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Canadian Athletes Pay It Forward Through The RBC Olympian Grant Program

TORONTO, June 14, 2012 - For the first time in its storied history of Canadian Olympic Team support, RBC is offering its 37 Olympic and Paralympic athletes the opportunity to give back to their communities through the organizations and people who have impacted their lives.

The RBC Olympian Grant Program provides athletes with a $5,000 grant to give to an athletic association, community group or charity that has fostered their love of sport, helped them realize their Olympic/Paralympic aspirations, or has touched their lives. Athletes will present their grants to the recipient groups and organizations in their communities leading up to and following the 2012 London Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"My path to the Olympic Games was not a solo journey. It involved the support and guidance of many to help me realize and pursue my dreams," says Sandra Sassine, RBC Olympian and 2012 Canadian Fencing Champion, who presented a $5,000 grant to Service et Loisirs/Rencontre Jeunesse Nord-du-Québec to help fund youth games in Chibougamau, QC. "I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to thank and recognize those who helped set me up for success and give the next generation of young athletes the chance to do the same."

Other examples of recent RBC Olympian grant announcements include Olympian Brady Leman (Ski Cross) who donated his $5,000 RBC grant to the Calgary Alpine Racing Club, and Paralympian Amy Alsop (Goal ball), who presented her RBC grant to the Insight 2012 Child and Youth program in Saskatchewan in support of services for students with visual impairments.

"Our Olympic and Paralympic athletes are proof that the power of sport can inspire youth and bring Canadians together," says Andrew Shibata, head, Brand Marketing, RBC. "The RBC Olympian Grant Program is a unique initiative that demonstrates our commitment to our athletes by giving them the chance to personally acknowledge those who helped them become national role models."

As Canada's longest standing corporate supporter of the Canadian Olympic Team, RBC has been helping amateur athletes since 1947. Through the RBC Olympian program, athletes act as community ambassadors across the country by sharing their Olympic and Paralympic Games experiences and future aspirations with schools, community groups, RBC clients and employees.

To recognize that every Olympic and Paralympic athlete is the pride of their hometown, RBC will be launching a national campaign to connect Canadians with their hometown champions who will be competing in London this summer. RBC will encourage Canadians to participate in a cross-country initiative that will allow them to show their support for our athletes as they make their way to London and then celebrate their achievements when they return home from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Full details about the campaign will be announced shortly.

More information on the RBC Olympians can be found at: rbc.com/community-sustainability/community/olympic-sponsors/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.

For more information, please contact:

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