After nearly 20 years with Dale Neuburger of the United States as the FINA Vice President representing the Americas, Canada has presented a nominee to take over the rule when Neuburger retires in 2021.
On Friday, Swimming Canada announced that they were supporting Dr. Margo Mountjoy to become the first-ever Canadian to serve as a FINA vice-president.
“I am delighted to support Dr. Mountjoy’s bid to become a Vice-President of FINA. In her 10 years as a FINA Bureau member, she has provided significant contributions to athlete health improvements for all the aquatic sports, including programs for mental health, concussion reduction, learn to swim, and safe water temperature,” said Swimming Canada President Cheryl Gibson in announcing the nomination. “Dr. Mountjoy has represented FINA on many occasions and has done so in an equitable and fair manner. For many years, she was the sole female Bureau member and has worked to promote women in aquatic sports.”
Mountjoy was an artistic (synchronized) swimmer and is a current member of the FINA Bureau. A family physician by trade, she works as a professor in sports medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario; and as the Clinical and Academic Lead of the Health and Performance Centre at the University of Guelph.
She is also a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Health, Medical & Research Committee, and has been a member of the IOC Medical Commission since 2005.
“I would serve in this new role with the same work ethic as well as integrity that I have in all of my roles. I would lead with the best interests of the sport and organization with athletes as the centre of all activities,” says Mountjoy. “I would bring my Canadian values and principles to the governing table with me. I would also bring novel ideas by leveraging my extensive network from other international sport organizations and expertise outside of FINA.”
She’s also served as the team physician for Synchro Cannada since 1987, and she carries specialty focuses in female athlete health, elite child athlete health, prevention of sexual harassment and abuse in sport, and anti-doping practices.
Mountjoy’s bid was also supported by Canada Artistic Swimming.
She ran for the post in 2015 as well, but was defeated by an entrenched Neuburger, whose retirement throws the door wide open for new candidates.
The United States has put forth Janet Evans to replace Dale Neuburger as a member of the FINA Bureau in 2021 and have also presented her as a nominee for treasurer position at FINA. The vice presidents, one for each of 5 FINA-recognized continents, are chosen from among the FINA Bureau.
There are currently no women serving as vice presidents at FINA, and 3 of the 20 current members of the FINA Bureau are women (Mountjoy, 2-time Olympic breaststroke champion Penny Heyns, and 1984 Olympic diving gold medalist Jihong Zhou).