Team Visa athlete Brian McKeever qualifies for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic
Winter Games

Visa congratulates Canadian cross-country skier as the first-ever athlete to compete in both the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

TORONTO, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - A long-term supporter of amateur athletes, Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) proudly congratulates Canadian cross-country skier Brian McKeever for becoming the first winter athlete to compete in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Already an accomplished para-nordic skier, Brian will represent Canada at both the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games following Cross Country Canada's historic decision to nominate Brian to Canada's Olympic Team.

"Having supported Brian as part of the Team Visa program since 2005, Visa has seen Brian achieve remarkable success over the years in both para-nordic and able-bodied cross-country skiing competitions," said Brenda Woods, Head of Marketing, Visa Canada. "Brian's courage, determination and leadership inspires us all to push the limits to achieve our dreams. We couldn't be more proud of Brian as he makes history as the first athlete to compete in the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games."

Introduced to the sport of cross-country skiing at a young age, Brian started competing in events as a teenager. At 19, Brian began losing his vision due to a rare genetic condition, Stargardt's disease. Brian, who is legally blind, continued to pursue his sport in para-nordic skiing competitions with his brother Robin acting as his guide. Brian has had a remarkable sports career, winning numerous World Championship and Paralympic medals, including two gold and one silver medal at the Salt Lake City 2002 Paralympic Winter Games and two gold, one silver and one bronze medal at the Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games.

Team Visa

A Worldwide Sponsor of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Visa supports more than 30 individual athletes from Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia who are aiming to compete at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

As part of the Team Visa program, each Olympic and Paralympic hopeful is provided with direct financial support that can be used for their training and travel regimens. This financial support is supplemented with ongoing mentorship from Olympians and Paralympians who have competed in previous Games. Around the world, Team Visa athletes are selected for their sporting acheivements, dedication to developing their sports and giving back to their communities. These athletes epitomize the Olympic Spirit through their core values, attitudes, and behaviours and serve as an inspiration for the next generation of young athletes.

At Visa, we believe that there is no difference between the commitment, dedication, ability and inspiration needed to become a Paralympian from that needed to become an Olympian. An important facet of the Team Visa program is that it includes both Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls.

For more information about Brian McKeever and the Team Visa program, visit

About Visa Inc.

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks-VisaNet-that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit

SOURCE VISA Canada Corporation

For further information: For further information: Teri Broughton, Visa Canada, (416) 860-8869,

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