By Duncan Mackay

Dan Thompson head and shouldersJune 4 - Former swimmer Dan Thompson was today named as the new chief executive of Skate Canada. 

The 57-year-old has had a successful marketing career, including in the 1990s working with the Canadian Figure Skating Association to create broadcast sponsorship packages with CTV and help develop the Champions Series of skating, which became the International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, and launched the Champions on Ice tour.

He was recently the President of Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, which is dedicated to helping youngsters participate in sport and recreation.

"I feel fortunate to have been given the opportunity to lead one of Canada's truly great sports," Thompson said.

"It is one of the most professionally managed National Sport Organisations in the country and has an outstanding history of consistently producing world champions and Olympic medallists."

Figure skating is Canada's fourth most successful sport in the Winter Olympics, having provided a total of 22 medals, four of them gold, most recently at Vancouver 2010 when Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the ice dancing.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir Vancouver 2010 2Canada's Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the ice dance gold medal at Vancouver 2010

Thompson, a former butterfly swimmer, won two silver medals at the 1979 Pan American Games in Puerto Rico, in the 100 metres butterfly and 4x100m medley.

He was selected for Canada's team for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow but never competed due to the United States-led boycott over the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan.

"An Olympian himself, Dan understands the requirements of preparing athletes for elite competition," Skate Canada President Benoit Lavoie said.

"Combined with his marketing and management experience, we have a leader who can truly inspire the organization."

Thompson is due to begin his new position on June 17.

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