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Luge Canada President Steve Harris Steps Down from Board of Directors to Support Staff in Guiding High Performance Prog

Olympic medallist, Sam Edney, to take one-year parental leave from high-performance manager position to support family

CALGARY—Steve Harris has given up the final year of his presidency on the Board of Directors to guide Luge Canada’s high-performance program while Sam Edney takes a one-year parental leave beginning September 1.

Harris, who was elected president of Luge Canada in 2015, will take over high-performance manager duties during Edney’s one-year absence from the sport to support his family as he and his wife Elyce will welcome their second child this fall.

The timing of the opportunity for Harris to fill the one-year vacancy is ideal. The Calgary-based Detective will retire in August from 25 years of services with the Calgary Police Service.  

“Supporting the needs of all of our employees and members in Luge Canada is, and always will be, our number one priority so we are committed to supporting Sam in his desire to be there for his family,” said Tim Farstad, executive director, Luge Canada.

“Steve has been involved in all aspects of our sport over the last 35 years and has been very engaged while serving as president these past six years. This move helps us ensure continuity in our program, which is vital during this critical Olympic year ahead of us, while also supporting the important balance required for Sam during his time away.”

Harris is a former luge athlete, national team coach and technical official. Prior to taking over as president of the organization, he worked closely with the high-performance program as vice-president of sport on the Board of Directors from 2006-2010.

“With my education in Kinesiology along with my desire to return to a full-time career in sport, it was always my plan to retire after 25 incredible years working with the Calgary Police to pursue a new career somewhere within Canada’s sport system,” said Harris.

“The stars aligned, and that opportunity was right here in the community I’m most passionate about at Luge Canada. I am delighted to step in and fill this important gap while also supporting Sam. It is a great fit for me personally, and I’m anxious to start this exciting, new chapter in my life.”

Edney took on the role of high-performance manager in 2019 on the heels of retiring from the sport of luge that culminated with winning a silver medal at the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang. Over the last two years, Edney – who is relentless in his commitment to excellence and fair play in sport – has led the development of Canada’s next generation of luge athletes who share similar Olympic goals.

“This was obviously a really tough decision for our family, but one that I am very excited about,” said Edney. “After our first child Quin was born, I knew I wanted to take a year of paternal leave to support Elyce wanting to get back to work quicker after we welcome a second baby to our family. Ideally the baby would have come just after Beijing, but you can’t always time something like this perfectly. I know the program is in good hands with Steve, and I look forward to following the continued progress of our athletes as they realize their own Olympic dreams in 2022.”

Edney will coordinate the transition with Steve Harris and Tim Farstad in August to ensure minimal disruption for participating athletes and staff.

Luge Canada will hold its Annual General Meeting on June 26 where the Board will decide on managing presidential responsibilities over the next year.  

The Canadian Luge Association is a not-for-profit organization responsible for governing the sport of luge across the country. With the financial backing of from the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the Canadian Luge Association safely recruits and develops the nation’s current and future high-performance luge athletes with the goal of regularly climbing onto the international podium. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca on the Internet.