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News Releases


RBC asks Canadians who they would most like to pass the Olympic Flame to?

Canadian hero, hockey legend and political icon top picks

TORONTO, March 18, 2009 — If given the chance to carry the Olympic Flame, nearly half of Canadians would like to pass the flame to Canadian hero Terry Fox, according to a RBC/Ipsos poll.

As a presenting partner of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, RBC commissioned Ipsos to ask Canadians: "If you had a chance to be an Olympic Torchbearer, which prominent Canadian, living or dead, would you most like to pass the Olympic Flame to?" A list of prominent Canadians was provided to choose from, and respondents were also offered the chance to provide a name not included in the list.

Nearly one-half (44 per cent) of Canadians said that they would most like to pass the Olympic Flame to Terry Fox, the heroic Canadian who inspired the nation through his Marathon of Hope in 1980 to raise funds and awareness for cancer research. Fox topped the list across the country, among all age categories, and for both men and women.

Fourteen per cent of Canadians selected hockey legend Wayne Gretzky as the Canadian they'd most like to pass the Olympic Flame to. Former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau finished third (12 per cent), followed by Celine Dion (seven per cent), Gordie Howe (five percent), Oscar Peterson (three per cent), Nancy Greene (three per cent) and Tommy Douglas (three per cent). Emily Carr, Margaret Atwood, Hayley Wickenheiser, Maurice Richard, Rick Hanson, René Lévesque and Pierre Berton rounded out the top 15.

"It is wonderful to see one of our most dedicated and inspiring heroes at the top of this list," said Gordon M. Nixon, president and CEO, RBC. "The Olympic Torch Relay clearly resonates with Canadians and we hope they take the opportunity to be an Olympic Torchbearer through our contest at rbc.com/carrythetorch."

RBC is awarding more than 2,300 Olympic Torchbearer spots through an online contest. Enter by midnight EDT on April 12 to participate in the first draw for your best chance to be a 2010 Olympic Torchbearer. Enter today at rbc.com/carrythetorch.

The Olympic Flame is lit in a traditional ceremony in Olympia, Greece, and will then be transported to Canada. The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay will begin its cross-Canada journey from Victoria, British Columbia, on October 30, 2009, and will travel from coast to coast to coast through every province and territory - spanning 45,000 kilometres and 1,000 communities over 106 days.

These are the findings of Ipsos Canadian online Omnibus survey conducted between February 12 and February 16, 2009. The results are based on 1,030 online interviews with Canadians, 18 years of age and older. The final data are statistically weighted to reflect the actual age, gender and education of the Canadian population and are balanced by region. With a sample size of 1,030, one can say with 95 per cent certainty that the overall results are within ± 3.1 percentage points of what they would have been had the entire Canadian population been surveyed.

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For more information and to find out when the Olympic Flame comes to your community, contact:

Brian Findlay
Stellick Marketing Communications Inc.
Telephone: (416) 603-9452 ext. 301
Cellular: (416) 802-4062


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03/18/2009 09:23:21