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Thirty-Seven New Olympic and Paralympic Athletes to Participate in RBC's Olympian Program

TORONTO, November 1, 2011 — Thirty-Seven New Olympic and Paralympic Athletes to Participate in RBC's Olympian Program

The RBC Olympians Program, which began in 2002, is a national initiative providing elite athletes an opportunity to gain career-oriented experience alongside a flexible work schedule, which gives them the time necessary to train and compete. The career skills and experiences gained from working at RBC will benefit these athletes at different stages of their careers.

"Canada is home to some amazing, world-class amateur sport athletes and the RBC Olympians program supports these talented and ambitious young men and women as they pursue their dreams to represent our nation on the world stage," says Canadian Olympic Committee President Marcel Aubut. "This program provides athletes with the time they need to focus on their sport while providing them with career guidance and advice, setting them up for success."

For the first time, RBC will provide each Olympian with a grant that they can give to an organization of their choosing which has had a significant impact on their life. When asked how they would allocate these funds, an overwhelming number of RBC Olympians indicated they would give back to the community groups and athletic associations that helped spark their love of sport and put them on their Olympic path. Details on the grants will be shared in the months leading up to London 2012.

New additions to the 2011/2012 RBC Olympians Program include Clara Hughes, Speed skating, bronze medalist (2010 Olympic Games) and gold and silver medalist (2006 Olympic Games); Marc Kennedy, Curling, gold medalist (2010 Olympic Games); Christine Robinson, Water Polo, silver medalist (2009 World Championships); and Michelle Stilwell, Para-athletics, gold medalist (2011 World Championships).

"Achieving at the Olympic level is not something you can do alone; it takes enormous emotional and financial support from family, friends and the community. It can also be incredibly difficult to balance the need for training with the reality of making a living," said Jayna Hefford, three time Olympic gold medalist, women's ice hockey. "Being an RBC Olympian means that I have the time to focus on my training and gain work experience for my future after sport, while also providing me with the chance to give back to my community."

As Canada's longest standing corporate supporter of the Canadian Olympic Team, RBC has been helping amateur athletes since 1947. Through the RBC Olympians Program, athletes act as community ambassadors across the country, sharing their Olympic and Paralympics Games experiences, as well as current aspirations with schools and community groups, RBC clients and employees. RBC Olympians also help raise awareness and support for amateur sport, inspiring Canadians to be physically fit and participate in sports at all levels.

RBC Olympians for 2011/2012 are:

Atlantic

  • Jillian D'Alessio, Canoe/Kayak
  • Vicky Leblanc, Softball
  • Andrew Russell, Sprint Canoe
  • Ben Russell, Sprint Canoe
  • Brendan Wilton, Sailing, Finn Class

Quebec

  • Benoît Huot, Paralympic Swimming
  • Caroline Ouellette, Ice Hockey
  • Christine Robinson, Water Polo
  • Benoit St-Amand, Sledge Hockey
  • Sandra Sassine, Fencing

Ontario

  • Jennifer Botterill, Ice Hockey
  • Deidra Dionne, Freestyle skiing
  • Perdita Felicien, Athletics
  • Heather Hamilton, Athletics - Pole Vault
  • John Hastings, Kayak
  • Jayna Hefford, Ice Hockey
  • Valerie Hould-Marchand, Synchronized Swimming
  • Clara Hughes, Speed Skating and Cycling
  • Meaghan Mikkelson, Ice Hockey
  • Christian Redmann, Beach Volleyball
  • Kevin Rempel, Sledge Hockey
  • Greg Westlake, Sledge Hockey

Manitoba/Saskatchewan

  • Amy Alsop, Paralympic Goal Ball
  • Jared Funk, Paralympic Rugby
  • Kelsie Hendry, Athletics - Pole Vault
  • Jill Officer, Curling
  • Robbie Weldon, Tandem Cycling, Para-Nordic Skiing

Alberta

  • Viviane Forest, Paralympic Goal Ball, Para-Alpine Skiing
  • Marc Kennedy, Curling
  • Brady Leman, Ski Cross
  • Carla MacLeod, Ice Hockey
  • Bobbi-Jo Slusar, Ice Hockey

British Columbia

  • Scott Dickens, Swimming
  • Scott Frandsen, Rowing
  • Sylvia Kerfoot, Freestyle Skiing
  • Kristi Richards, Freestyle Skiing
  • Michelle Stilwell, Para-Athletics

More information on the RBC Olympians can be found at http://www.rbc.com/sponsorship/olympics/rbc-olympians.html.

RBC and Amateur Sport
As Canada's longest-standing supporter of the Canadian Olympic Team since 1947, RBC proudly continues its sponsorship through to London 2012, Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016. RBC also sponsored the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. Supporting amateur sport, from grassroots programs in local communities to national sport associations, RBC helps in the development of amateur athletes who compete at home and abroad. RBC is also a premier sponsor of Hockey Canada, the Canadian Snowboard Team, the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team, Athletics Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee. Visit www.rbc.com/sponsorship.

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For further information contact:

Jackie Braden, RBC Brand Communications, (416) 974-1724, jackie.braden@rbc.com