Fans falling in love with Olympic heroes well before Vancouver 2010

Names of the Games

The name of the Games at Vancouver 2010 might just be Patrick Chan’s.

The 18-year-old Toronto native and 2009 world figure skating silver medallist will be a strong podium contender at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and fans across the country have taken notice of the rising star.

Chan, a two-time Canadian champion, is part of an all-encompassing athlete promotional campaign by Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium to build profile and make athletes household names well in advance of Vancouver 2010.

The creative campaign BELIEVE, Get To Know Your Canadian Athletes vignettes, weekly news features Road to Vancouver, weekly Olympic-themed magazine show Vers Vancouver 2010 and Olympic Alert World Cup highlights all help deliver athletes’ awe-inspiring stories while simultaneously building an emotional connection with fans.

The list of athletes featured in the BELIEVE campaign reads like veritable who’s who of high performance Canadian talent. Voiced by legendary Canadian Donald Sutherland, the BELIEVE promotional spots include Chan, skeleton racer Mellisa Hollingsworth, hockey player Gillian Apps, and freestyle skiers Steve Omischl and Chris Del Bosco.

Through BELIEVE, viewers have learned that Chan is a high school student who trains seven days a week, working tirelessly towards his goal of winning gold at Vancouver 2010. He believes standing atop the podium at the Games is something he was born to do.

Canadians have also met Hollingsworth, a 2006 Olympic bronze medallist who reveals through BELIEVE that the time for Canada to win gold on home soil is quickly approaching.

Apps’s BELIEVE story focuses on her family’s hockey legacy. The 2006 Olympic champion is the granddaughter of Hockey Hall of Famer Syl Apps and Vancouver 2010 could be her family’s crowning achievement.

Meanwhile freestyle skiers Steve Omischl and Chris Del Bosco share their uniquely different journeys to Vancouver 2010 through the BELIEVE campaign. Omischl discloses that after conquering the world championships and World Cup, he’s now ready to secure gold at the 2010 Winter Games, while Del Bosco explains how a turbulent past and battle with substance abuse makes his journey to Vancouver 2010 a story of redemption.

BELIEVE is just one phase in the Consortium’s promotional efforts that focus on the athletes and their high hopes for Vancouver 2010.

Get to Know Your Canadian Athletes provides an up-close and personal look at the Olympians as they share their stories like never before. Chan and several other Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes star in this unique vignette series airing nationally in English and French.

Chan admits he’s shy around girls but tries nonetheless to make eye contact with the good-looking ladies in the audience during his performances. Skeleton racer Jon Montgomery, who works part-time as an auctioneer, describes his sport as “a cafeteria tray on rails going down a frozen toilet chute”. Cross-county skier Chandra Crawford considers herself a disco dancing queen and carries a ‘stereo purse’ as she dances down the street while listening to tunes on her iPod.

As Canadians continue to embrace Chan and other Olympic athletes, it is becoming abundantly clear that the names of the Games at Vancouver 2010 will be those proudly wearing the maple leaf.