Royal Canadian Mint's countdown to Vancouver 2010 begins with launch of 25-cent cross-country skiing coin

    Canadians invited to enter exciting contest to win a trip to the
    Vancouver 2010 Winter Games

    WHISTLER, BC, Jan. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - With one year to go before Vancouver
welcomes the world for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the Royal
Canadian Mint has launched the latest coin in its Vancouver 2010 collection.
The sport of cross-country skiing is depicted on the 25-cent coin, which was
launched today at the FIS World Cup Cross-Country Skiing competition at
Whistler Olympic Park, the venue which will host all Olympic and Paralympic
cross-country skiing events in 2010.
    "As the Mint begins the third year of its extensive Vancouver 2010
circulation and commemorative coin program, we are pleased to kick-off 2009
with a coin that features a sport enjoyed by Canadians of all ages from coast
to coast," said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint.
"While our athletes continue their training towards Vancouver, we encourage
Canadians to save this special coin, along with the other coins in the
Vancouver 2010 collection, as a unique way to build momentum and wish them the
very best of luck."
    "We truly appreciate the opportunity to reach out and showcase our sport
to Canadians in every corner of this country through this special initiative
by the Royal Canadian Mint," said Al Maddox, executive director, Cross Country
Canada. "It is through these unique projects that we are able to instil the
Olympic dream in all Canadians, while engaging them in our exciting journey to
the podium in 2010."
    Up to 22 million 25-cent cross-country skiing coins entered into
circulation yesterday and are available exclusively at RBC branches and
participating Petro-Canada locations. RBC is a Premier National Partner and
Petro-Canada is a National Partner of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games. Canadians can also look for these special coins in
their change. Participating Petro-Canada locations are also currently selling
cross-country skiing sport cards, containing a uniquely painted version of the
coin, for $7.95.
    Cross-country skiers competed at the first Olympic Winter Games in
Chamonix, France, in 1924, in 18-kilometre and 50-kilometre races for men.
Ladies' cross-country skiing made its debut at the Oslo 1952 Olympic Winter
Games. The cross-country skiing technique known as skating or free technique
became a separate Olympic competitive discipline at the Calgary 1988 Winter
Games. In 2010, there will be twelve Olympic cross-country events (six each of
men's and ladies' disciplines) and ten Paralympic cross-country events (five
each of men's and ladies' disciplines).
    Designed by Canadian artist Glenn Green of Vancouver, BC, the
cross-country skiing circulation coin features a cross-country skier in the
centre, a stylized maple leaf and the words 'Vancouver 2010'. The obverse
features the portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, rendered by Susanna
    In addition to the circulation coin, the Mint is offering the following
related keepsakes, located at the first day 25-cent
cross-country skiing coin ($15.95); and the 25-cent cross-country circulation
coin roll ($16.95). These and other Royal Canadian Mint products are also
available for purchase by calling 1-800-267-7000. The sterling silver version
of the cross-country skiing coin, featuring a stunning hologram ($71.95), will
be available on April 15, 2009.
    Canadians can look forward to the following 2010 Olympic and Paralympic
Winter Games themed circulation coins: three 25-cent coins will feature the
sports of speed skating (March 12, 2009), bobsleigh (June 23, 2009) and
Paralympics sledge hockey (March 16, 2010), while the 2010 Lucky Loonie will
be launched on February 9, 2010, just prior to the Vancouver 2010 Winter
Olympic Games. Details on three special circulation coins celebrating the top
three Canadian Olympic moments will be announced in the very near future.

    Win a trip to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games!

    With 2010 just around the corner, Canadians are encouraged to enter for a
chance to win the grand prize of a trip for four to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic
Winter Games or one of 500 other exciting Royal Canadian Mint prizes. Contest
details are available in the February issue of Chatelaine magazine or visit and enter the lucky word "coins" to register to win.

    About the Royal Canadian Mint

    The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown Corporation responsible for the
minting and distribution of Canada's circulation coins. An ISO 9001-2000
certified company, the Mint is recognized as one of the largest and most
versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high
quality coinage products and related services on an international scale. The
Mint is an Official Supporter of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic
Winter Games and has undertaken to produce the most extensive circulation coin
program in relation to the Olympic Games ever conceived by any mint worldwide,
while also offering limited mintage collector coins and sets. Visit for Vancouver 2010 keepsakes and gifts.

    Images and product details of the Mint's latest products are available by

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Christine Aquino, Director, Communications,
Royal Canadian Mint, (613) 993-9999,

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