The Royal Canadian Mint launches first Olympic 25-cent circulation coin of 2008



    Sport of snowboarding featured, sixth in series of 17 special circulation
    coins

    OTTAWA, Feb. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The Royal Canadian Mint today officially
released the first Olympic 25-cent circulation coin of 2008. The sport of
snowboarding is depicted on the coin, which is the sixth of 17 circulation
coins to celebrate the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
    "With two years to go until 2010, the Mint is delighted to be launching
its second wave of circulation coins to commemorate the Olympic and Paralympic
Winter Games," said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian
Mint. "Featuring the dynamic and energetic sport of snowboarding is a
fantastic way to kick off 2008."
    "The Canadian Snowboard Federation is honoured to have our sport
immortalized through the Royal Canadian Mint's snowboard coin," said Mr. Tom
McIllfaterick, CEO of the Canadian Snowboard Federation. "We are also pleased
to be working with the Royal Canadian Mint to help promote the coin launch
through our various online and event opportunities."
    Up to 22 million 25-cent snowboarding coins will enter into circulation
today and will be available exclusively at RBC and participating Petro-Canada
gas stations. RBC 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 snowboarding sport cards, containing
a uniquely painted version of the coin. The sport cards, which are now
available, sell for $7.95.
    Snowboarding is the sport of riding a large flat ski downhill over snow
and was originally derived from the idea of a surfboard. While first making an
appearance in the 1960s, the sport became wildly popular in the 1980s.
Snowboarding made its Olympic debut at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, with
Canada's Ross Rebagliati winning the first gold medal ever in this discipline.
There are three snowboard categories for both men and women in the Olympic
Winter Games: halfpipe, parallel giant slalom and snowboard cross.
    Designed by Canadian artist Glenn Green of Vancouver, BC, the
snowboarding circulation coin features a snowboarder 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.
    Canadians can look forward to four more Olympic Winter Games themed
circulation coins in 2008: three 25-cent coins will feature the sports of
freestyle skiing (April 16th), figure skating (September 10th) and bobsleigh
(October 29th), while the 2008 Lucky Loonie will be launched on July 23rd,
prior to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
    Additionally, the Mint is offering a sterling silver collector version of
the snowboarding coin, featuring a stunning hologram. The sterling silver coin
was designed by artist Steve Hepburn of Richmond, British Columbia, and
retails for $ 71.95. The Mint is also offering the first day 25-cent
snowboarding coin ($15.95) and the 25-cent snowboarding circulation coin roll
($16.95). These items and other coins can be purchased through the Mint's
website at www.mint.ca by calling 1-800-267-1871 or through authorized
dealers.

    Background

    In June, 2006, the Mint 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 Mint has undertaken to produce the most extensive
circulation coin program in relation to the Olympic Games ever conceived by
any mint worldwide.
    The Mint 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.
    During its three-year program, the Mint 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 Royal Canadian Mint, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in
2008, is the Crown Corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of
Canada's circulation coins. An ISO 9001-2000 certified company, the Mint 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 Mint's
history, its products and services, please 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, aquino@mint.ca


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