COC President and Olympians present new Red Mittens in Parliament

To help remind the country of one holiday gift that directly supports Canadian athletes, Canadian Olympic Committee President Marcel Aubut and six Olympic athletes today presented Prime Minister Stephen Harper with a pair of Canadian Olympic Team Red Mittens on Parliament Hill.

“It’s been such a spectacular year not only for Canadian sport but for our entire country, which will never be the same after what happened in Vancouver,” said Aubut. “We must keep riding the momentum and keep giving our athletes the support they need to succeed.

“Mr. Harper was there in Vancouver last February and saw the warmth and pride Canadians feel for their athletes. We’re thrilled to give Mr. Harper a pair of our new Red Mittens in hopes that our Olympians and Olympic hopefuls stay top of mind across the nation as we approach London 2012.”

Shortly after Question Period, the Prime Minister was greeted by Aubut and three-time Olympic medallist Emilie Heymans (diving), gold medallist Adam Kreek (rowing), double silver medallist Marianne St-Gelais (short track speed skating), gold medallist Francois Hamelin (short track speed skating), gold medallist Heather Moyse (bobsleigh) and 2008 Olympian Gabriel Beauchesne-Sevigny (canoe).

“The Red Mittens are an amazing symbol of support for our athletes, both financially and emotionally. My heart swells when I see Canadians wearing these iconic mittens,” said Olympic champion rower Adam Kreek. “It was so inspiring to see the entire nation behind the Canadian Olympic Team last winter. Every Canadian was part of our 2010 athletes’ success. Now, Red Mittens have become a true Canadian Olympic symbol that everyone can share.”

Through the Canadian Olympic Foundation, net proceeds from each $10 pair of Red Mittens benefit the Canadian Olympic Team by supporting athlete development, coaching and equipment. The original Red Mittens, launched in October 2009 in partnership with the Hudson’s Bay Company, generated an outpouring of Olympic spirit across the country in the lead-up to 2010 Olympic Winter Games and quickly became an iconic symbol of Canada’s Games, selling an unprecedented 3.5 million pairs.

The new Red Mittens embody that same Olympic spirit and symbolize Canadians’ ongoing support for their national athletes. The new design, featuring a maple leaf wrapped around the palm with “Canada” written on the wristband, can be registered online for Olympic updates and a chance to win a trip to cheer on Canada at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Red Mittens are available exclusively at the Bay, Zellers and Home Outfitters stores, as well as online at www.hbc.com/redmittens.