International torchbearers join Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay

    HALIFAX, Aug. 14 /CNW/ - As the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay winds
its way through the country, Canadians are in for an international treat.
    The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), together with the Vancouver
Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC)
announced today that 15 international torchbearers from CTC's key markets will
participate in the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, presented by Coca-Cola and RBC
and supported by the Government of Canada.
    The international torchbearers participating in the International Media
Program include exceptional athletes, famous entertainers and colorful media
commentators who embody the spirit of the Olympic Games. This summer some will
sneak a trial run of their torch route, taking time to connect with Canadian
communities before the leaves turn and the snow flies. Their personal journeys
through Canadian landscapes will be broadcast and shared in their home
countries during both the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay and the 2010
Winter Games.
    "The 2010 Olympic Torch Relay International Media Program is an exciting
way to promote our country around the world and to entice more visitors to
travel to Canada," said the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State for
Small Business and Tourism. "With the friendly attitudes of Canadians and the
unique experiences our country has to offer, we look forward to welcoming
visitors to the Games, and from there, we hope to draw new visitors to Canada
for generations to come."
    This weekend in Nova Scotia, short track speed skater Yang Yang of China
will be welcomed as the first participant of the program. Yang was China's
first ever Olympic Winter Games gold medalist when she won the women's 500 m
short track at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
    Yang's experience in Nova Scotia will capture the attention and
imagination of her devoted fans and followers in China who will be watching
with pride when she takes up the torch in Port Hawkesbury on November 17.
    "The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay will touch over 1,000 Canadian
communities from coast to coast to coast. This program will help spread the
excitement and share the Olympic spirit around the world," said Jim Richards,
director of torch relays for VANOC.
    Michele McKenzie, president and CEO of the CTC added, "We're behind
Canada's Games all the way, and at the same time we're promoting every region
of Canada in high definition to global audiences. And the fact Yang Yang is
visiting Nova Scotia this summer makes a local girl like me very proud too."

    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 weekly
updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to <a href="">CTC News</a>, available through RSS feeds
and by e-mail.

    About VANOC

    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

For further information:

For further information: Jitka Licenik, Corporate Communications
Advisor, Conseillère en communications, Canadian Tourism Commission,
Commission canadienne du tourisme, Tel, Tél (604) 638-2482, Fax, Téléc (604)

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