Thibault to draw on medal winning sport success to reshape program from grassroots to elite level
OTTAWA—Just days away from opening of the 2018 Canada Open, Taekwondo Canada has turned to Guy Thibault to guide its high-performance program from the grassroots to elite level on the road to Tokyo 2020 and beyond.
A confident, passionate and driven leader, Thibault brings more than four decades of experience in high-performance sport where he has been involved in eight Olympic Games in the sport of speedskating while working with four different countries. He will be focused on developing more Canadian taekwondo athletes through the high-performance program with the ultimate goal of winning more international medals for Canada.
“Guy is a decisive and pragmatic leader who has played a key role as a high-performance director, coach and advisor in creating medal winning athletes for multiple nations,” said Carla Anderson, executive director, Taekwondo Canada. “Guy’s credentials speak for themselves. He is a proven performer and will be counted on to develop the strategic program required for our athletes to achieve their performance goals.”
Thibault has been the high-performance director for United States Speedskating beginning in 2006. He was also involved as the head coach of the short track team for the Olympic cycle leading to the 2014 Games in Sochi. He was also a high-performance advisor for the speedskating programs in both Germany and Russia. Thibault is most known for guiding Canada’s short track skaters to medal winning performances at the both the 2006 and 2002 Olympic Winter Games as the head coach.
“I’ve always been a fan of taekwondo and have used it successfully as a training method during my time as a speedskating coach,” said Thibault. “I have dedicated 40 years of my life to speedskating. Making the switch to a totally different sport has crossed my mind many times in the last 10 years. I believe, and hope, my vision outside of the sport will complement the expertise of the high-quality coaching and staff already in place.
“The success of this program will be driven by a team of people working together. I truly believe Taekwondo Canada is putting the key pieces together in an effort to form a great team to support our athletes’ quest for the podium.”
Thibault is determined to deliver a coach-driven, athlete focused program in Canada that is accountable and committed to the pursuit of excellence.
“The keys to success will be simplicity, specificity and surpassing yourself,” added Thibault. “We need to focus on doing the simple things well. Mastering these basics will produce better results in the long run. We need to spend more time on the specific things that are required to be on the podium. And we need to make each session count. Pushing ourselves to be better daily is critical if we truly want to stand on top of the international podium. My goal is to implement these principles into our program while ensuring our daily training environment is fun and constructive.”
Thibault officially begins his new role this week while attending the 2018 Canada Open, which will see Taekwondo Canada hosting more than 800 athletes and 165 coaches/support staff from more than 31 countries at the Richmond Olympic Oval in Richmond, B.C, September 14-16.
Taekwondo Canada is the National Sport Governing Body for Taekwondo in Canada. We are recognized by World Taekwondo, Pan American Taekwondo Union, Sport Canada, Own the Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Canadian Paralympic Committee. Taekwondo Canada sends national teams to the Olympic Games, World Taekwondo Championships, Pan Am Taekwondo Championships, Pan Am Games, World Taekwondo Junior Championships, Poomsae World Championships, Pan Am Poomsae Championships, and is also targeting the 2020 Paralympic Games.
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