Swimmer Claire Carver-Dias, sprinter Sam Effah to lead Canada at Commonwealth Games

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Sam Effah, seen above in 2012, joined swimmer Claire Carver-Dias as co-chefs de mission for Canada for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Sam Effah, seen above in 2012, joined swimmer Claire Carver-Dias as co-chefs de mission for Canada for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Sprinter Sam Effah is joining swimmer Claire Carver-Dias as co-chef de missions for Canada at this summer's Commonwealth Games.

Effah replaces Paralympic and Commonwealth champion swimmer Benoit Huot, who recently announced he was stepping back from the role as he and his wife expect their second child.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games are scheduled for July 28-Aug. 8 in Birmingham, England.

Effah, of Calgary, is a two-time Canadian champion in the 100 metres who competed at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and 2018. The 33-year-old said it was a "major honour" to join Carver-Dias as chefs de mission.

"Being a co-chef means elevating these stories of triumph, resilience and victory from the Games, back to communities in Canada that need to celebrate them," Effah said in a release. "Our athletes and Para athletes put in extraordinary efforts to be on the podium, and I want to highlight these feats, while inspiring young and upcoming future Commonwealth Champions who may be watching."

Back in familiar role

The 44-year-old Carver-Dias is an Olympic bronze medallist and two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist in artistic swimming. The Oakville, Ont., native, who is the former president of AthletesCAN, also served as chef de mission in 2018.

She said her position for the upcoming Games is a good opportunity to merge her passion for sports with athlete advocacy.

"This opportunity will allow me to take all that I know about the role, bring stability and continuity and then optimize my influence through this second chance... an opportunity that few receive."

Due to challenges caused by the pandemic, teams in Birmingham will be spread out across three athletes' villages and two more satellite areas. Boasting two chefs de mission, Team Canada executive director Scott Stevenson said senior leaders will be present at all primary villages.

"As Claire was the chef de mission for the 2018 Games, we knew that she could draw on her experience and provide continuity from 2018 until now," Stevenson said.

"As a leader within Athletics in Canada and a proud Commonwealth Games alumnus, Sam will bring a wealth of relative Games experience and the high-performance perspective to effectively voice the needs of our athletes."

The task for Effah and Carver-Dias in England will be to foster an environment that allows Canadian athletes to succeed on the field of play.

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