Dean Crawford Named Swimming Canada President as Cheryl Gibson Takes FINA Bureau Spot

Photo Courtesy: Vaughn Ridley/Swimming Canada

With the elevation of Cheryl Gibson to the FINA Bureau, Dean Crawford has been named president of Swimming Canada’s Board of Directors.

Gibson stepped down Saturday to assume a new role on the FINA Bureau, representing Aquatics Canada. She served on the Swimming Canada board from 1983-94 and from 2012-21, taking over as president in 2015. She’s a Canadian Olympic Hall of Famer and lawyer whose roles include Governor of the Canadian Tax Foundation and committee member for the World Anti-Doping Agency.

“I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in aquatic sports at every level, and I’ve appreciated every moment of it. I’m especially proud of the work we have done as a board,” Gibson said in an outgoing statement. “I’m looking forward to taking on this next challenge in international aquatics and helping to make our sports even better. Dean has vast experience in sport and has made many meaningful contributions over the years as vice-president of Swimming Canada. I know the board will be in good hands with Dean.”

“Cheryl has been not only an Olympic medallist but – just as important – a lifetime volunteer to the sport of swimming,” Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi said. “She has given thousands of hours of her life to help make the sport better domestically and globally, and she’s not stopping yet. Personally, she has been a tremendous mentor and friend. Under her years of leadership, Swimming Canada has grown exponentially, including weathering the storm of COVID-19 this past year-plus. Cheryl has always gone above and beyond to help lead the goals of the organization.”

Dean Crawford is also a Canadian Olympic Hall of Famer, having taken gold in the 1984 Olympics in the men’s eights rowing crew. He’s an IT professional who has worked in higher education and has served on the board of Swim BC from 2005-13. He’s been on Swimming Canada’s board since 2013, serving for six years as a vice present and seven years as the chair of the Policy and Governance Committee.

“I have a unique perspective in that I’ve been a club president and a provincial section president. Serving as president of Swim BC shaped a lot of decisions I’ve made on the Swimming Canada board. I definitely want to see more involvement from the broader community,” Crawford said. “The provincial sections are our members, the clubs are the members of the provincial sections, and the athletes are the members of the clubs. Although we touch them all, there’s a hierarchy that has to be considered when we’re making decisions.”

A graduate of the University of Victoria, Crawford began his involvement with aquatics via his eldest daughter, Nicole, as a timer at her meets.

Mark C. Lyne has been promoted to take Crawford’s vacant role as vice president.