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Calgary businessman Kien Tran named Bobsleigh Skeleton Canada CEO

Calgary businessman Kien Tran, shown in a handout photo, has been named chief executive officer of Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton and will lead the search for a new high-performance director. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton **MANDATORY CREDIT**

Calgary businessman Kien Tran has been named chief executive officer of Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton and will lead the search for a new high-performance director.

The organization announced Tran's appointment in a release Thursday and said he has more than 20 years of experience in investment banking and capital markets in Calgary and New York.

Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton said Tran's immediate priority will be to hire a replacement for former high-performance director Chris Le Bihan, who parted ways with the organization in February. The new director is expected to be hired in May.

Tran takes over from Patrick Jarvis, who was appointed to the position on interim basis in March 2023 after former president and acting CEO Sarah Storey announced last year she would not seek a third term amid calls for her resignation.

More than 70 athletes demanded the resignation of Storey and Le Bihan amid what they've called a toxic environment of maltreatment within the organization.

Tara McNeil, a Calgary sports physiologist, who had the support of a group of current and retired athletes, succeeded Storey as president. Bobsleigh Skeleton Canada also elected a new slate to its board of directors at the start of the year.

Tran was most recently president of the Calgary Blizzard soccer club, where he led the team through the COVID-19 pandemic and secured funding for the construction of the Shouldice Dome facility.

"Kien is a dynamic and passionate leader who brings the energy, drive and skill set required to lead our organization into a promising new future," McNeil said in a release. "He stands out on the basis of his leadership qualities and business acumen while also having a profound understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing a non-profit sport organization."

Canada had a mixed sliding season in 2023-24. Canadian bobsledders were held to just one bronze medal on the 2023-24 World Cup circuit and did not reach the podium at the 2024 world championships. 

But there was more success in skeleton under new coaches Joe Cecchini, Kevin Boyer and Micaela Widmer. Hallie Clarke became the youngest-ever female world champion at 19 and veteran Mirela Rahneva won a World Cup event. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2024.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Joe Cecchini, Kevin Boyer and Micaela Widmer were coaches for all of Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton athletes. In fact, they coach just the skeleton athletes.

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