Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Swimming Canada Exec Hahto Named Director of Summer Sport for Own the Podium: Hahto Named OTP's Director of Summer Sport

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Swimming Canada Exec Hahto Named Director of Summer Sport for Own the Podium: Hahto Named OTP's Director of Summer Sport

Article excerpt

OTTAWA - It will be a busy spring for Own the Podium's new director of summer sport.

Mark Hahto has just three months to get up to speed on his new position before the start of the London Olympics. Hahto, who spent the last five years as Swimming Canada's chief operating officer, was named to the position Monday by OTP.

"I think that my learning curve and the amount of research that I've got to do in the next little while is going to be really quite high but I'm ecstatic about the opportunity," Hahto said in an interview.

Hahto, who begins his new position June 1, will fill a vacancy that was created last January when Anne Merklinger was named OTP's chief executive officer.

He plans to immerse himself in the summer high-performance culture while working with OTP advisers, technical specialists, Sport Canada and national sport governing bodies. While plans for London are essentially already in place, Hahto will soak up everything he can this year with an eye to the 2016 Games in Rio.

"I'm really trying to develop some great relations and trust amongst the various sports so that when we actually leave London, we're actually leaving running and we know exactly what we need to do," Hahto said. "I think that if I can accelerate that process, it's only going to lead us to better performances by the time we get to Rio."

Hahto will also bring funding recommendations to the senior management team, lead annual reviews, and develop new policies and programs designed to achieve excellence at the Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games.

Before joining Swimming Canada, he served as executive director of Swim B.C. after spending over 20 years in a variety of coaching roles with swimmers from across the country.

"Mark is an exceptional talent whose background in working with elite athletes, business acumen and strategic leadership skills bring immense value to Own the Podium as we continue to deliver the resources Canadian athletes need to excel against the world's best," Merklinger said in a release. …

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