Visa celebrates Canada's bobsleigh and skeleton athletes on and off the track at FIBT World Cup Whistler 2009

    WHISTLER, BC, Feb. 7 /CNW/ - Visa, with the help of Canada's top sliders,
descended upon Whistler Village today to bring the rush of the sports of
bobsleigh and skeleton to the community. As presenting sponsor of FIBT World
Cup Bobsleigh and Skeleton Whistler 2009 and title sponsor of the Canadian
Men's and Women's bobsleigh and skeleton teams, Visa celebrated its 17th year
of support by hosting athlete autograph signings, consumer giveaways and photo
opportunities in Village Square, Whistler.
    Today marks the final day of the FIBT World Cup in Whistler, which saw
Canadian and international bobsleigh and skeleton athletes race down one of
the world's most demanding sliding sport tracks.
    "Visa has played a significant role in helping Canada's bobsleigh and
skeleton athletes to medal-winning finishes," said Don Wilson, CEO of
Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton. "As we approach the one year countdown to the
Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Visa's continued support helps push our
elite athletes to the top of the FIBT World Cup podium and beyond."
    By providing funding that can be used for equipment, world-class coaches
and some of the costs associated with competing internationally, Visa has
helped the teams compete and win against the best in the world. Visa has
supported the teams through numerous World Cup and World Championship titles
and gold medals at the Nagano 1998 Olympic Winter Games and the Torino 2006
Olympic Winter Games.
    "Visa's long-term support of the Canadian FIBT World Cup event represents
an important component of our long-term commitment to amateur sport Canada,"
said Brenda Woods, Head of Marketing, Visa Canada. "Visa is thrilled to have
shared in the triumphs of our tremendous bobsleigh and skeleton athletes over
the years. In this critical year leading up to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic
Winter Games, we pass along our encouragement as the teams make Canada proud -
both here at The Whistler Sliding Centre and in competitions abroad."
    In addition to supporting the Bobsleigh and Skeleton Teams, Visa also
offers support to the individual athletes. At the beginning of each season, a
Welcome Bonus is presented to all athletes named to the National and
Developmental teams and Performance awards are presented to the Top Five
National Team athletes at the conclusion of the season.
    For more information on Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton, visit For more information on the World Cup, visit

    A history of Visa's support for Canadian Bobsleigh and Skeleton

    -   1992: Visa sponsors the men's bobsleigh team.

    -   2000: Visa sponsors the women's bobsleigh team.

    -   2004: Visa sponsors the national skeleton teams, making Visa the
        first corporate sponsor of both the men's and women's skeleton teams.

    -   2007: Visa Canada celebrated a significant milestone - its fifteenth
        year of supporting Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton.

    -   2009: Visa celebrates its 17th year of Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton
        support as presenting sponsor of FIBT World Cup Bobsleigh Skeleton
        Whistler 2009 and continued support for Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton.

    -   Looking ahead: Visa will continue its Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton
        sponsorship beyond the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games into the
        2010 to 2011 seasons.

    About Visa

    Visa operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network
providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes
consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered
under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys
unsurpassed acceptance around the world and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's
largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more
than 170 countries. For more information, visit

    (R) Registered trademark of Visa International; Visa Canada is a licensed

    /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: Teri Broughton, Visa Canada, (416) 625-6713
(mobile), (416) 860-8869 (office),

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