The Royal Canadian Mint launches 25-cent biathlon circulation coin



    Fourth sport featured in series of 17 special coins going into
    circulation over the next three years

    OTTAWA, Sept. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) today
officially released the fourth of 17 circulation coins to celebrate the
Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The sport of biathlon is
depicted on the 25-cent coin.
    "With every coin launch, we are nearing the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Games and the Mint is proud to be offering such an extensive coin
program to Canadians from coast to coast," said Ian E. Bennett, President and
CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. "I encourage all Canadians to celebrate the
sport of biathlon and its athletes by looking for this coin in their change."
    "It is very exciting to have the sport of biathlon depicted on a 25-cent
coin that all Canadians will have access to for their everyday purchases,"
said Joanne Thomson, Executive Director of Biathlon Canada. "This will
definitely assist in increasing the awareness of biathlon, and in creating
excitement surrounding this sport, as well as support for the athletes
participating as Olympic Team members in 2010. The addition of a special
sterling silver collector version makes the uniqueness of the sport of
biathlon truly visible to sport enthusiasts and coin collectors alike."
    Up to 22 million 25-cent biathlon coins will enter into circulation
today, September 12th, and will be available exclusively at RBC Royal Bank and
participating Petro-Canada outlets. RBC Royal Bank is a Premier National
Partner and Petro-Canada is a National Partner of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic
and Paralympic Winter Games. Canadians can also look for these special coins
in their change. Participating Petro-Canada gas stations will also sell
biathlon sports cards, containing a uniquely painted version of the coin. The
sports cards, which are now available, sell for $7.95.
    The sport of biathlon combines the marksmanship together in an exciting
display of pure athleticism alongside the skill of extreme precision. The
first recorded biathlon competition was organized near the border between
Sweden and Norway in 1767 and was contested at the first Olympic Winter Games
at Chamonix, France in 1924. The sport remained on the Olympic program until
1948, and then was re-introduced to the Olympic Games in Squaw Valley in 1960.
Today, more than 65 countries participate in the sport at the World
Championships and Olympic Winter Games.
    Designed by Canadian artist Glenn Green of Vancouver, BC, the biathlon
circulation coin features a biathlete in the centre, a stylized maple leaf and
the words 'Vancouver 2010'. The obverse features the portrait of Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II, rendered by Susanna Blunt.
    Additionally, the RCM is offering a sterling silver collector version of
the biathlon coin, featuring a stunning hologram. The sterling silver coin was
designed by Canadian artist, Bonnie Ross, of Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia
and retails for $69.95. The RCM is also offering the first day 25-cent
biathlon coin ($15.95) and the 25-cent biathlon circulation coin roll
($16.95). These items and other coins can be purchased through the RCM's
website at www.mint.ca by calling 1-800-267-1871 in Canada, 1-800-268-6468 in
the US, or through authorized dealers.

    Background

    In June, 2006, the RCM became an Official Supporter of the Vancouver 2010
Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games with the signing of an agreement with the
Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games (VANOC). The RCM has undertaken to produce the most extensive
circulation coin program in relation to the Olympic Games ever conceived by
any mint worldwide.
    The RCM has exclusive rights for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games in the Minting of circulation, Precious Metal and Base Metal Numismatic
and Bullion Coins product and service category and will also be responsible
for minting the athlete medals.
    Over the next three years, the RCM will put into circulation 17 coins in
Canada featuring designs related to the 2010 Winter Games. Thirty-six limited
mintage collector coins and sets will also be offered. Canadians from coast to
coast can share in the pride and touch the Games by collecting and saving
these special Canadian coins.

    About the Royal Canadian Mint

    The RCM, an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is the Crown corporation
responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada's circulation coins. In
operation since 1908, the RCM is recognized as one of the largest and most
versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high
quality coinage products and related services on an international scale. For
more information on the RCM, its products and services, visit www.mint.ca.

    Images and product details of the RCM's newest collection are available
by visiting ftp://communications:RCM2007@ftp.mint.ca.


    /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: Christine Aquino, Director, Communications,
Royal Canadian Mint, (613) 993-9999, (613) 991-5342, aquino@mint.ca; Jennifer
Field, Account Director, Hill & Knowlton Ottawa, (613) 786-9956, (613)
327-0012, jennifer.field@hillandknowlton.ca


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