Former Olympian Jeff Powell, announced today as the new general manager of the Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba, knows how far grassroots support can take an athlete.

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This article was published 7/5/2014 (2642 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Former Olympian Jeff Powell, announced today as the new general manager of the Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba, knows how far grassroots support can take an athlete.

It can pave the way to podiums nationally and on the world stage.

The 37-year-old Powell, a Winnipeg native, has been in both places -- needing support and the top of the world.

"Past successes don't guarantee future podium performances for our athletes," said Powell, a two-time world rowing champion (2002, 2003) and competed for Canada at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

He was introduced at a press conference on Wednesday at the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame at Sport Manitoba.

"I've learned a couple of truths about podium performances internationally. The first is that no athlete stands on a podium without a support structure that is also world-class," Powell said. "The second is that the performances we saw at Sochi will not be good enough in 2018 in Korea. It's our job and responsibility to help play a part in elevating those performances going forward."

Powell will lead The CSC Manitoba in its primary role is serving elite athletes in Manitoba to help the reach national international goals.

Sport psychology, nutrition, athletic therapy, counselling and training assistance are among the many services and directional support provided by the CSC Manitoba.

It is based out of the University of Manitoba at this time but it has community partners across the city and province to assist athletes.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca