The dictionary defines perseverance as steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Our team at WinSport helps people pick themselves up after they fall or helps build their confidence after they finish in fourth place – all so they learn to persevere. This allows them to gain mastery, improve confidence and establish enduring friendships through sport. It also allows them to simply enjoy the benefits of the changing seasons and amazing geography that surrounds us. We believe in being better than yesterday.
It started for us in the early 1960s. The community gathered on our small hill to strap on planks of wood to learn how to ski and take advantage of the Rocky Mountains in our own backyard.
Even back then, among the falls and tumbles, you could hear the laughter and the distinctive slap of a high five when the young and young at heart got up on their skis for the first time or mastered their parallel turns. The willingness to get up and try again is what defines us as Calgarians.
As the hill started to grow up, a group of leaders passionate about sport got together with the ambition to put our hill on the world stage by bidding to host the Winter Olympic Games. After a few failed attempts, these leaders dusted themselves off and eventually won the bid to welcome the world to our small ski hill in 1988. These Games were filled with stories of challenge and perseverance, such as Eddie the Eagle soaring to new heights or the fledgling Jamaican bobsleigh team, who after flipping their sled in the Kreisel, persevered to the finish line to cap off an amazing run at their first ever Winter Olympic Games.
These stories of pushing to be better, despite not hitting the podium yet achieving so much, galvanized our purpose here at WinSport. We are here to help people activate and reach their potential through the spirit of sport.
Since that time, our organization and our campus have grown. Through continued investment and our push to be better, we are focused on developing the whole person. This does not simply mean mastering sport – it means simultaneously building the mental, physical and social skills of our participants.
Through our experience, there is lot to be learned from trying something new – failing and trying again, or achieving a personal best. We have introduced people to sport across our campus and have provided the guidance and abilities to push them to their personal podiums across the globe.
Many see it as a ski lesson, skate lesson or a week of summer camp. We see it as an opportunity to instil valuable life skills to enable people to have a positive impact on their family, friends and the community as a whole.
At WinSport, we believe we are here to teach others how they can be better than yesterday.
To inspire and activate human potential through the spirit of sport.
To be a world leading centre for winter sport excellence and athletic development.
To provide opportunities for Canadians to discover, develop and excel at sport through world-class training, facilities and exceptional experiences.
A not-for-profit organization, WinSport owns and operates Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, the Bill Warren Training Centre at the Canmore Nordic Centre in Canmore Alberta, and the Beckie Scott High Performance Training Centre on Haig Glacier Alberta. WinSport also funds two-thirds of the operating budget for the Olympic Oval at the University of Calgary. Money spent at WinSport facilities supports not only Canadian high-performance athletes, but introduces thousands of Calgarians to mountain-based sports each year.
Formerly known as the Calgary Olympic Development Association (CODA), WinSport was founded in 1956 to bid on behalf of Calgary to host an Olympic Winter Games. CODA successfully won the bid from the International Olympic Committee on Sept. 30, 1981, for Calgary to become the host city for the XV Olympic Winter Games in 1988.
Following the Olympics in 1988 and benefitting from endowment funds left for the Games’ legacy, CODA has evolved into a new vision with the transition to WinSport. Through WinSport, the legacy of the 1988 Games is being maintained through allowing people of all ages to discover, develop and excel at sport.
Board of Directors
Scott Hutcheson, Chair
Perry Spitznagel, Vice Chair
Barry Heck, WinSport President and CEO
Kelly Dearborn, Government of Canada
Lloyd Bentz, Province of Alberta
Kyle Ripley, City of Calgary
Dru Marshall, University of Calgary
Barry Heck, President and CEO
Kim Jones, Vice President and General Counsel
John Sutherland, Chief Operating Officer
Bernie Asbell, VP Sport Operations
Karen Brodie, Director Human Resources
Jason McKay, Director Food & Beverage / Event Sales
Mike Tanner, Director of Venues
Jennifer Konopaki, Director Sport Leadership
Kevin Jones, Controller
Mike McKean, Director Information Technology
John Francis, Director Marketing, Communications & Sponsorships