Retired Canadian short track speedskater Isabelle Charest will be Team Canada’s chef de mission for the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the Canadian Olympic Committee announced Monday.
A three-time Olympic medallist, Charest captured silver as part of the women’s 3,000-metre relay at the 1994 Games in Lillehammer, Norway. A native of Rimouski Que., Charest won bronze medals at Nagano 1998 and Salt Lake City 2002, also with the 3,000 relay.
“It’s such an honour to have been chosen to lead a great team of athletes into PyeongChang 2018,” Charest said in a release. “[Canadian] athletes are performing so well on the World Cup circuits and I look forward to using all my experience to create an environment for them to compete at their best when it matters the most.”
Charest also achieved notable success outside the Olympics, winning several world titles. From 1995 to 1997, she was honoured as Canada’s Female Short Track Skater of the Year.
Inducted into Canada’s Speed Skating Hall of Fame in 1997, the 46-year-old served as Team Canada’s assistant chef de mission at Rio 2016, as well as chef de mission at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2016 at Lillehammer.
“Isabelle has every quality we look for in a chef de mission,” COC president Tricia Smith said Monday in a release. “Her outstanding career as an athlete, strong passion for the Olympic movement and a proven track record as a leader and team player. We are so fortunate and honoured to have such a genuine role model to lead our team into Korea.”
The chef de mission’s role is to act as the spokesperson for Team Canada, mentor athletes, coaches and staff, as well as create an environment conducive to optimal performance at the Games.
The 2018 Olympics run Feb. 9 – 25 and will feature 15 sport disciplines in 12 competition venues.
Over 6,500 athletes and officials from 95 countries are expected to be at the Games.