Coca-Cola Canada and RBC join VANOC in sharing the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay with communities Canada-wide



    HALIFAX, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - Today in Halifax, the Vancouver Organizing
Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) announced
that Coca-Cola Canada and RBC will join VANOC as the exclusive Presenting
Partners of the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. VANOC also unveiled the 2010 Olympic
Torch Relay Emblem that will become iconic in the lead-up and operation of the
cross-Canada event preceding the 2010 Winter Games.
    Next to the Olympic Rings themselves, the Olympic Flame is the most
universally recognized symbol of the Games. For the public, the Torch Relay is
often the first and most tangible evidence of the arrival of the Olympic
Games.
    "The vision of the 2010 Games is to encourage Canadians to 'Celebrate the
Possible'. This principle is embedded in the very essence of the Torch Relay
and the tremendous opportunity it presents to unify and inspire people across
the country and around the world," said John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer
of VANOC. "We will see over 100 days of light shining on the people and places
that define our national character while inspiring Canadians to be the best
they can be."
    "Coca-Cola and RBC represent the importance of partnerships to the
success of the 2010 Winter Games. Their exceptional commitment will help us to
ensure that every Canadian has the opportunity to be touched by the spirit of
the Olympic Flame and make a very personal connection to our Games," he
continued.
    As Presenting Partners of the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, Coca-Cola Canada
and RBC receive exclusive marketing rights and an agreed upon number of
torchbearer slots to be allocated through a public process designed in
collaboration with VANOC. They will also work in collaboration with VANOC on
the overall development of the Olympic Torch Relay.
    "Our Olympic legacy will focus on inspiring Canadians to make a lifelong
commitment to active living, environmental conservation and bringing the
Olympic values to life in communities across the country," said Vince Timpano,
President, Coca-Cola Canada.
    "From town to town, the Olympic Torch Relay will connect all Canadians to
Vancouver 2010 and what it stands for," said Gordon M. Nixon, RBC President
and CEO. "RBC is honoured to help bring millions of Canadians and their
communities a chance to participate in the celebration and excitement of the
Games through the Olympic Torch Relay."
    As reported in the VANOC business plan (May 8, 2007) the cost of the
Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays is approximately $31 million CDN, the
majority of which is expected to be funded through a number of corporate
sponsors in addition to the two exclusive Presenting Partners being announced
today.

    The Official Emblem of the Olympic Torch Relay

    Called "A Path of Northern Lights", the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch
Relay Emblem incorporates a stylized flame atop a band of white representing
both the torch and the path it will take across the country. On either side of
the band are ribbons of blue and green drawn from the unique Vancouver 2010
colour palette reflecting the landscape of the host region.
    Contained within a stone shape that mirrors the elements of the 2010
Olympic Games Emblem - the inukshuk - the bilingual emblem also incorporates
the Vancouver 2010 wordmark and the Olympic Rings. The emblem will appear in
conjunction with the Presenting Partners' logos, except on the Olympic Torch
and on the Olympic Torchbearer uniforms.
    "The emblem embodies the Torch Relay as it moves across Canada and
ignites the fire of the Olympic spirit within the people and communities that
it touches. As the torch makes its way through this country, sparks of pride
will turn into flames. As one holds the Olympic Torch they will literally hold
the beauty of the Olympic Games in their hands," said Furlong.

    About the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay

    The Olympic Flame will travel 35,000 kilometres over approximately 100
days and visit every province and territory in Canada. The flame will be
carried on its remarkable journey by some 12,000 torchbearers. Up to 120
people will have the opportunity to carry the flame each day, selected through
a public process to be shared with Canadians in November 2008.
    The 2010 Olympic Torch Relay will be highlighted by hundreds of community
celebrations and will leave an enduring legacy that will continue well after
the flame is extinguished in 2010.
    "When the Olympic Flame arrives on the shore of a host nation, what was
once just an abstract idea becomes very real. There is a surge of emotion that
is genuine and undeniable when one is in the immediate presence of the flame.
It is the inspiring power of this moment that we want to capture and share
with Canadians from coast to coast to coast and with the world," said Furlong.
    Today's event builds excitement for major Torch Relay announcements
planned for fall 2008, including the launch of the relay route, the unveiling
of the 2010 Olympic Torch design, the official torchbearer uniform and
information on the torchbearer application process.
    Those interested in news and updates on the Olympic Torch Relay can sign
up at www.vancouver2010.com to receive this and other 2010 Winter
Games-related information.
    For comments from Vancouver 2010 Government and Four Host First Nations
Partners see below.
    A high-resolution version of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay
Emblem is available at ftp://2010ftp.vancouver2010.com. The username is
MediaVenueDay, the password is thesc00p and the folder is Media Venue Day.

    Coca-Cola and the Olympic Movement

    The Coca-Cola Company has been associated with the Olympic Games since
1928 - almost 80 years - and is the longest continuous corporate supporter of
the Olympic Movement. The company's sponsorship supports National Olympic
Committees in more than 200 countries to help athletes train and compete.
Products of the Coca-Cola Company refresh athletes, volunteers, officials and
spectators during the Olympic Games. Supporting programs such as the Olympic
Torch Relay allow the Coca-Cola Company to help share the Olympic spirit
around the world. The Coca-Cola Company is the exclusive nonalcoholic beverage
provider to the Olympic Games through 2020. Visit www.thecocacolacompany.com
or www.coca-cola.ca.

    RBC and Amateur Sport

    Royal Bank of 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. RBC has
sponsored the Canadian Olympic Committee since 1947, making it Canada's
longest-standing supporter of the Canadian Olympic Team. RBC continues this
sponsorship through the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
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 VANOC

    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. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.
    VANOC's marketing program is focused on securing mutually rewarding
partnerships with shared values to generate sufficient revenue to host
successful Winter Games in 2010 and to leave a financial legacy for sport.
VANOC's Worldwide TOP Partners include Coca-Cola, Atos Origin, GE, McDonald's,
Omega, Panasonic, Samsung and Visa. VANOC's National Partners are Bell Canada,
Hbc, RBC Financial Group, GM Canada, Petro-Canada and RONA. VANOC's Official
Supporters include Air Canada, British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Canadian
Pacific, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, Jet Set Sports, Ricoh
Canada Inc., the Royal Canadian Mint, and Teck Cominco Limited. VANOC's
Official Suppliers are 3M, Birks, Britco, Dow Canada, EPCOR, Haworth Canada,
Nortel, Saputo, Sun Microsystems, TransCanada, Vincor Canada, Weston Bakeries
and Workopolis.


    Comments from Vancouver 2010 Government and Four Host First Nations
    Partners

    Honourable David Emerson, Minister of International Trade and Minister
    for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

    "The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay promises to be a powerful event
that will bring all Canadians together in the weeks leading up to the Games,"
said Minister Emerson. "The Torch will inspire and encourage Canadians to live
healthy lifestyles and give back to their communities. Congratulations to all
the relay partners on reaching today's milestone."

    Honourable Gordon Campbell, Premier, Province of British Columbia

    "Today's announcement ignites the anticipation that will grow to
incredible heights as British Columbians prepare to welcome the Olympic Torch
Relay and celebrate the beginning of the Games in 2010. I want to thank the
sponsors and all partners who are working to bring the Olympics closer to all
Canadians."

    Mayor Sam Sullivan, City of Vancouver

    "Today's announcement raises the level of excitement to a new level in
Vancouver. The spirit of the Games will build momentum as the 2010 Torch Relay
passes through cities across Canada and Vancouver will be ready to welcome the
Flame as it arrives in our great city and ignites the cauldron at BC Place
Stadium to officially begin the 2010 Winter Games."

    Mayor Ken Melamed, Resort Municipality of Whistler

    "We will be watching as the Olympic Torch arrives back on Canadian soil
and our community looks forward to welcoming it to the mountains of BC and
giving the Olympic Flame a true Whistler welcome."

    Tewanee Joseph, Executive Director and CEO, Four Host First Nations
    Secretariat

    "Fire has great meaning to First Nations' people and is present in many
of our most important ceremonies; fire symbolizes the heart of the People and
cleanses the spirit, it is a messenger and considered a great gift. We look
forward to sharing in this gift with the people of Canada and to watch the
Torch make its way across many of our traditional lands."

    /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: Media Contacts: Suzanne Walters, VANOC
Communications, Tel: (778) 328-6386, suzanne_walters@vancouver2010.com; Mary
Fraser, VANOC Communications, Tel. (778) 328-3667,
mary_fraser@vancouver2010.com; Suzanne Reeves (for Halifax event), VANOC
Communications, Tel: (778) 328-6377, suzanne_reeves@vancouver2010.com

Organization Profile

VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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