Athletes with Vancouver 2010 dreams inspired by Aspiring Olympians program



    
    16 athletes seek the country's financial support in their quest for the
    podium in 2010
    

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, April 29 /CNW/ - For Canada's young athletes, making it
to the Olympic and Paralympic Games takes heart, skill and determination. It
also takes a lot of support - both financial and emotional - along the way. In
fact, without corporate support many athletes would never see their Olympic
and Paralympic dreams become a reality. That is why General Mills has launched
Aspiring Olympians, a program designed to provide the necessary funding to
some of Canada's finest young athletes to help them reach their goal of
standing on the podium at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games.
    "The financial cost associated with training, qualifying and
participating in the Olympic and Paralympic Games is enormous, and that cost
is enough to prevent some young athletes from achieving their dreams," says
Dale Storey, vice-president of marketing, General Mills Corporation Canada.
"General Mills is excited to launch the Aspiring Olympians program, designed
to give all Canadians the opportunity to channel their dollar donation to
their favourite athlete and show them they are not alone on their journey to
Vancouver 2010."

    Select and Support Your Favourite Athlete

    There are eight commemorative 2010 Winter Games' cereal boxes featuring
Aspiring Olympians currently available for purchase. Unique PIN codes for the
Aspiring Olympians program have been printed inside each of the following
eight General Mills cereals:

    
    -   Apple Cinnamon Cheerios             -   Cinnamon Toast Crunch
    -   Honey Nut Cheerios                  -   Multigrain Cheerios
    -   Cheerios                            -   Golden Grahams
    -   Lucky Charms                        -   Reese Puffs
    

    Canadians can collect and submit PIN codes through
www.everydaycelebrations.ca/aspiringolympians. On this site they also have the
unique opportunity to select which athlete will benefit from their donation.
After selecting their chosen athlete, General Mills will donate one dollar on
their behalf for every PIN code submitted. General Mills has committed to
providing each of the 16 athletes with a minimum of $5,000, but Canadians can
help maximize this amount to $25,000 per athlete. Funds raised go directly to
the athletes, and are used to offset the high costs of training, equipment,
travel and other expenses they incur during their training.

    Canada's Olympic and Paralympic Hopefuls

    "Training for the Olympic Games is a full time job, and without support
from the community, my family and friends, funding an entire season becomes
challenging," says Alexandra Duckworth, Aspiring Olympian from Kingsburg, Nova
Scotia. "I'm grateful for the Aspiring Olympians program because it helps
relieve that stress so I can focus on my training and reach my goal of making
our country proud by standing on the podium in 2010."
    As of Thursday, April 23, the athletes have already received more than
$3,000 in total donations, and with the continued help of Canadians, they will
be that much closer to living the dream of competing in the Vancouver 2010
Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
    Currently, the Aspiring Olympians program sponsors the following 16
athletes:

    
    -   Veronika Bauer - Hometown: Toronto, ON
         Freestyle Skiing: Aerials
    -   Margarita Gorbounova - Hometown: Ottawa, ON
         Biathlon (Paralympic)
    -   Deirdre Dionne - Hometown: Red Deer, AB
         Freestyle Skiing: Aerials
    -   David Nighbor - Hometown: North Bay, ON
         Cross-Country Skiing
    -   Jackie Brown - Hometown: Cambridge, ON
         Freestyle Skiing: Moguls
    -   Jayna Hefford - Hometown: Kingston, ON
         Ice Hockey
    -   Alexandra Duckworth - Hometown: Kingsburg, NS
         Snowboard
    -   Kyle Parrott - Hometown: Minnedosa, MB
         Speed Skating
    -   Lascelles Brown - Hometown: Calgary, AB
         Bobsleigh
    -   Michelle Kelly - Hometown: Fort St. John, BC
         Skeleton
    -   Jeff Foss - Hometown: Edmonton, AB
         Alpine Skiing (Paralympic)
    -   Kim St-Pierre - Hometown: Chateauguay, QC
         Ice Hockey
    -   Patrick Côté - Hometown: Grand-Sault, NB
         Biathlon
    -   Vincent Labrie - Hometown: Lévis, QC
         Speed Skating
    -   Michael Gilday - Hometown: Yellowknife, NWT
         Short Track Speed Skating
    -   Warren Tanner - Hometown: Grimsby, ON
         Freestyle Skiing: Moguls
    

    Additional athletes will be added throughout the year to help support
them in their quest to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Visit the Aspiring Olympians website regularly to view the latest additions.

    About General Mills Canada Corporation

    Established in 1954, General Mills Canada Corporation is based in
Mississauga, Ontario. The company is best known for the many quality brands
enjoyed by Canadian consumers each day. The company's flagship brand is
Cheerios(*). Additional key cereal brands include Honey Nut Cheerios(*), Oatmeal
Crisp(*), and Lucky Charms(*). General Mills also makes Betty Crocker(*), Nature
Valley(*), Pillsbury(*), Green Giant(*), and Old El Paso(*) products. With the primary
focus being Youth, Nutrition and Fitness, General Mills is dedicated to
fostering good nutrition and fitness behaviours amongst young Canadians
through the Champions for Healthy Kids grant program. In other areas, General
Mills has been a long time supporter of organizations such as Active Healthy
Kids Canada, Concerned Children's Advertisers and Hockey Canada. General Mills
is also a partner for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the Canadian
Olympic Team in 2012, proudly supporting all participating Canadian athletes.

    (*)Trademarks/Marques Déposée of/de General Mills or its affiliates

    
    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/
    





For further information:

For further information: Sandra DeCarvalho, Optimum Public Relations,
(416) 306-6792, Sandra.decarvalho@cossette.com

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GENERAL MILLS CANADA, INC.

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