Olympian-Signed Red Podium Jackets Now Up for Auction

Funds Support Canada's High Performance Athletes

TORONTO, April 22 /CNW/ - Alex Bilodeau, Joannie Rochette, Maëlle Ricker and all the biggest names in Canadian winter sport have leant their hand to a rare fundraising initiative by the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) - an online auction of 2010 Olympic red podium jackets, each personally autographed by a Canadian 2010 Olympic medallist.

All individual medallists and most of the team medallists have signed 10 red podium jackets each, creating a limited edition run of high-end 2010 Olympic collectables. While some auctioned jackets are wearable, others are set in a frame for posterity. Each comes with a photo of the Olympian who signed the jacket. This is a rare opportunity to own a piece of authentic 2010 Olympic clothing worn only by Canadian athletes who won a medal in Vancouver, Whistler and Richmond.

All funds generated by the auction directly support Canadian athletes through the Canadian Olympic Foundation.

"Every dollar raised will help Canada's athletes achieve excellence and reach the top of the podium," said Maëlle Ricker, Olympic gold medallist in snowboard cross in 2010. "Initiatives such as this are essential in ensuring the Canadian sport system is well funded, and that every young athlete gets a chance to perform at their top ability."

"I'm more than pleased to participate in this auction to help support all of Canada's high performance athletes and the next generation of Canadian Olympians," said Charles Hamelin, Olympic double gold medallist in short track speed skating.

The main auction page is found at www.vancouver2010.com/auctions.

An example of one red podium jacket auction, signed by Jenn Heil, can be found here: http://cgi.ebay.ca/Canadian-Podium-Jacket-Signed-by-Jen-Heil-1-of-10_W0QQitemZ170473969322QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Olympics_Fan_Shop?hash=item27b10a56aa.

These jackets represent some of the most unique and special collectables from Canada's unforgettable "home" Olympic Winter Games.

About the Canadian Olympic Committee

The Canadian Olympic Committee is a national, private, not-for-profit organization committed to sport excellence. It is responsible for all aspects of Canada's involvement in the Olympic Movement, including Canada's participation in the Olympic and Pan American Games and a wide variety of programs that promote the Olympic Movement in Canada through cultural and educational means. For news and information, visit the COC website at www.olympic.ca and find the team on both Facebook (Canadian Olympic Team) and Twitter (CDNOlympicTeam).

For further information on the Canadian Olympic Foundation, please visit the website at www.olympicfoundation.ca.

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

SOURCE Canadian Olympic Committee

For further information: For further information: Isabelle Hodge, Manager, Media Relations, Canadian Olympic Committee, Cel. (289) 388-6419, Email: ihodge@olympic.ca

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