Keynote Speaker for ITU Congress & Federation Forum

by ITU Admin on 08 Nov, 2008 12:01

ITU is pleased to announce Debbie Muir as the keynote speaker for this month’s Federation Forum in Madrid.  She is one of Canada’s most recognized and celebrated coaches and will speak on the first day of the Federation Forum on Thursday November 27. 

Debbie Muir Bio
An international medalist synchronized swimming, Debbie became the head coach of the Canadian National Synchronized Swimming team in 1976.  Just two years later she led her swimmers to two world championships in Berlin, Germany, a first for Canada.  Four years later this remarkable accomplishment was repeated with two gold medals at the world championships in Guayaquil, Ecuador.  In its debut on the Olympic program, Debbie coached her athletes to two Olympic silver medals at the Los Angeles Games in 1984.  Three world championship titles followed in Madrid, Spain two years later.  In 1988, Debbie coached Carolyn Waldo and Michelle Cameron to two Olympic gold medals, securing her position as one of the world’s greatest synchronized swimming coaches. 

For her excellence in leading her athletes to their best possible results, Debbie was named Alberta’s Coach of the Decade.  She was twice honoured by the YWCA as a Woman of Distinction.  In honour of women’s history month, she was recently named by the Coaching Association of Canada as one of the four greatest female coaches of all-time. 

In the 1990s, Debbie began applying her coaching techniques outside of her sport.  She mentored a competitive swimmer to Olympic victory, worked with companies to create world class results, and undertook the challenge of coaching the Australian National Synchronized Swimming team from last place to being competitive in the finals at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. 

In 1995 she was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and into the prestigious International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale in 2007.  She was honoured as one of Alberta’s Top 100 people in sport and recreation as part of the Centennial celebrations in recognition of her outstanding contributions.  Debbie was also named one of the top ten coaches in Canadian history, the only woman to receive this remarkable distinction.

Beyond connecting individuals and teams to their best, Debbie is committed to organizational excellence.  For the past six years she has been an integral part of the sport system, working behind the scenes with Road to Excellence, the Canadian Olympic Committee and Sport Canada to review and evaluate numerous national sport organizations.  Debbie’s strength is in finding ways to create the environment where world class results can happen.  She has led the formal review process for numerous organizations, including Swimming, Cycling, Triathlon and Athletics Canada.

But perhaps her greatest strength remains in connecting individuals to their best as a world class coach.  She shared her experience and expertise across the country and in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games as a Canadian Olympic Committee Mentor Coach, essentially being the coach of the coaches at the Olympic Games.  Debbie Muir’s first book, The Great Traits of Champions, co-authored with Olympic gold medalllist Mark Tewksbury, captures the fundamental traits that have made her one of the world’s coaching greats.

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