International Olympic Torchbearers Yang Yang and Ye Qiaobo Meet Prime
Minister Harper in Beijing

Prototype of Vancouver 2010 Olympic torch presented to international torchbearers in China, one of Canadian Tourism Commission's key global markets

VANCOUVER, Dec. 4 /CNW/ - Spreading the spirit of the 2010 Winter Games in China, Prime Minister Stephen Harper presented the Olympic Torch to Olympic speed-skating medallist Ye Qiaobo in Beijing today. Ye Qiabo is one of 14 international torchbearers chosen by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) in collaboration with Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC). They were joined by fellow Olympic speed-skating medallist Yang Yang who recently returned from Canada after completing her own leg of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, presented by Coca-Cola and RBC and supported by the Government of Canada.

The torch presentation was held at the Canadian International School where 400 young students were delighted to meet the famous Chinese athletes and Prime Minister Harper, as well as see the Olympic Torch and play with the Olympic and Paralympic mascots.

Ye Qiaobo and Yang Yang were chosen as torchbearers to help capture the attention and imagination of their devoted fans and followers in China. Through this program, well-known international sports and entertainment personalities from CTC global markets participate as torchbearers in the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay in spots across Canada.

Ye Qiaobo is scheduled to run January 25th, 2010 through Osoyoos, the southern most community of Canada's renowned Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. Yang Yang ran her leg of the relay in Summerside, Prince Edward Island on November 22nd, 2009.

"We're thrilled to have two such inspiring Chinese athletes take part in the relay as representatives of one of the CTC's key global markets," said Derek Galpin, CTC Managing Director, China and India. "Both have exceptional athletic records and embody the spirit of the Games."

China is the world's fastest-growing outbound tourism market. By 2020, the World Tourism Organization is projecting China will have 100 million international travellers, making it the largest outbound tourism market in the world. There were some 158, 800 overnight trips to Canada from China in 2008, a 5.3 per cent increase over 2007. Since 2006, overnight travel from China to Canada has grown over 30 per cent.

Links to additional resources:


Prime Minster Stephen Harper meets with Olympic speed-skating medalists Ye Qiaobo and Yang Yang in Beijing to celebrate their participation in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. They were joined at the Canadian International School by students who were delighted to meet the Olympic and Paralympic mascots, see the Olympic torch and meet the Prime Minster and the Chinese athletes.

Profile: (Yang Yang)

Profile: (Ye Qiaobo)

Backgrounder (2010 Olympic Torch Relay International Media Program):

Backgrounder (China as a Key Market for Canada):

About the CTC

The CTC is Canada's national tourism marketing organization. Our vision is inspiring the world to explore Canada. With our partners in the tourism industry and the governments of Canada, the provinces and the territories, we advertise and market Canada in 12 countries around the world, conduct industry research and studies, and promote product and industry development. For regular updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to CTC News, available through RSS feeds and by e-mail.

SOURCE Canadian Tourism Commission

For further information: For further information: Jitka Licenik, Corporate Communications Advisor, Canadian Tourism Commission, Tel: (604) 638-2482, Fax: (604) 638-8438,,

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