Whistler awaits the arrival of its knight in shining armour, Sir Matthew
Pinsent, who runs with the flame Feb. 5

WHISTLER, BC, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - Sir Matthew Pinsent, four-time Olympic gold medallist rower, will receive a welcome worthy of nobility when he runs with the flame in Whistler, BC, on Feb. 5. Sir Pinsent is one of 14 international torchbearers with the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, presented by Coca-Cola and RBC and supported by the Government of Canada.

Named a Knight Bachelor through the British honours system, Sir Pinsent began rowing at Eton College and competed in his first Games in 1992 in Barcelona, which brought him gold in the coxless pair. Since his career as an Olympic athlete, Pinsent has been a sports reporter and presenter for the BBC. He will be part of the 2010 Winter Games this February as a member of the BBC's international media team.

"I finished my sports career with a gold medal in Athens, beating a Canadian crew by 8/100ths of a second," says Sir Pinsent. "It therefore came as somewhat of a surprise that I was asked to carry the flame this year! It is something I am proud to do and it is testament to the Olympics and its values that the men I raced with and against that day in Athens remain my strongest friends today."

Before Sir Pinsent runs with the Olympic Flame, he will be taking in some experiences at Whistler. From cutting fresh tracks down the slopes and dogsledding to relaxing après-ski, Sir Pinsent will be getting the royal treatment at one of British Columbia's classic winter resort towns.

"Matthew Pinsent is one of only five athletes in Olympic history to earn a gold medal in four consecutive Olympic Games," says Michele McKenzie, president and CEO of the Canadian Tourism Commission. "Sir Pinsent is an honoured guest and we're thrilled to have him join in the excitement!"

The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), in collaboration with the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), has selected international torchbearers to participate in the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay International Media Program to maximize international media coverage of the relay and spread the excitement and Olympic spirit around the world.

The international torchbearers are from CTC's global markets and include former Olympic athletes as well as entertainers and media celebrities. Their journeys through Canada will be broadcast and shared in their home countries during both the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay and the 2010 Winter Games, all to inspire the world to travel to Canada.

About the CTC

The CTC is Canada's national tourism marketing organization. Our vision is inspiring the world to explore Canada. With our partners in the tourism industry and the governments of Canada, the provinces and the territories, we advertise and market Canada in 12 countries around the world, conduct industry research and studies, and promote product and industry development. For daily updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to CTC News, available through RSS feeds and by e-mail.


Torchbearer profile


SOURCE Canadian Tourism Commission

For further information: For further information: Meaghan Benmore, Hill & Knowlton Vancouver, Tel: (604) 692-4228, Cell: (604) 340-5025, meaghan.benmore@hillandknowlton.ca; Jitka Licenik, Corporate Communications Advisor, Canadian Tourism Commission, Tel: (604) 638-2482, licenik.jitka@ctc-cct.ca, www.canada.travel/media

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