Canadians and Olympic fans around the world invited to wear their hearts on
their hands with Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens

           Partner Hudson's Bay Company starts selling October 1;

           Net proceeds from every $10 pair sold directly supports
                              Canadian athletes

VANCOUVER, Sept. 25 /CNW/ - Stay toasty warm this winter and show your support of Canadian athletes in their quest for gold at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games and beyond by heading to a Zellers, the Bay or Home Outfitters store to don a pair of Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens - the "it" souvenir of the Games.

The knitted mittens, which retail for $10 a pair, starting October 1st, are one of the must-have mementos of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and match the mittens that will be worn by the 12,000 torchbearers who will carry the flame to more than 1,000 communities during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, starting in just one month. Net proceeds from every pair sold will complete the funding of the five-year Own the Podium 2010 initiative, which provides Canadian athletes with top equipment and training for the 2010 Games. Any additional funds raised through the Red Mittens campaign will support a variety of athlete- and sport-based initiatives.

The mittens go on sale Thursday, October 1, at and at Olympic Stores at the Vancouver International Airport and in Whistler. The Hudson's Bay Company, Canada's largest retailer and General Retail Merchant of the 2010 Winter Games, is playing a vital role in manufacturing and retailing the mittens at its Zellers, the Bay and Home Outfitters locations across the country. Red Mittens will also be available for purchase while supplies last in a selection of the almost 200 celebration communities along the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay route.

"This is a way for every Canadian to feel a close personal connection to Canada's Games and to each other by supporting our best Canadian winter athletes," said John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). "We're hoping that everywhere the Olympic Flame visits in Canada it will be greeted and cheered on its journey by a sea of Red Mittens waved proudly by Canadians in the crowd."

The mittens feature a white Maple Leaf in the heart of each palm (perfect for cheering and waving!) and the Olympic Rings and Vancouver 2010 stitched on the outside. They are a unifying element that knit together Olympic torchbearers, Canadian athletes, Canadian fans and Olympic supporters around the world.

"As an athlete, it's incredibly motivating to see the support of Canadian fans in the crowd at the Games," said Veronica Brenner, a silver medalist in aerials at the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games, who is responsible for on-site Games-time planning for Own the Podium 2010. "The Red Mittens campaign takes that support even further - it's a visible reminder that the wearers of the mittens believe in you as an athlete and are supporting your efforts to fulfil your dreams in 2010 and beyond."

"It'll be incredibly exciting to see the crowds in 2010 waving their Red Mittens in the stands to cheer on the athletes or while watching the Games at home on TV," she added. "But knowing Canadians, I'm sure they'll come up with other ways to creatively use and show off their Red Mittens to let the world know the Great White North knows how to get behind its athletes!"

The sale of Red Mittens is supported by VANOC's television and print media partners. CTV, Canada's Olympic Network, will support the campaign with its on-air talent and stars from hit network series to raise awareness and generate excitement. Tune in on September 30th, when CTV kicks off National Red Mittens day. CTV and /A\ hosts across Canada will don Red Mittens including local weather personalities, anchors and talent from eTalk, Canada AM and CP24.

In addition, a 30-second promotional spot created by the award-winning CTV Creative Agency will air on the main network, CTV Specialty channels, radio stations, and online with strategic on-air placement in Olympic-themed programming. Online, a custom landing page will live at and to direct site visitors on where to order Red Mittens and find out more about the campaign, while The Globe and Mail and will feature advertisements in support of the Red Mittens initiative.

Canwest Publishing Inc.'s regional daily publications and their online sites will also feature "Wear Your Heart on Your Hands" Red Mittens advertising. Gesca Ltee will also feature online and print advertising for les mitaines rouges.

For more information, visit

Note to Photo Editors:

Images of the "Wear Your Heart on Your Hands" Red Mitten campaign artwork, as well as the Vancouver 2010 mascots wearing the mittens, are available as high resolution downloads from the media centre image gallery at


VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at Images are free to accredited members of the media/


For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Darlene Small, VANOC Communications, (604) 403-3535,

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