Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 17:34 EDT

Special Olympics Canada Announces Johnny Byrne as Chef de Mission for 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games

August 20, 2013

TORONTO, Aug. 20, 2013 /CNW/ – Special Olympics Canada is very pleased
to announce the appointment of Johnny Byrne as the Chef de Mission for
the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles,
California. This international competition is set to take place between
July 25 and August 2, 2015, and will see the participation of more than
7,000 athletes from as many as 170 nations. The 14(th) Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles marks the first time
in 16 years the games will be on American soil.

As chef de mission, Byrne’s primary responsibility over the next year
and a half will be to provide leadership to the Canadian team attending
this international competition.

“I am both honoured and humbled to be named Chef de Mission for Team
Canada,” said Byrne. “I am stepping into this role following in the
footsteps of many amazing leaders and visionaries that have gone before

“There is an expectation of excellence for our National Team Program and
I see myself providing a strong athlete-centered vision and passion for
our team that will build upon the past and propel us into the future.
We have a responsibility to our athletes to prepare the best team
possible for the world stage and I am so happy to be able to be a part
of that journey,” Byrne noted.

Currently serving as President and CEO of Special Olympics Alberta,
Johnny Byrne comes to Team Canada with a wealth of sport management and
volunteer experience.  His former roles as Team Manager and Mission
Staff for Special Olympics previous World Games have given him the
understanding and knowledge necessary to provide support and leadership
for Team Canada members. In addition to his Special Olympics World
Games experience, Byrne has taken on the Chef de Mission role for a
number of National and Provincial Games, highlighting his familiarity
with the position. Byrne brings with him a passion for, and commitment
to, the National Team Program and Special Olympics Movement.

Hopes are high for the Canadian team. At the recent 2013 Special
Olympics World Winter Games held in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea,
Team Canada brought home an astounding 109 medals. Looking forward to
the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, led by
Johnny Byrne, Team Canada is poised to continue this success.

About Special Olympics Canada

Established in 1969, the Canadian chapter of this international movement
is dedicated to enriching the lives of Canadians with an intellectual
disability through sport. Operating out of sport clubs in all Canadian
provinces and territories, except Nunavut, this grassroots movement
reaches beyond the sphere of sports to empower individuals, change
attitudes and build communities. From two-year-olds to mature adults,
more than 35,880 children, youth and adults with an intellectual
disability are registered in Special Olympics year-round programs
across Canada, and they are supported by more than 16,452 volunteers,
including more than 12,209 trained coaches.

About the National Team Program

Providing athletes, coaches and mission staff a formalized approach to
training and preparation for Special Olympics World Games, the National
Team Program ensures athletes have access to quality training, coaching
and competitive opportunities to reach optimal performance and a
positive experience as a member of the national team.

For more information, visit www.specialolympics.ca or follow us on Facebook and on Twitter (@SpecialOCanada).

SOURCE Special Olympics Canada

Source: PR Newswire