Interview with Lorne Lasuita

Sport Oral History Archive
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00:00:11 - Introductions

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Partial Transcript: I was born in a little town called Wynyard in Saskatchewan, and its claim to fame is that it's the chicken capital of Canada, and we say that facetiously but anyways it has a very large eviscerating plant for poultry...

Segment Synopsis: Lorne tells us a little bit about himself including where he was born, where he grew up, and where he lives now. He also talks about the many multi-sport Games that he's been involved in throughout his career including 18 Canada Games as an administrator for Team Saskatchewan, 25 Saskatchewan Summer and Winter Games, 8 Western Canada Summer Games and 1 Olympics.

Keywords: Humboldt; Regina; Yorkton

00:01:47 - How did you first become involved in the Canada Games?

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Partial Transcript: Yes, it was an interesting experience. I was going to school at that time and part of our intern professional development was to get hooked up with a sport committee for the Canada Games in ‘71.

Segment Synopsis: Lorne talks about the creation of Blackstrap Mountain in Saskatchewan as an alpine skiing venue for the 1971 Canada Winter Games in Saskatoon.

Keywords: Alpine Skiing; Blackstrap Mountain; Blackstrap Provincial Park; Official; Saskatoon; Volleyball

00:03:53 - How did your peers view the Canada Games in 1971?

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Partial Transcript: Yeah, the excitement was certainly there. I think the community got totally engaged because it was a new experience and it was something that they hadn't encountered before on that large scale so there was lots of excitement.

Segment Synopsis: Lorne talks about how the 1971 Canada Games were viewed by others in the community, saying that because some of the athletes were older individuals that the Games were perhaps not viewed on the same level as they are today.

Keywords: Committee; Community; Host Society

Subjects: Organizing the Canada Games

00:05:16 - Did you continue to work with the Canada Games immediately after 1971?

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Partial Transcript: No, that's where I became involved as a staff person, as well as a volunteer in our Saskatchewan Summer and Winter Games. We started those Games in 1972...

Segment Synopsis: Lorne explains how he came to be involved in the Canada Games as an administrator.

Keywords: Government; Mission Staff; Saskatoon

00:06:26 - Do any Canada Games stand out to you as particularly memorable?

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Partial Transcript: Yeah and I mean like over the 30 years I kept getting involved because it was a learning experience from Games to Games and you just got a little bit more knowledgeable to what the needs of the athletes were...

Segment Synopsis: Lorne talks about the 1999 Canada Winter Games in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland as particularly memorable, although he has positive memories of all of them.

Keywords: Chef de Mission; Cornerbrook; Mission Staff; Newfoundland; Team Saskatchewan

00:09:02 - Take us through a day in the life of the Team Saskatchewan Chef de Mission.

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Partial Transcript: Yeah the chef’s role like... Chef de Mission in French means “the leader”, and it primarily is the figurehead that's responsible for the overall management and conduct of Team Saskatchewan when they go to a national event like the Canada Games.

Segment Synopsis: Lorne speaks about what his role entails as the Chef de Mission of Team Saskatchewan.

Keywords: Chef de Mission; Code of Conduct; Medical; Mission Staff; Niagara; Nutrition; Sport Psychology; Team Saskatchewan

Subjects: Canada Games Family; Organizing the Canada Games

00:12:30 - What is your relationship like with the athletes, coaches, and other organizers?

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Partial Transcript: That's probably the second reason why I was involved and have been involved in multi-sport Games is just the friendship and the camaraderie that you build with all of the partners that are involved...

Segment Synopsis: Lorne talks about the camaraderie between the Canada Games staff and participants from provinces and territories across Canada, and the meaningful friendships he has made throughout his career.

Keywords: British Columbia; Canada Games Family; Louis McNulty; Nunavut; Saskatchewan Roughriders; Team Saskatchewan; Uniforms; Unity Through Sport; Whitehorse; Yellowknife

Subjects: Canadian Identity

00:14:39 - What was your pin collecting experience at the Canada Games?

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Partial Transcript: You’ll probably have to define substantial. My grandchildren and children say "Grandpa and dad you’ve gotta clean that out. What are you gonna do with it?" I was trying to estimate this morning...

Segment Synopsis: Lorne talks about pin trading. He estimates there are between 3000-4000 pins in his collection.

Keywords: Chef de Mission; Mission Staff; Pin(s)

Subjects: Pin collecting

00:16:30 - What do you look forward to most at the Canada Games?

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Partial Transcript: I think probably the biggest thing is just to be able to experience what the athletes and coaches and managers experience when they first attend the Games.

Segment Synopsis: Lorne talks about some of his favourite things about the Games including watching the athletes' excitement as they get to experience the athletes' village and opening ceremonies for the first time, as well as the Canada Games family that he has formed with staff from across Canada.

Keywords: Opening Ceremonies

Subjects: Canada Games Family; Technology

00:19:05 - Did you attend any Olympics? How do the Canada Games prepare athletes for them?

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Partial Transcript: 2004, in Athens. It's one of the events that definitely does prepare them. Naturally their national sport competitions that they get involved in in order to get to the Canada Games level is a big part of it...

Segment Synopsis: Lorne talks about the Canada Games as a stepping stone for athletes who move on to higher levels of professional sport.

Keywords: Athlete Pathway; Multi-sport event; Team Canada

Subjects: Career Impacts

00:20:38 - What was it like to host the Canada Games in Regina in 2005?

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Partial Transcript: Yeah, it was a different hat. The clothing was still the same and it was just the hat that might have been different in respect to, I guess my experience of being on the team administration side was kind of an asset going to a staff side...

Segment Synopsis: Lorne talked about switching from his administrative role over to a staff role as part of the host society for the 2005 Canada Summer Games in Regina.

Keywords: Chef de Mission; Host Society; Mission Staff

Subjects: Organizing the Canada Games

00:22:37 - What particular challenges did you face in your 30-year career and how did you overcome them?

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Partial Transcript: Yeah, that’s a very good question Elizabeth. I thought about that when you sent it to me and most of my involvement in Games has been through work and at the professional level through government or through non-profit organizations...

Segment Synopsis: Lorne says he looked forward to going to work every day, but the one thing he did not enjoy doing was disciplining athletes who did not adhere to the Code of Conduct.

Keywords: Chef de Mission; Code of Conduct; Team Saskatchewan

00:24:11 - How have the Canada Games impacted your life?

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Partial Transcript: Well I think the big thing that it does is it certainly from a geographic point of view, it's allowed me the opportunity to see what every province is like and what the different geographic makeup is.

Segment Synopsis: Lorne talks about the different things that the Canada Games have taught him in his life.

Keywords: Coach(es); Lottery

Subjects: Government Relations; Unity Through Sport

00:26:05 - How do the Games unify Canada's provinces and territories?

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Partial Transcript: Well, I think they do it through the field of play and also sort of the camaraderie they build when they're not on the field of play.

Segment Synopsis: Lorne explains the unifying goal of the Canada Games.

Keywords: Gear

Subjects: Canadian Identity; Pin collecting; Unity Through Sport

00:27:16 - How have you seen the Games evolve over the years?

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Partial Transcript: Back in 1971 in order to do a lot of duplicating of information for athletes we used was called a gestetner, and it was a little machine that had handle on it and you typed on a form and then you put it through this and it duplicated it.

Segment Synopsis: Lorne explains some of the things he's seen change in the Games over time, including technology and greater inclusivity of all athletes.

Keywords: Immigrants

Subjects: Inclusivity in Sport; LGBTQ2+ Rights; Technology

00:30:17 - How have the Games changed in terms of healthcare and medical services?

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Partial Transcript: The biggest changes that I've seen is probably in the medical side of enhancing the sport opportunities and to maybe just give our athletes a little bit of an edge over someone else...

Segment Synopsis: Lorne talks about the sport medicine that he has seen evolve at the Canada Games since 1971.

Keywords: Medicine; Nutrition; Physiotherapy; Sport Psychology

Subjects: Health & Healthcare; Media

00:32:01 - Have doping or the use of prohibited enhancers been an issue at the Canada Games?

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Partial Transcript: It's always been a concern, but it's always been an educational opportunity for us to be able to ensure that our athletes understand and recognize what the consequences of doping are.

Segment Synopsis: Lorne explains how Team Saskatchewan athletes are educated about doping prior to their participation in the Canada Games.

Keywords: Sports medicine; Team Saskatchewan

Subjects: Drug Testing/Anti-Doping Movement; Education; Health & Healthcare

00:33:15 - What do the Canada Games mean to you? Why are they important?

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Partial Transcript: They are important because my passion for sport is certainly carried on to what I think is the athlete's passion for sport and I think the Canada Games are that pinnacle.

Segment Synopsis: Lorne talks about the unity that the Canada Games brings to Canadians as it brings them together from all different provinces and territories.

Keywords: Athlete Pathway; Culture

Subjects: Canadian Identity; Inclusivity in Sport; Unity Through Sport

00:35:52 - Can you think of any particular moments that highlight this unity?

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Partial Transcript: Yeah I can go back to 2017 in Manitoba in Winnipeg. We pride ourselves to be a strong baseball community and had never won a gold medal in baseball

Segment Synopsis: Lorne details one particular memory as the "highlight of his career," at the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg when Team Saskatchewan's baseball team played in the gold medal match against Manitoba.

Keywords: Baseball; Blue Jays; Gold Medal; Maritimes; Meaningful Competition; Team Manitoba; Team Saskatchewan; Western

00:37:22 - What is your role going to be at the 2022 Canada Summer Games in Niagara?

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Partial Transcript: I'm going to be a mission staff person and I will have solely responsibility to work with rowing and men's volleyball...

Segment Synopsis: Lorne is going to work as Mission Staff for the men's rowing and volleyball teams at the 2022 Canada Summer Games in Niagara.

Keywords: Cheering; Mission Staff

00:38:24 - What are you most looking forward to at the 2022 Games?

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Partial Transcript: Well I think obviously for me it's going to be the friendships that I’ve gained over the last 30 years by going to Games and there’s still a lot of people that are involved and just renewing acquaintances.

Segment Synopsis: Lorne is looking forward to seeing the athletes experience the Niagara region and Niagara Falls for the first time. He also says that one of his grandsons is trying out to be on the men's volleyball team.

Keywords: Niagara; Niagara Falls

Subjects: Canada Games Family

00:39:55 - When you were Chef de Mission, how did you decide which events to watch at the Games?

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Partial Transcript: Yeah that's a very good point because it is difficult because when you’ve got that many teams that are participating all at the same time. When I was chef I always tried to sort of pick every day...

Segment Synopsis: Lorne explains how he splits his spectating time between Team Saskatchewan's different sporting events at the Canada Games.

Keywords: Cheering

Subjects: Spectator's Perspective

00:40:51 - Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

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Partial Transcript: Yeah [laughs] I mean we all go to Games to work hard but we also play hard.

Segment Synopsis: Lorne finishes the conversation by reiterating his appreciation for his Canada Games family.

Keywords: Mission Staff; Parties

Subjects: Canada Games Family