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News Releases


Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay to visit 11 communities in 10 days across Canada starting March 3, 2010

Coca-Cola, RBC, Province of BC join Government of Canada in support of relay

Vancouver, BC, November 5, 2009 — Nine more Canadian communities will celebrate the endless possibilities of the human spirit and the awe-inspiring stories of Paralympic athletes when they welcome the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay, starting on March 3, 2010 in the nation’s capital.

The relay, which heralds the opening of the first Paralympic Winter Games in Canada, will visit 11 communities in 10 days and culminate in the lighting of the Paralympic Cauldron at BC Place in downtown Vancouver on March 12, 2010, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) announced today.

The community celebration sites are: Ottawa, ON (March 3), Quebec City (March 4) and an as yet unnamed community in Central Canada (March 5), as well as Victoria (March 6), Esquimalt and Squamish (March 7), Whistler (March 8), Lytton and Hope (March 9), Maple Ridge (March 10), and Vancouver (March 11 and 12) in British Columbia.

“These 11 communities are sparks across this great land that shed light on and honour the remarkable athletic achievements of Paralympians and their triumphs over adversity,” said John Furlong, VANOC’s Chief Executive Officer. “As the Paralympic Flame approaches Vancouver, this light will only grow stronger as Canadians and people around the world join together with us in a celebration of what is possible if you dare to dream.”

“We encourage all Canadians,” he continued, “to come out to see the Paralympic Flame when it visits a community near you.”

VANOC is also pleased to announce today that the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay will be presented by Coca-Cola and RBC and supported by the Province of British Columbia. All three today are joining the Government of Canada as partners of the historic relay. Coca-Cola also announced today that it is signing on as an official partner of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.

“Coca-Cola is proud to have been a Paralympic Games partner since Barcelona in 1992,” said Nicola Kettlitz, general manager, Coca-Cola Olympic Project Team. “We are delighted to announce Coca-Cola will be a partner of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay.”

“RBC is honoured to support the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay as Canada prepares to welcome the world’s best winter Paralympians for the first time,” said Jim Little, chief brand and communications officer, RBC. “Paralympic athletes represent the height of human achievement — they persevere when the odds are against them and we’re proud to support their success.”

An estimated 600 torchbearers will carry the flame in the curved steel blue torch designed and manufactured by Bombardier during the relay, which will start at the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, ON. A special Aboriginal-themed lighting ceremony with a uniquely Canadian flair will spark the Paralympic Flame, which has no ancestral home. Each of the 10 provinces and three territories will each name a torchbearer to participate in this ceremony on the historic front lawns of Parliament.

“As Canada prepares to host its first Paralympic Winter Games, our Government is proud to be a partner in this incredible journey,” said Minister of State Gary Lunn. “On its 10-day journey, the Paralympic Flame will reach out to Canadians and invite them to celebrate our Paralympians and their achievements, as well as build excitement for its arrival at BC Place in Vancouver for the opening of the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.”

“As the provincial host of the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, British Columbia wants to welcome all Canadians to join us in the celebration and ensure they have a chance to be inspired and play a role in these historic Games,” said Mary McNeil, Minister of State for the Olympics and ActNow BC.

In March 2010, approximately 1,000 athletes and officials from more than 40 countries will take part in five sports (alpine and cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey, wheelchair curling and biathlon) at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler. The big international sporting event comes just 12 days after the region hosts the Olympic Winter Games.

Tickets for all Paralympic events, including the magical Opening Ceremonies, will go back on sale this Saturday, November 7 at www.vancouver2010.com, as part of Phase 3 of ticket sales for the Games.

For more information on the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay, visit www.vancouver2010.com/torchrelay.

VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Please visit www.vancouver2010.com for more information.

About the Government of Canada
The Government of Canada is proud to make 2010 a celebration for all Canadians. Through strategic investments in programming and funding, the spirit and excitement will be felt far and wide and leave lasting legacies for future generations. Through the Olympic Torch Relay and Paralympic Torch Relay, the Government of Canada is supporting citizen and community participation, as well as the inclusion of Aboriginal, ethnocultural and official language communities. For more information on the Government of Canada’s contribution to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, visit www.Canada2010.gc.ca.

About Coca-Cola and the Olympic and Paralympic Movements
The Coca-Cola Company has been associated with the Olympic Games since 1928 and is the longest continuous corporate supporter of the Olympic Movement. Through the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Coca-Cola encourages people to create their own path of “positivity” in everyday life by believing that anything is possible. The Coca-Cola Company is the exclusive non-alcoholic beverage provider to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. For more information about Coca-Cola Canada, please visit our website at www.cocacola.ca or our parent company’s website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.

About RBC
As part of our commitment to help create a better Canada, RBC sponsors amateur sport, from grassroots programs in local communities to national sport associations that support the development of amateur athletes who compete at home and abroad. As a long standing supporter of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Teams, RBC continues its sponsorship through the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and is proud to help showcase Olympic and Paralympic sport as presenting partner of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays. 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.

About the Government of British Columbia
The Government of British Columbia is the proud Host Province for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The Paralympic Torch Relay represents a significant opportunity to create understanding and awareness about people with disabilities and the Paralympic Movement. Through the Paralympic Torch Relay, the Government of British Columbia is promoting healthy communities, healthy lifestyles and individual excellence. For more information on British Columbia’s contribution to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, visit www.gov.bc.ca/themes/2010olympics.

- 2010 -

Media Contacts:

Jenée Elborne
VANOC Communications

Kirsten Mihailides
Manager Public Affairs and Communications
Coca-Cola’s Vancouver 2010 Olympic Project Team

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

Matthew Gierasimczuk
Manager, Media Relations

Greg Dickson
Media Relations, Province of BC


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11/06/2009 12:02:17