Pfizer Canada will keep its Paralympic torch burning bright till 2017

Nation's pharmaceutical leader renews partnership with Canadian Paralympic Team

WHISTLER, BC, March 22 /CNW/ - Less than an hour after the Paralympic torch was extinguished in Whistler Medal Plaza, the Canadian Paralympic Team received a celebratory flame of corporate support from one of its longest-standing corporate partners, Pfizer Canada.

Although Pfizer Canada's sponsorship agreement does not expire until 2012, the company publicly renewed its support in an announcement. The news was shared in front of a cheering crowd of athletes, family members, dignitaries and fans during an upbeat celebration held at Whistler Canada Paralympic House on March 21, 2010.

Today, the company officially confirmed it is pledging five more years of support to the Team under a $1 million partnership agreement that runs until 2017.

"This means so much. Pfizer is signaling to the world that Canada is feeling the rush of Paralympic sport. It's a sign our nation is excited about Paralympic sport, even beyond Vancouver," says Paralympian and sledge hockey star Benoit St-Amand. "It's a vote of confidence for future Teams - and it feels great," he says.

    
    Keeping the promise burning bright for future generations
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"Pfizer is a health care company that strives to help Canadians live inspired, healthy lives. For the past nine days, Canada's Paralympic Team pushed the limits of athletic accomplishment and showed our entire nation, and the world, the power of believing in yourself and your dreams," explains Ghislain Boudreau, Vice-President Public Affairs and Stakeholder Relations, Pfizer Canada. Boudreau says the legacy of the 2010 Paralympic Team is inspiring Canada's children and youth to get involved in sport, which he calls a great gift to the future health of the nation.

"We believe Vancouver 2010 can create momentum for a new era of inclusiveness, awareness and access for Canadians who live with disabilities. As a leading health care company, Pfizer feels a responsibility to help keep that promise alive and burning bright so that it doesn't fade out in a few months," says Boudreau. "By renewing our commitment now, we're letting the Team know that we're here for them through to 2017, which will represent 21 consecutive years of Pfizer support," he says.

    
    Powerful statement about partnership
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"Pfizer's early renewal is a powerful example of true partnership," says Henry Storgaard, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Paralympic Committee. "By stepping up to the plate now, they are helping us continue the momentum created by hosting a Paralympic Games on home soil and to focus on what's truly important: supporting our athletes. It's a boost of support and encouragement. And it's coming at a very meaningful time for CPC as we continue to build for the future."

"The Canadian Government is committed to supporting amateur sport because we believe sport can help teach young generations of Canadians important lessons about living a healthy, active life, discipline and teamwork. In our last Budget, the Federal Government announced its intent to commit an additional $10 million to fund Paralympic sport over the next two years to help our team prepare for 2012 and to open more opportunities for children and youth to get involved in Paralympic sport. Our commitment is strong, but we need private sector partnership to maintain and build on the momentum gained during these remarkable Games. We commend Pfizer Canada for their commitment, and for demonstrating that the public and private sectors can work together for the benefit of our great nation," says Minister of State (Sports) the Honourable Gary Lunn.

Earlier this month, Pfizer and the Canadian Paralympic Committee joined forces to release an online film called Believing in Yourself. Every time the film is viewed and shared at morethanmedication.ca, the company donates $5 to the Team.

Kids of Courage, a free e-book for Canadian families is also available online at morethanmedication.ca. Families can view the e-book online; download a free PDF and listen to audio recordings. 40,000 printed copies of the book were donated to Canadian libraries. Braille and audio versions are also available for educators.

    
    About Pfizer Canada
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A steadfast supporter of the Canadian Paralympic Team for more than a decade, Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc, the world's leading biopharmaceutical company. The company is one of the largest contributors to health research in Canada. Our diversified health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world's best-known consumer products.

Every day, Pfizer Canada employees work to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. We apply science and our global resources to improve the health and well-being of Canadians at every stage of life.

Our commitment is reflected in everything we do, from our disease awareness initiatives to our community partnerships, to our belief that it takes more than medication to be truly healthy. To learn more about Pfizer's More Than Medication(R) philosophy and programs, visit morethanmedication.ca. For more information about Pfizer Canada, visit pfizer.ca.

    
    About the Canadian Paralympic Committee
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The Canadian Paralympic Committee ("the CPC") is a non-profit, private organization with 43 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic Movement.

The CPC is responsible for creating an optimal high-performance environment for Canadian Paralympic athletes to win at Paralympic and Parapan American Games. By supporting Canadian Paralympic athletes and promoting their success, the CPC inspires all Canadians with a physical disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organizations.

The Canadian Paralympic Committee prepared Canada's athletes for the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, where 53 Canadian Paralympic athletes competed in Para-Alpine skiing, Para-Nordic skiing (cross-country skiing and biathlon), sledge hockey and wheelchair curling. For more information, visit www.paralympic.ca.

More Than Medication is a registered trademark of Pfizer Inc./Pfizer Canada Inc. Licensee.

SOURCE Pfizer Canada Inc.

For further information: For further information: David Weinstein, Catherine Héroux or Deb Quinn at Strategic Objectives, Tel: (416) 366-7735, Toll-free: 1-866-366-7733, Mobile: (416) 409-9945 (Deb Quinn), Mobile: (647) 294-5743 (Catherine Héroux), E: dquinn@strategicobjectives.com; Julie-Catherine Racine, Pfizer Canada, Tel: (514) 693-4602, E: julie-catherine.racine@pfizer.com; Anna Parisi, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Tel: (604) 828 2875, E: aparisi@paralympic.ca; Vanessa Schneider, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Gary Lunn, Tel: (613) 852-1368, E: vanessa.schneider@pch.gc.ca


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