Ten Canadian torchbearers to go to Beijing

    OTTAWA, July 25 /CNW Telbec/ - The Beijing Organizing Committee for the
Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) is inviting ten Canadians to Beijing to
participate in the 2008 Paralympic Games Torch Relay, the City of Vancouver,
the Resort Municipality of Whistler, and the Canadian Paralympic Committee
jointly announced today.
    The 2008 Paralympic Games Torch Relay will take place between August 28
and September 6, 2008 in the People's Republic of China. Canadian torchbearers
will participate on September 5 or 6 in Beijing. The Resort Municipality of
Whistler will select two torchbearers, the Canadian Paralympic Committee will
select four torchbearers, and the remaining four torchbearers will be selected
by the City of Vancouver. Each organization will have its own selection
process: full details on each partner's process will be available on their
individual websites.
    "We are extremely pleased that BOCOG has provided this opportunity for
Canada to be involved in the torch relay," said Vancouver's Mayor Sam
Sullivan. "It is a true honour and we thank BOCOG for this invitation."
    "We are all incredibly proud to be co-hosting the 2010 Paralympic Winter
Games in Vancouver and Whistler," said Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed. "And the
added opportunity to participate in the 2008 Paralympic Torch Relay will help
to build even more awareness and excitement around Paralympic sport in our
communities and across the country."

    Torchbearers are to be selected based on the following criteria set out by

    - Uphold the Olympic and Paralympic spirit and dedicate themselves to the
      Olympic and Paralympic Movements.
    - Support the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
    - Be distinguished for remarkable feats in their profession or community,
      or for a personal story that serves to inspire or motivate fellow
    - Be generous and dedicated to community service.
    - Be distinguished for contributions to the Olympic or Paralympic cause,
      or for extraordinary performance at the past Olympic Games or
      Paralympic Games.

    "The 2008 Paralympic Torch Relay will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
for 10 fortunate Canadians to celebrate our country and our Paralympic
athletes in Beijing," said Carla Qualtrough, the President of the Canadian
Paralympic Committee.
    All travel, accommodation and meals for torchbearers will be covered by
BOCOG, based on travel originating in Vancouver.
    For more information on how to apply to be a torch bearer or to nominate
someone, visit www.paralympic.ca and follow the links. The City of Vancouver
(vancouver.ca) and Resort Municipality of Whistler (whistler.ca) will also
have application packages available on their websites next week.

For further information:

For further information: City of Vancouver Corporate Communications,
(604) 871-6336, vancouver.ca; Resort Municipality of Whistler Communications,
(604) 935-8104, www.whistler.ca; Canadian Paralympic Committee Communications,
(613) 569-4333 X 226, www.paralympic.ca

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