Japanese speed skating star to run with the flame on Nov. 17 during the
Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay

PORT HAWKESBURY, NS, Nov. 13 /CNW/ - After competing in three Olympic Games, Japanese speed skating star Ikue Teshigawara is back for more. Teshigawara will run with the Olympic Flame in Port Hawkesbury, on the southern tip of the incomparable Cape Breton Island, NS, on Nov. 17.

Teshigawara is an international torchbearer with the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, presented by Coca-Cola and RBC and supported by the Government of Canada. Before her relay experience, she will spend some quality time exploring Nova Scotia's capital, Halifax, including North America's oldest farmer's market and the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site of Canada.

"As a former winter Olympic athlete, I have special feelings toward the upcoming Winter Games," says Teshigawara. "It is a great honour to be chosen as a torchbearer."

Teshigawara competed in short track speed skating at three consecutive Olympic Games (1994, 1998, 2002) and at an incredible 11 world championships. Today she is the goodwill ambassador of the Japan Walking Association, and appears as a sports commentator on Japanese television. Teshigawara will provide speed skating commentary for Japan's coverage of the 2010 Winter Games.

The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), in collaboration with the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), has selected 15 international torchbearers to participate in the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay International Media Program to maximize international media coverage of the relay and spread the excitement and Olympic spirit around the world.

"With her long, successful career, Ikue Teshigawara is a wonderful example of the success that comes with hard work and perseverance. She's a natural choice to share the excitement of the Olympic Torch Relay and the beauty of Cape Breton Island with her fans in Japan," says Michele McKenzie, CTC president and CEO.

The international torchbearers are from CTC's global markets and include former Olympic athletes as well as entertainers and media celebrities. Their journeys through Canada will be broadcast and shared in their home countries during both the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay and the 2010 Winter Games, all to inspire the world to travel to 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 daily updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to CTC News, available through RSS feeds and by e-mail.

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Torchbearer feature

SOURCE Canadian Tourism Commission

For further information: For further information: Meaghan Benmore, Hill & Knowlton Vancouver, Tel: (604) 692-4228, Cell: (604) 340-5025, meaghan.benmore@hillandknowlton.ca; Jitka Licenik, Corporate Communications Advisor, Canadian Tourism Commission, Tel: (604) 638-2482, Fax: (604) 638-8438, licenik.jitka@ctc-cct.ca, www.mediacentre.canada.travel

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