Mr. Speaker, Canada has an exceptional pool of talented young athletes, something we have long known. Our athletes have built a tradition of success in hockey, skiing, skating, curling and other sports. So far this year, Canadian athletes have stood more than 80 times on international podiums in eight different winter sports.
Whether it is our speed skaters, such as Jeremy Wotherspoon, our freestyle skiers, such as Stéphanie St-Pierre, our bobsledders, such as Pierre Lueders and Giulio Zardo, or our junior hockey players, Canadian athletes proudly represent Canada on the international stage, week after week.
Today, I want to congratulate all our athletes, their coaches and the sports organizations for their support in these achievements. With less than six years until the 2010 Olympic and ParaOlympic Games in Vancouver, we can already anticipate the stellar performances of those wearing our colours, with the support of all levels of government and the private sector.