Rio Tinto Alcan congratulates the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie on its success as the challenge heads into its final weekend

    MONTREAL, June 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Rio Tinto Alcan congratulates Pierre
Lavoie, his team and all Grand défi Pierre Lavoie volunteers and participants
across Quebec on their extraordinary success as the programme's main events
get set in motion this weekend.
    "Pierre's remarkable vision and passion for health and fitness began as a
personal journey in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, but his achievements now resonate
throughout Quebec. We are proud to continue as lead sponsor so that he can
keep building this programme in the coming years," said Jacynthe Côté, chief
executive, Rio Tinto Alcan.
    Grand défi Pierre Lavoie activities for 2009 included the popular
Lève-toi et bouge contest in May, in which 934 elementary schools
participated. Throughout the month, this event encouraged daily exercise among
students aged six to 12 by awarding 'virtual energy cubes' for every 15
minutes of physical activity. In total, the children earned 16,970,889 energy
cubes - enough to fill a virtual Olympic Stadium nine times.
    "Pierre Lavoie has inspired over 300,000 children and their families to
get involved with local fitness activities and commit to healthy lifestyle
choices through the Grand défi. I am personally touched to see so many young
people getting involved with this type of programme through their schools, and
hope that their enthusiasm for education stays with them for the future," said
Ms. Côté.
    Approximately 5000 children from the winning schools will be at the
Olympic Stadium in Montreal this weekend for the Grand défi's closing
ceremonies. They will be joined on Sunday by 92 teams of cyclists travelling
from Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean to Montreal as part of two-day 1000-kilometre
cycling event, led by Pierre Lavoie.
    Three teams of five Rio Tinto Alcan employees will be taking part, as
colleagues and friends keep in touch along the trail with regular video
updates on YouTube.
    "Without the support of Rio Tinto Alcan, we couldn't have held the Grand
défi on such a large scale. For the first time, we were able to support events
throughout Quebec, and I am thrilled that so many communities, as well as both
public and private partners, have embraced the challenge," said Pierre Lavoie.
"Our goal is to keep promoting health and fitness that lasts all year, right
through to next year's even bigger Grand défi!"
    For the next two years, Rio Tinto Alcan will continue as lead sponsor of
the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie via the Rio Tinto Alcan Canada Fund. Created in
2008, the fund supports projects and organisations that contribute toward the
quality of life of host communities.

    About the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie

    Since its first cycling event in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region in
1999, the Défi Pierre Lavoie has contributed over $500,000 to medical research
and increased awareness about lactic acidosis throughout Quebec. Now, as part
of the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie, elementary schools will also have access to
funding for health and recreation projects.

    About Rio Tinto

    Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the
UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto
Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
    Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral
resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and
uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and
iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia
and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe
and southern Africa.

For further information:

For further information: Rio Tinto Alcan Media Relations: Stefano
Bertolli, (514) 848-8151,; Media Relations,
Grand défi Pierre Lavoie: Geneviève Lebrun, (514) 206-2106,; Website:,

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