Paralympic gold medallist Norton to give talk, present prizes to CPC's Christmas card winner



    EDMONTON, Dec. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Paralympic gold medallist Ross Norton
will be at McKernan Elementary Junior High School in Edmonton on Thursday,
December 20, from 11 a.m. to congratulate the winner of the Canadian
Paralympic Committee (CPC)'s national design-a-Christmas card contest.
McKernan student Elizabeth Wishart was chosen the winner of the contest.
    Her design - Santa in a wheelchair racing his reindeers around the track
- was printed on the cover of the CPC's Christmas card, which was mailed to
Paralympians, national sports organizations, sponsors and others involved in
the Paralympic Movement. The Christmas card contest was run under the CPC's
free online schools program sponsored by Petro-Canada called "It's The Real
Deal."
    Norton will speak to the McKernan students about the Paralympic Games,
the benefits of sport for people with a physical disability, and his personal
story. His motto is "dream big." Norton has played on Canada's wheelchair
basketball team for almost ten years. He was on the Canadian teams that won
gold at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Summer Games and the 2000 Sydney Paralympic
Summer Games.
    He was introduced to wheelchair basketball by a physiotherapist after a
tumor on his spinal cord caused paraplegia. He currently also plays for the
Alberta Northern Lights club team.
    "We are excited about this opportunity to have Paralympian Ross Norton
come to our school to raise awareness of disability issues," said McKernan
grade seven teacher Scott Nahirnik, who encouraged his class, including
Wishart, to participate in the contest. "We are excited about having a
Paralympic gold medallist in our school."
    Norton will present Wishart with a $250 gift certificate for sporting
equipment as a prize for her winning Christmas card design. Her class also
wins a free ski and snowboard trip to Rabbit Hill Snow Resort in February.
    "The Canadian Paralympic Committee congratulates Elizabeth and thanks her
for helping us produce such a creative Christmas card this year," said CPC
President Carla Qualtrough. "Her drawing captures in a fun way that sport has
a place in everyone's life, including people with a physical disability."
    The Petro-Canada "It's The Real Deal" Paralympic Schools Program is a
free online schools program that includes downloadable fun and interactive
activities, athlete interviews and photos for students and aims to raise
awareness of Paralympic sport and athletes with a physical disability.

    About Canadian Paralympic Committee

    The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) is a non-profit, charitable,
private organization that is recognized by the International Paralympic
Committee (IPC). The CPC delivers programs that strengthen the Paralympic
Movement in Canada, including sending Canadian teams to the Paralympic Games.
The CPC empowers persons with physical disabilities, through sport, at all
levels. For more information, visit www.paralympic.ca.

    About Petro-Canada

    Petro-Canada is one of Canada's largest oil and gas companies, operating
in both the upstream and the downstream sectors of the industry in Canada and
internationally. The company creates value by responsibly developing energy
resources and providing world class petroleum products and services.
Petro-Canada is proud to be a national partner to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic
and Paralympic Winter Games. The company's common shares trade on the Toronto
Stock Exchange under the symbol PCA and on the New York Stock Exchange under
the symbol PCZ. For more information, visit www.petro-canada.ca.

    The media are welcome to attend Norton's presentation.




For further information:

For further information: Norma Reveler, Canadian Paralympic Committee,
(613) 569-4333 ext. 227, norma@paralympic.ca.


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