CALGARY - The science and technology behind Canada's Olympians got a financial re-boot Wednesday with the announcement of extra federal government money.
The Government of Canada is topping up the Innovations For Gold program by $1 million this year and up to $1 million each of the next two.
"Canada is a leading sport nation. We want to keep it that way," said Bal Gosal, Canada's Minister of State for Sport.
"From learning more about how sleep can help an athlete's recovery to working on head-injury prevention screens, this cutting-edge research is going to provide lasting benefits to our athletes."
Own The Podium spent $8 million on 55 winter-sport projects collectively named Top Secret prior to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C.
But the money for giant treadmills, global positioning units, cables to catapult speedskaters and human physiology studies shrunk post-2010 to about $1 million spent annually across summer, winter and Paralympic sports combined.
Canada was falling behind other countries in the sport technology arms race again until Wednesday's announcement.
OTP chief executive officer Anne Merklinger can now work with $6 million over the next three years for Top Secret's successor, Innovations For Gold, as long as her organization raises its half for the feds to match.
"This new funding will enable us to get back on track," she said following a news conference at WinSport in Calgary. "If we are not driving research and innovation in high-performance sport, we are not in the game."
One of the few projects Innovations For Gold could afford after 2010 was the alpine sit-ski for para-alpine athletes.
Canadian Paralympic Committee president Gaetan Tardif watched with trepidation as athletes from other countries crashed all over the mountain during last year's Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.
The warm weather and soft snow made