Triathlon Canada’s New High-Performance Director Looks To Heal Wounds

Libby Burrell will look to change a few things after Canada's stars had a disappointing Olympic Games.

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Libby Burrell will look to change a few things after Canada’s stars had a disappointing Olympic Games.

The new high-performance director for Triathlon Canada believes the federation needs “a tweaking” as she takes over an organization scorched by controversy during the London Olympic Games.

“Every single federation out there needs a tweaking after the Olympics,” Libby Burrell said Tuesday in a telephone interview from her home in Whistler, B.C. “We have to look at ourselves in the mirror.

“In many of the big federations all the pieces of the puzzle are in place. The biggest challenge you have is coordinating them and making them work consistently.”

Burrell, a native of South Africa, brings experience as an athlete, coach and administrator. One of her first tasks will be to heal some of the wounds created over comments made by two-time Olympic medallist Simon Whitfield during the Games.

Whitfield publicly criticized the treatment of an injury suffered by teammate Paula Findlay. Findlay, who at one time was considered an Olympic medal contender, spent months dealing with the injury. Prior to the Games she split with her coach and began training with Whitfield and his coach.

At the Games Findlay finished 52nd and gave a tearful apology. An angry Whitfield went public with his concerns.

“I do think the people who have jumped ship on her should be held accountable,” said Whitfield, the Canadian flag-bearer at the Game’s opening ceremony and gold medallist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Whitfield’s dreams of a third Olympic medal ended when he crashed seconds after getting onto this bike during the men’s race.

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