Saanich-based national high performance leader passes away

Vice president Dr. Gord Sleivert of the Canadian Sports Centre Pacific passes away in Montreal

Dr. Gord Sleivert played a pivotal role in establishing the concept of a national sports institute on Vancouver Island.

Dr. Gord Sleivert played a pivotal role in establishing the concept of a national sports institute on Vancouver Island.

Canada’s high-performance athletic community lost a key member on Monday (April 2) with the sudden passing of Dr. Gord Sleivert.

The doctor of physiology was vice president of Canadian Sport Centre Pacific and worked out of its office in the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence in Saanich. Sleivert had been with CSC Pacific since 2003.

He passed on Monday evening while attending meetings in Montreal with Swimming Canada for the 2012 Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Swimming Trials. The cause of death has yet to be released.

“Gord was instrumental in the creation of PISE, the evolution of sport physiology in Canada, and was a mentor and friend to the entire sport community,” said Robert Bettauer CEO of PISE.

Sleivert worked with the Own the Podium program and was in regular contact with high performance directors for Canada’s winter and summer sports.

He impacted a number of sports directly, having worked closely with cycling, triathlon, Rugby Canada, Rowing Canada and Swimming Canada in recent years, as well as with Canada’s freestyle skiiers in the lead up to the Vancouver Olympics.

“Right up until his passing, Gord was doing what he’s always done during his eight years with CSC Pacific – tirelessly supporting athletes and coaches to win more medals for Canada,” said CSC Pacific CEO Wendy Pattenden.

Sleivert is survived by his wife Kari and children Benjamin, 15, Brianne, 15, and Lachlan, 12.

For the past 15 years Sleivert focused on applied exercise and sport physiology, having studied at UVic, the University of Alberta and in Australia. He was the Canadian team exercise physiologist at the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics.