Interview with Greg Mathieu

Sport Oral History Archive
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00:00:12 - Introductions

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Partial Transcript: I was born in North Bay, Ontario, a city that's never hosted the Canada Games unfortunately but a, um, wonderful place to grow up...

Segment Synopsis: Greg tells us a little about himself including where he was born, where he grew up, and where he lives now. He also explains his career trajectory that brought him into working on the Canada Games circuit.

Keywords: Canada Games Council; Canadian Olympic Committee; Cycling Canada; North Bay; Olympic(s); Pan-American Games; Recreation; Sport Medicine Council of Canada; Waterloo; Wintario

00:07:45 - Why did you choose to become involved in the Canada Games?

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Partial Transcript: I couldn't really leave the Olympics behind because as the head of both wrestling and then cycling we still had a very large attachment to Olympic performance obviously...

Segment Synopsis: Greg describes how he became involved in the Canada Games and why he thinks they are important.

Keywords: Jurisdictions; Olympic(s); Québec; Sidney Crosby

00:12:32 - Can you tell us the role and duties of the Sport Committee Chair to the Canada Games?

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Partial Transcript: Right, well the sport committee is there to make sure that the liaison with all the national sport organizations who are responsible for program within the Games.

Segment Synopsis: Greg talks about some of the challenging conversations he was a part of while part of the sport committee, dealing with age limitations on athletes, making competition fair between the different provinces and territories, and selecting the sports that would be played at the Canada Games.

Keywords: Age; Jurisdictions; Meaningful Competition; Own The Podium; Sport Committee Chair; Sport Selection

Subjects: Organizing the Canada Games

00:21:25 - What does the role look like once the Canada Games begin?

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Partial Transcript: The, the weight very much gets put onto the staff because they're the continuity. They are the people who know all of the ins and outs of every issue that's been raised coming into the Games and at the Games.

Segment Synopsis: Greg talks about what his job looked like at the Canada Games, and how he relied on members of the organizing team to make sure everything ran smoothly.

Keywords: Canada Games Council; Chef de Mission; Disciplinary Committee; Meaningful Competition; Organizing Committee; Sport Committee

Subjects: Organizing the Canada Games

00:22:56 - Describe what it was like to be Cycling CEO while working for the Canada Games.

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Partial Transcript: Well the, so now I'm, at the sport committee level I'm looking out at each national sport organization. I'm actually looking at cycling as I'm the chair of the sport committee which is little bit of a conflict of interest so whenever an issue for cycling came forward I had to step aside...

Segment Synopsis: Greg talks about organizing cycling races at the Canada Games, and goes back to his experience of the Games as a compromise between the country's provinces and territories to ensure fair and meaningful competition for all athletes.

Keywords: Compromise; Cycling; Jurisdictions; Meaningful Competition; Organizing committee

Subjects: Built Legacy; Government Relations; Industry / post-industrialization

00:28:52 - What does the site review committee do? How are sites chosen for the Canada Games?

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Partial Transcript: Well, we sort of took the view as a... particularly for the 2019 Canada Winter Games for Alberta... we sort of took the view that the the sport technical has to be there.

Segment Synopsis: Greg explains the role of the Canada Games site review committee, and some of the specific things he was tasked with doing in that role.

Keywords: Capacity; Red Deer; Site Review Committee

Subjects: Bidding; Built Legacy; Industry / post-industrialization; Organizing the Canada Games

00:33:27 - What is the relationship between the Canada Games Council, the host community, and the provincial government?

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Partial Transcript: Well as you know all thirteen jurisdictions are in a rotation. So, they know when they have the right to host the Games, so we would hope that those that plan to take up their right to host the Games have got their financial ducks in order with their provincial or territorial government.

Segment Synopsis: Greg talks about the bidding that takes place by different host communities when it comes time for their province or territory to host the Canada Games.

Keywords: Canada Games Council; Capacity; Financial; Host Society; Symbiotic; Transfer of Knowledge

Subjects: Bidding; Built Legacy; Government Relations; Organizing the Canada Games; Unity Through Sport

00:38:11 - How have you seen the Canada Games evolve over the years in terms of diversity and inclusion?

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Partial Transcript: Yeah, it's that's an awfully big piece obviously and it it's one of the ones when you're a senior leader of a national sport organization you're you're living with all the time...

Segment Synopsis: Greg talks about the steps that have been taken towards achieving gender equity at the Canada Games, and the importance of inclusivity on a broader scale.

Keywords: Athletes; Balance; Female; Gender

Subjects: Inclusivity in Sport; Women & Gender Equity

00:43:37 - How do Canada Games organizers approach medicine and healthcare for the athletes?

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Partial Transcript: Within the Games it's it's really gotten, gotten be much more important. It used to be that that what you want to make sure you had is you want to make sure you had a central medical team that everybody could plug into...

Segment Synopsis: Greg talks about the role of healthcare and medical staff at the Canada Games and how it has evolved at the same time as the culture of sport medicine has evolved in Canada over the past few decades.

Keywords: Canadian Athletic Therapists Association; Coaches; Medical; Sport Medicine Council of Canada; Sport Physiotherapy Division; Sport medicine

Subjects: Health & Healthcare

00:47:09 - What role do the Games play in unifying Canadian provinces & territories?

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Partial Transcript: Well within the Games themselves of course you have this unique athlete’s village where you have athletes and coaches and support staff from all over the country being together.

Segment Synopsis: Greg explains the role of the Canada Games in unifying athletes as well as the opportunities it offers to young Canadians.

Keywords: Host Community; Stepping stone; Village

Subjects: Friendships at the Canada Games; Unity Through Sport

00:50:28 - What are you looking forward to seeing at the Canada Games in Niagara in 2022?

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Partial Transcript: Well, we've always said that if if you run the sporting competitions in good facilities, you give the athletes a nice living environment and you provide the necessary levels of transportation and support, you're going to have a happy group of people.

Segment Synopsis: Greg talks about what he's looking forward to seeing at the 2022 Canada Summer Games in Niagara.

Keywords: Niagara

00:52:40 - Which Canada Games stands out in your mind as particularly unique or memorable?

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Partial Transcript: Well, it, I often come back to the Whitehorse Games because in 2007 even though every jurisdiction had the opportunity to host the game since 1967...

Segment Synopsis: Greg reminisces about the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse, and why he felt they were so special.

Keywords: North; Northwest Territories; Unique; Whitehorse; Yukon

00:54:46 - Do you have any other information you would like to share with us today?

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Partial Transcript: There are some unique things that are happening, the fact that para-sports, or athletes with a disability have been involved in a couple of sports now...

Segment Synopsis: Greg mentions the para-sports that have been introduced to the Canada Games and how he looks forward to seeing them grow and evolve over time.

Keywords: Athletes; Disability; Jurisdiction; Para-sports

Subjects: (Dis)ability