Coca-Cola nominates Neil Harbun as its first 2010 Olympic Torchbearer for his
commitment to active living

    Coca-Cola uses Olympic Games sponsorship to motivate Canadians to be
    environmentally responsible and live active

VICTORIA, Oct. 23 /CNW/ - Today, Coca-Cola Canada named Neil Harbun its first Olympic Torchbearer for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. Harbun was chosen through Coca-Cola's torchbearer nomination program because of his commitment to active living.

Coca-Cola Canada is using its sponsorship of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games as an opportunity to make a positive contribution to both the health and wellness of Canadians and the environment. All torchbearers selected by Coca-Cola were individually chosen because of their commitment to either active living or environmental responsibility.

"Neil has shown remarkable dedication to being a model for others in making a positive difference in his community, traits that Coca-Cola has long embraced," said David Moran, director of public affairs and communications, Coca-Cola Ltd. "Coca-Cola salutes champions of positive living and is proud to recognize Neil with the opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame."

Harbun will carry the Olympic Flame in Victoria, British Columbia on October 30th as the torch relay makes its way to the Opening Ceremony for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games on February 12, 2010.

Meet the Torchbearer: Neil Harbun, Age 21

On January 11, 1988, Harbun was born and just 50 hours after giving birth, his mother carried the Olympic Torch through Wabigoon, Ontario. Now 21 years later, Harbun will carry on his family's tradition by being a Coca-Cola Torchbearer. His mother's actions have always inspired Harbun to live an active life. He grew up playing football, volleyball, track and field, wrestling and basketball. His favourite sport is football and in 2008 he was National Champion with the Vancouver Island Raiders. With his teammates, Harbun reached out to youth in his community to encourage active living - mainly through running camps for children. He also volunteers with the Children's Wish Foundation and coaches the junior varsity football team at River East Collegiate in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Currently, Harbun is studying sciences at the University of Manitoba. With this degree he hopes to help and encourage others to Live Olympic not only by his profession, but by example.

"Participating in an Olympic Torch Relay is a once in a lifetime experience," said Harbun. "I am honoured and grateful to Coca-Cola for giving me the opportunity to participate as a torchbearer and to act as an ambassador of active living."

Coca-Cola's Torchbearer Selection Process

Individual Torchbearers

To inspire everyday Canadians to take steps to support environmental sustainability and active living in communities across Canada, Coca-Cola developed a unique torchbearer program for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. Canadians who worked to reduce their environmental footprint or have supported active living efforts to affect positive change in their communities were invited to visit to nominate themselves to be Olympic Torchbearers. Following their nomination, Coca-Cola invited selected nominees to submit a written story about how they Live Positively. Coca-Cola's Red Ribbon Panel, a group comprised of health, wellness and environmental organizations then made recommendations to Coca-Cola on environmental and active living candidates.

Team Torchbearers

In addition to individual torchbearers, Coca-Cola also awarded 50 'team torchbearers' - each having up to 20 individuals - who have demonstrated leadership in environmental or active living efforts the opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame and profile how they are making a difference in Canadian communities.

Sogo Active

Coca-Cola Canada, in collaboration with ParticipACTION, the national voice of physical activity and sport participation in Canada, launched Sogo Active last year. Sogo Active is an innovative youth engagement program aimed at 13-19 year - olds. The program is to inspire Canada's youth to get active. Coca-Cola awarded over 1,000 of its Olympic Torchbearer spots to teenagers who joined the program and have demonstrated a commitment to adopting an active lifestyle.

About Coca-Cola and the Olympic Movement

The Coca-Cola Company has been an Olympic Games partner since 1928 and is the longest continuous corporate supporter of the Olympic Movement. The Company works with National Olympic Committees in more than 200 countries to help athletes train and compete. More than 90 percent of the Coca-Cola system's investment in the Olympic Games is directed to athlete development and to assist in staging the Games. Products of The Coca-Cola Company refresh athletes, volunteers, officials and spectators during the Olympic Games; and supporting programs such as the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay allows Coca-Cola to help share the Olympic Spirit around the world. The Coca-Cola Company is the exclusive nonalcoholic beverage provider to the Olympic Games through 2020.


For further information: For further information: Media inquiries: Andrea Wooland, Hill & Knowlton Canada, (416) 413-4698,

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