nior Cana­dian cham­pion, Crooks com­peted at the 2003 Canada Games in New Brunswick, where he claimed gold in the sprints and helped On­tario earn a bronze medal in the team event.

A high­light of his ca­reer was rep­re­sent­ing Canada at the 2006 Turin Olympics, fin­ish­ing 11th in the 4x10km team re­lay. He also put in a strong per­for­mance in the sprint qual­i­fy­ing race, com­ing up just two spots shy of ad­vanc­ing to the fi­nal heats.

Diamond Head Sports is New Dis­trib­u­tor for Vauhti

Diamond Head Sports Inc. is now dis­tribut­ing Vauhti Ski Wax prod­ucts in Canada. Based in Joen­suu, Fin­land, Vauhti's roots go back to 1912, when the first Salaisuus (se­cret) wax was de­vel­oped. Prod­ucts are tested by World Cup wax tech­ni­cians and skiers world­wide, and re­search re­lated to wax­ing tech­nol­ogy has been con­ducted at the Univer­sity of Eastern Fin­land in Joen­suu for al­most 20 years.

“Diamond Head Sports is well known and rep­re­sents sev­eral high-end win­ter-sport brands and prod­ucts, and Vauhti's prod­ucts will fit very well with their port­fo­lio,” com­mented Martti Uusi­talo, chair­man of the board at Vauhti.

“With Vauhti's in­creased in­vest­ments in re­search and new tech­nolo­gies and co­op­er­a­tion with lead­ing wax sci­en­tists, their prod­ucts will be in even more de­mand by con­sumers. We will make ev­ery ef­fort to work with all re­tail­ers across Canada so they're able to pro­vide great ser­vice to their cus­tomers,” said Joze Sparovec, pres­i­dent of Diamond Head Sports.

Pierre Lafon­taine

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