Canada's “Clean Air Champions” win the 2013 International Olympic Committee's Sport and Environment Award

Charity led by various Canadian Olympians becomes first Canadian recipient of coveted IOC award

SOCHI – Yesterday, Canada’s Clean Air Champions (CAC) were awarded the 2013 International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Sport and Environment Award at the IOC World Conference on Sport and the Environment. This win makes CAC the first Canadian charity to win the esteemed international award, granted to individuals, groups and organizations that have shown initiative and taken action to drive environmental change within their communities.

“Congratulations to Clean Air Champions on this outstanding international achievement. This news is yet another example of why Canada’s Olympians are some of our country’s greatest role models,” said Marcel Aubut, Canadian Olympic Committee President. “The work our athletes are doing across our country to improve the health and well-being of our citizens and the environment is something truly significant. Today, Canada stands atop of the podium once again and the entire CAC organization is to be commended for all of their efforts.”

The Canadian Olympic Committee formally nominated CAC for the international award earlier this year due to the organization’s tremendous reach across the country. There are and continue to be many Canadian Olympians included in the organization’s efforts to influence and bring about positive change in Canada.

“I’m so proud of the work I have done with this wonderful organization. As Champions, our goal is to have our audiences understand how individual, day-to-day lifestyle choices impact not only our health and fitness but that of our environment,” said Hayley Wickenheiser, five-time Olympian and four-time Olympic medallist. “This personal sharing allows us to use our athletic achievements and sport to inspire and motivate kids and adults to participate in activities that are healthy, positive and good for the environment.”

Founded in 2001, CAC develops and implements curriculum-connected programs in the areas of sustainability and health. Their mandate is to educate Canadians on the importance of ecosystem health (air, water quality, climate change) and its interconnections to health. 

"We are humbled and grateful to be honoured by the International Olympic Committee with this award,” said Deirdre Laframboise, Co-founder and Executive Director of Clean Air Champions. “For more than 13 years, our team has worked diligently to build a national charity that engages our incredible Canadian high performance athletes as educators and role models, especially for youth. Our goal is to inspire Canadians to live more sustainable, active and healthier lifestyles.”

“This award is a wonderful recognition of all the hard work our team and all our Champions have accomplished to improve our environment and the wellbeing of Canadians,” added Laframboise.

Since 2009, this distinction has been awarded to various projects and organizations around the world. Previous winners include: Cape Town, Host City of the 2010 FIFA World Cup; Japan Swimming Federation; the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark; and the Green Africa Foundation.

About Clean Air Champions:

Clean Air Champions (CAC) is a national charity, based in Ottawa, Ontario committed to educating Canadians on the importance of ecosystem health and its interconnections to health and well being. Since 2001, work has been done with respected, high-performance athletes to educate and inspire citizens to adopt more sustainable, active and healthier lifestyles. For more information, please visit the Clean Air Champions page.   

Please click here to view the release on the Canadian Olympic Team website.