'Get Behind our Athletes' at Shopping Centres Across Canada

It’s time to step up and help Canadian Olympic and Paralympic winter athletes own the podium in 2010. The excitement of the Olympic Winter Games has begun, with the Olympic Flame having landed on Canadian soil on October 30th and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay well on its 106-day journey. ‘Get Behind our Athletes’, a national online fundraising campaign raising funds for Canadian Olympic and Paralympic winter athletes, launched February 19th and is now continuing in shopping centres across Canada.

Tapping into the momentum of excitement created through the Torch Relay, a ‘Get Behind our Athletes’ mall display will be appearing at Les Promenades St-Bruno from December 2nd to 7th to coincide with the arrival of the Flame in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville on December 7th. As a bonus, from 12:45-3:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 5th, Canadian Weightlifter Marilou Dozois-Prévost will make an appearance at the display to greet fans. Shoppers at Les Promenades St-Bruno will be invited to sign an interactive greeting card to send well wishes to Canadian athletes as well as make a donation to help support those athletes through the Own the Podium 2010 program.

Laptops will be integrated with the greeting card design for consumers to make online donations, and cash collection boxes and donation cards will also be available, with donations of $1 and above receiving a tax receipt from the Canadian Olympic Foundation.

The display is also themed ‘Paint the Town Red’, an initiative encouraging Canadians to show their support and pride for the Canadian Olympic Team in 2010. The interactive greeting card will travel to shopping centres across Canada, following the Torch Relay where possible, and arrive in Vancouver in time for the start of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. During the Games, athletes will get a chance to view the well wishes of their fellow Canadians.

Time to change Canadian medal history by winning Olympic gold at home

While Canada has enjoyed Olympic and Paralympic successes at Games outside Canada, no Canadian athlete has ever won gold at home – not at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games or at the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games. Canadian Paralympians will be competing in the first Paralympic Winter Games ever hosted in Canada. Own the Podium 2010, a sport technical initiative designed to help Canada be the number one nation at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games in total medal count and to place among the top three nations in gold medal count at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, is helping set the stage for Canadian athletes to make history.

Own the Podium 2010

Own the Podium is a national sport technical program originally designed to help Canada’s winter athletes win the most number of medals at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, and to place in the top-three nations in the gold-medal count at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. In 2006 the program was extended to support the nation’s targeted summer-sport organizations. The goal is for a top-12 placing at the 2012 Olympic Games, and to place in the top-eight nations at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

The primary leaders and funding parties of Own the Podium under its new naming strategy are the Government of Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC). The Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) along with certain of its corporate partners and all of Canada’s provincial and territorial governments are major supporters of the winter program. The government of British Columbia has also contributed to the summer sports program.

For a full summary of Own the Podium initiatives and programs including breakdown of support and services by sport, please visit us at www.ownthepodium.org.

Upcoming stops for the “Get Behind our Athletes” display:

Dec. 9-13: Le Carrefour Laval- Laval, QC

Dec. 16-17: Toronto Eaton Centre- Toronto, ON

Jan. 5-10: Polo Park- Winnipeg, MB

Jan. 13-18: Chinook Centre- Calgary, AB

Jan. 20-24: Market Mall- Calgary, AB

Jan. 28-31: Richmond Centre- Richmond, BC

Feb. 2-4: The Station- Vancouver, BC

Feb. 6-10: Pacific Centre- Vancouver, BC

Feb. 12-Mar. 21: Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games (location TBA)

For additional information, please contact:

Own the Podium 2010 – Chris Dornan (281-703-4394) or Claire Buffone-Blair (403-202-6310)

Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay – Jenee Elborne (604-403-1787)

Paint the Town Red – Kathrin Mertens (416-324-4145) or Isabelle Hodge (416-324-4122)

Canadian Olympic Foundation – (1-888-377-7073)