Paint the Town Red by Becoming a Podium Pal

Canada's 2010 Olympic Team Invites Canadians to be a Virtual Part of the Team

VANCOUVER, Nov. 25 /CNW/ - With less than 100 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the Canadian Olympic Team today introduced Podium Pals, a way for Canadians to show their spirit by 'Painting the Town Red' and becoming a part of the Canadian Olympic Team online. Podium Pals is an interactive avatar that Canadians can insert their face into; they are fun, active caricatures of Canadian Olympic Team athletes participating in each sport that is part of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

'Paint the Town Red' encourages Canadians to wear their national pride on their sleeve, their face....and of course online! Podium Pals is a great way to share the excitement with friends and family through the website (www.podiumpals.olympic.ca) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/canadianolympicteam). 'Paint the Town Red' encourages people to let their imaginations run wild with their own unique ways to use the colour red in support of our Vancouver 2010 Canadian Olympic athletes.

"My strength has always been on skis but Podium Pals allows me to take my Olympic aspirations to new heights - curling," said two-time Olympian and freestyle aerialist Steve Omischl. "Podium Pals is another way for Canadians to Paint the Town Red and support the Canadian Olympic Team. One thing that keeps me going on the road to 2010 is the knowledge that all of Canada is right behind me." View Steve Omischl's curling avatar along with Podium Pals for a number of prominent 2010 hopefuls at http://www.olympic.ca/en/photos/tag/podium-pals/.

More than 200 athletes will represent the Canadian Olympic Team when the Games officially open on February 12, 2010. They will be supported by a broader team of 33 million Canadians that has no requirements for participation except national pride. The athletes are counting on their fellow Canadians to be proud and loud as they Paint the Town Red across the country and they are encouraging them to show their support in any way that displays that pride - be it through sending their Podium Pal to friends, flying the flag, painting their face, installing red lights in their home, schools and work spaces, spreading the red online or whichever creative method they choose.

"Canadians across the country are embracing Paint the Town Red and are showing their support for the Canadian Olympic Team with community events, school participation and red themed days at the office," said David Bedford, Executive Director, Marketing and Communications. "We believe that Podium Pals will extend the reach of our Paint the Town Red campaign to the online community, and will allow everyone to have some fun in fulfilling their Olympic aspirations while demonstrating their support for our athletes."

To get involved in the free 'Paint the Town Red' program, Canadians can visit Olympic.ca and download the paintbook of ideas or poster artwork that they can download - or let their imaginations run wild with ways to use the colour red to show their support.

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).

SOURCE Canadian Olympic Committee

For further information: For further information: Whitney Stanford, Hill & Knowlton, (604) 692-4223, whitney.stanford@hillandknowlton.ca; Isabelle Hodge, Canadian Olympic Committee, (416) 324-4122, ihodge@olympic.ca

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