Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay Features Canadian Olympians

VANCOUVER, Nov. 13 /CNW/ - As the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay continues upon its 106-day journey across Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) today confirmed more than 300 Canadian Olympians are part of the nation-wide celebration leading up to the Opening Ceremony on February 12. The COC was pleased to assist the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) in the recruiting and coordination of Olympian torchbearers, which includes several 2010 hopefuls and many past medallists.

"I think this is not only a great honour for the Olympians, but also a fitting tribute as these athletes have given so much to Canada's Olympic Movement over the years," said COC President Michael Chambers. "This incredible event will evoke the memories that these dedicated Olympians created and inspire our 2010 Olympians competing in Vancouver and Whistler."

The full list of participating athletes - accessible at www.olympic.ca - includes more than 100 Olympic medallists, 56 of whom are Olympic champions. The names stretch back through history and include Olympians that have represented Canada in each decade since the 1930s - notably including honorary IOC member and COC life president James Worrall, a 1936 Olympian in athletics (Dec. 17, Toronto) and Canadian Olympic Order recipient and 1948 gold medallist Barbara Ann Scott-King (Dec. 13, Ottawa).

Participating 2010 Olympic hopefuls include hockey icon Sidney Crosby (Nov. 18, Halifax), speed skater Kalyna Roberge (Dec. 3, Lévis, Que.), bobsleigh athlete Heather Moyse (Nov. 22, Summerside, P.E.I.), ski cross racers Julia Murray (Feb. 5, Whistler) and Aleisha Cline (Nov. 1, Tofino, B.C.), and snowboarder Dominique Vallée (Feb. 5, Squamish, B.C.). These athletes will be among the 12,000 Canadians honoured to carry the Torch as it touches more than 1,000 communities in its 45,000 km cross-country journey.

"For me, the relay symbolizes the rich heritage of the Olympic Games, the passion of the athletes, the notion that we must carry that passion from one hand to another, and the fact that the Olympic Flame has the chance to burn bright in the heart of all people of the world that even look upon it," said Olympian and Canada's Assistant Chef de Mission for 2010 Steve Podborski, who will participate on Feb. 5 in Whistler.

Olympians were invited to participate in the Torch Relay by a number of Vancouver 2010 partners, particularly presenting partners Coca-Cola and RBC.

While VANOC will coordinate all aspects surrounding torch bearer participation, the COC will help facilitate media requests for participating Olympians. Media are asked to contact Diane St. Denis at dst-denis@olympic.ca or 604-403-1893.

The 2010 Olympic Torch Relay can be followed by viewing VANOC's interactive map:

http://www.vancouver2010.com/more-2010-information/olympic-torch-relay/olympic-torch-relay-interactive-map.

About the Canadian Olympic Committee

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) 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: Isabelle Hodge, Manager, Media Relations, Canadian Olympic Committee, ihodge@olympic.ca, (416) 324-4122

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