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Air Canada renews support for Canadian Olympic athletes

TORONTOAir Canada will continue helping Canadian Olympic athletes to “own the podium” and reach new heights of success thanks to a four-year extension of its trusted partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee, beyond London 2012.

The renewed sponsorship agreement extends the current agreement to 2016, continuing to deliver essential support for Canadian Olympic athletes heading to Sochi 2014, through to Rio 2016 and beyond.

“It’s amazing to hear that one of the Canadian Olympic team’s strongest supporters is renewing their support for an additional four years,” said 2012 Canadian Olympic Swimming nominee Zsofia Balazs. “Not only is it great to know that we have their support all the way to 2016, but it’s also nice to know that they’ve had our backs — and our baggage — since 2006.”

“Since 2006, the transportation of Canada’s Olympic athletes and mission team has been securely under the purview of Canada’s airline — Air Canada,” said Canadian Olympic Committee President Marcel Aubut. “In stepping up once again as the official airline of the Canadian Olympic Team, Air Canada is reaffirming their leadership role as a champion of Canada’s Olympic Movement.”

“As Canada’s flag carrier, Air Canada is enormously proud to extend our support of our country’s Olympic athletes an additional four years,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO of Air Canada. “It is an honour and a privilege to be entrusted with the safety and well-being of Canada’s Olympic heroes en-route to the greatest competition of their lives.”

“Our Government is proud to support the Canadian Olympic Committee and our ever-inspiring athletes who will proudly represent Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games,” said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. “Today we are pleased to learn that the private sector is also firmly behind our athletes.  I congratulate Air Canada on renewing its support and continuing to serve as the official airline of the Canadian Olympic Team. Their valued contribution will help Canada’s athletes continue to achieve podium success.”

The event also featured the premiere of “Small Town Kid”, the latest documentary in the Canadian Olympic Team’s Give Your Everything campaign.

Swimmer Julia Wilkinson grew up in Stratford, Ont., with a population of just over 30,000, competing in a four-lane, 25m pool. Through perseverance and dedication, Julia went on to become an Olympian, and surprised everyone but herself when she made it to the final heat in the 2008 Olympic Games. She continues to challenge herself, and most recently at the 2012 Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials was crowned “Queen of the Pool”, winning all of her events. She heads to London with even loftier expectations.

Fans can watch “Small Town Kid” on Olympic.ca.

ABOUT THE CANADIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE
The Canadian Olympic Committee leads the achievement of the Canadian Olympic Team’s podium success and advances Olympic values in Canada.

Independent and predominantly privately funded, the Canadian Olympic Committee delivers resources that Canada’s elite athletes need to perform at their best and give their everything every day.

The backbone of Canada’s Olympic movement, the Canadian Olympic Committee works with National Sport Federations to prepare the Team for the Olympic, Youth Olympic and Pan American Games.

By sharing our athletes’ stories, we inspire all Canadians through the power of sport: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

ABOUT AIR CANADA
Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline serving more than 175 destinations on five continents.  Canada’s flag carrier is the 15th largest commercial airline in the world and in 2011 served more than 33 million customers.  Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 59 Canadian cities, 56 destinations in the United States and 63 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America.  Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,356 destinations in 193 countries. In 2011, Air Canada was ranked Best International Airline in North America in a worldwide survey of more than 18 million airline passengers conducted by independent research firm Skytrax. For more information on Air Canada visit aircanada.com and follow @AirCanada on Twitter and Facebook.

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Canadian Olympic Committee Media Office:                          
Jane Almeida, Manager, Media Relations
Tel. : 416-324-4120 / Cell. : 416-540-1788
Email : jalmeida@olympic.ca

Dimitri Soudas, Executive Director, Communications
Tel: 416-324-4136 / Cell: 289-388-6419
Email: dsoudas@olympic.ca

Air Canada Media Contacts:
Isabelle Arthur (Montréal)               514 422-5788
Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto)              416 263-5576
Angela Mah (Vancouver)                604 270-5741

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Marc-André Plouffe
Executive Director, Communications
Tel: 514-861-5487 / Cell: 416-428-0572
Email: maplouffe@olympic.ca

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