Inaugural Heroes Tour Launches in Halifax Today

Olympic, Paralympic Medallists Visit Armed Forces, Young Athletes & Child Patients

HALIFAX, April 11 /CNW/ - The first-ever Canadian Olympic & Paralympic Heroes Tour presented by Atlantic Lottery launches this morning with a very special visit to Halifax. Today, athletes celebrate heroism on a national scale at Canadian Forces Base Halifax, on a regional scale with a COLD-FX Performance Excellence Series, and on a personal scale at a local children's hospital.

The Tour, featuring seven Olympic and two Paralympic medallists, begins at CFB Halifax for a tribute to the Canadian Armed Forces. In so doing, the tour unites two unique classes of Canadians - athletes and service personnel - who proudly carry the nation's flag around the world.

"We are honoured to bring Olympians to CFB Halifax as a sign of deep respect for their service," said Jean R. Dupré, Canadian Olympic Committee CEO. "This is a shared celebration of excellence, patriotism and perseverance with two groups of Canadians who put their heart and soul into representing the country."

At noon, a special Cold-FX Performance Excellence Series luncheon will be held at the Westin Nova Scotian. This outreach initiative has Tour athletes pairing with Nova Scotia's Canada Games athletes to explore what it takes to reach the Olympic level, and how the community and corporations can support that journey.

The opening day of the Canadian Olympic & Paralympic Heroes Tour presented by Atlantic Lottery ends with a visit to the IWK Health Center's Ronald McDonald Family Room. There, the Tour athletes will spread Olympic spirit among the young patients, their families, and the staff.

"I'm honoured to be here in Halifax as these visits really hit home for me," said bobsledder David Bissett, a Tour athlete. "My great-grandfather served in the First and Second World Wars, and my wife back home is a nurse at the Children's Hospital. I hope our actions today will make an impact on the incredible people we met."

About the Canadian Olympic & Paralympic Heroes Tour presented by Atlantic Lottery

The Tour features Olympic medallists Denny Morrison (speed skating), Adam Kreek (rowing), Tania Vicent (short track speed skating), Kaillie Humphries (bobsleigh), Heather Moyse (bobsleigh), David Bissett (bobsleigh) and Chris Le Bihan (bobsleigh) and Paralympic medallists Greg Westlake (sledge hockey) and David Eng (wheelchair basketball). Across four days, they are touring the Atlantic provinces, spreading Olympic spirit, inspiring personal excellence and celebrating not only national and local heroes, but the everyday hero within us.

In Halifax, St. John's, Charlottetown, Summerside and Moncton, the Tour connects Olympians and Paralympians with students, community leaders, children in hospitals, members of the Canadian Forces and fans of the Canadian Olympic Team alike. It acts as a lead-in to the 2011 Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Gala Dinner & Induction Ceremony presented by Procter & Gamble on April 16 in Moncton.

About the Canadian Olympic Committee
The Canadian Olympic Committee is a national, private, not-for-profit organization committed to sport excellence. It is responsible for all aspects of Canada's involvement in the Olympic Movement, including Canada's participation in the Olympic, Youth Olympic and Pan American Games and a wide variety of programs that promote the Olympic Movement in Canada through cultural and educational means. For news and information, visit the COC website at www.olympic.ca and find the team on both Facebook (Canadian Olympic Team) and Twitter (@CDNOlympicTeam).

SOURCE COC

For further information:

Isabelle Hodge, Manager, Media Relations, Canadian Olympic Committee
Tel.: (416) 324-4122, Cell.: (289) 388-6419, Email: ihodge@olympic.ca

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