Two Accomplished Olympians Alex Gough and Kim McRae Take Top Positions on Luge Canada’s Board of Directors
CALGARY—Two of Canada’s most accomplished Olympic luge athletes, Alex Gough and Kim McRae, will take on key positions on Luge Canada’s Board of Directors to help shape a promising future for a new generation of young sliders.
In addition to taking on the vice-president of sport role on the Board for the next two years, Gough – who is two-time Olympic medallist – was appointed by the Board to take on the role of president for the next year. The president position was vacant after Steve Harris stepped down prior to the organization’s Annual General Meeting last week.
Harris gave 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.
“With Steve stepping away to fill in for Sam, I felt it was important to have someone who was familiar with the current National Team, as well as the goals and priorities for the program, to take on the role of president,” said Gough. “We have an amazing group of people serving on our Board, all who bring a variety of valuable skillsets that are needed to further our organization’s goals, but I felt that given my experience as an athlete, having been on the Board and my familiarity with the sport system in Canada that I was most qualified to take on the role from within our current Board.”
Compassionate, selfless, willing to challenge obstacles while exuding a passion for sport, fair play and a commitment to excellence, Gough has the experience of bringing credibility to her sport in Canada. The Queen of Canadian luge retired in 2018 after competing in four Olympic Games. A trailblazer for her sport in Canada, Gough’s remarkable track to the international podium began in 2010 when she claimed the bronze medal at a World Cup race in Winterberg, Germany.
She became the first Canuck to win a World Cup race in 2011 when she accomplished the feat in Paramonovo, Russia. Her victory ended the Germans’ 105 consecutive race-winning streak on the World Cup. Gough added two more golden chapters in her story – becoming the first Canadian to win a luge race on home ice – Calgary 2012 and in Whistler in 2016. She is also the first Canadian to win two World Championship bronze medals in the sport. (2011 Cesana, Italy; and 2013 Whistler, B.C.).
Her impressive resume includes 27 individual and 16 team relay World Cup medals, the two individual and four team relay World Championship medals, in addition to her two Olympic medals. The story of her Olympic achievement was even greater following two heartbreaking fourth place finishes at the Sochi Games in 2014.
Now a Calgary-based engineer, Gough has been the voice of the athlete community on Luge Canada’s Board of Directors since 2016.
“This will definitely be a learning experience for me, but I am excited to take on the challenge and thankfully I will have lots of knowledgeable people to lean on to help me find my footing in this role,” added Gough. “It's a big year with the Olympics coming up in February and I am looking forward to doing what I can to give back to the sport of Luge.”
Gough will take comfort in having her Olympic teammate and the second most-accomplished female luge athlete joining the Board of Directors. Calgary’s Kim McRae will take on the role of athlete representative on the Board.
“I am incredibly grateful to be on Luge Canada’s Board of Directors. After spending 16 years in the Canadian luge community and knowing all that it gave me, I hope to give back and support this new generation of athletes as much as I can,” said McRae, who officially retired two years ago to focus on completing her nursing studies.
A fifth-place finisher at both the 2014 and 2018 Olympic Games, McRae came back from 10th-place after her first run at the 2017 World Championships to land on the podium and win the bronze medal. One of the most respected athletes in the Canadian program and international luge circuit, McRae won three individual World Cup medals and one team relay victory throughout her career.
Another Olympic luge athlete from the 1988 Games, Chris Wightman, returns for another two-year term as a Board Member at Large, along with Sally Bennett (Whistler, B.C.). Ron Stitt(Calgary) was re-elected for a two-year term as Treasurer. Marylene Vestergom and Max Dawson, both of Toronto will serve one-year terms. Vestergom and Dawson, both bring strong business acumen and corporate network to the Board in an effort to generate additional revenue opportunities.
Zan Aycock (Calgary) continues in her position as Secretary. Calgary-based lawyer, Peter Major; former Canadian luge athlete and business leader, Brian Onushko, of Nanoose Bay, B.C., round out the 10-member Board of Directors.
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.