TORONTO (ONTARIO) - The Canadian Hockey Association (CHA) is calling on all Canadians to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Canada's Olympic "Double Gold" hockey victories. Longtime partner General Mills Canada Corporation - maker of Cheerios cereal - also announced its support today by joining in designating February 24 as Double Gold Day - the annual date that Canadians should mark two of the most thrilling experiences in Canadian hockey history. The date marks the anniversary of the final day of last year's Olympic Games.
"Last year's gold medal victories brought Canadians together in a way that we haven't experienced for many, many years," said Bob Nicholson, President, CHA. "General Mills and the Canadian Hockey Association hope that Canadians will join in and commemorate those victories by rekindling some of the amazing pride and fellowship we all felt.
"So we're urging Canadians to honour our national pastime this year by participating in at least one hockey-related activity on Double Gold Day - whether it's attending a game in their community, playing a pickup game with friends, or just reliving the Olympics in conversation with friends."
In support of their vision, the two organizations have also launched Reflections of Olympic Gold, a unique new DVD collection to mark the anniversary and commemorate the events. The DVD collection combines 2002 Olympic Hockey game clips with never-before-seen locker room footage, player interviews and statistics on four commemorative discs. The individual DVDs will be available free in special-edition Cheerios and other select General Mills cereal boxes by Double Gold Day.
"As a proud sponsor of Team Canada and Canadian hockey, Cheerios set out to chronicle the accounts of the players, coaches and fans during and following the two gold medal experiences," said Craig Smith, Vice President, Marketing, General Mills Canada. "Reflections of Olympic Gold provides Canadian fans with a special way to share these moments with the people who made them happen.
We're genuinely thrilled to make this program available, free, to the best hockey fans in the world."
Mr. Smith added the program was developed by General Mills and the CHA in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC). He also noted that General Mills has commissioned an Ipsos-Reid poll of Canadians to learn more about the most popular moments and memories from last year's victories. Results from one poll question indicated that of those Canadians who watched at least one of the gold medal games, three-quarters (75%) believe that the gold medal hockey victories showed that Canada is the best hockey-playing country in the world. Comprehensive poll results will be released by the company on February 13 in advance of Double Gold Day.
The DVDs are hosted by Olympic gold medallists Jarome Iginla and Cassie Campbell; each DVD features a unique look at the double gold experience and includes interviews with over 20 members of the teams. All versions of the collection are bilingual and cover both the men's and women's Olympic Hockey games.
The launch of the program coincides with General Mills' renewed sponsorship of Martin Brodeur and Cassie Campbell -- and the addition of Jarome Iginla -- to the Team Cheerios roster of athletes.
"Winning gold in Salt Lake City was a dream come true. It's a moment my Olympic teammates and I think about often," said Jarome Iginla. "I'm proud to be joining Team Cheerios and participating in a program that seeks to honour the accomplishments of my teammates and share our experiences with the rest of Canada on Double Gold Day."
About General Mills Canada Corporation
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General Mills Canada is a long time supporter of the Canadian Hockey Association, Canada's men's and women's Olympic Teams and the Canadian Olympic Committee. In 2002, the company also supported six individual winter athletes each of whom were featured on Cheerios boxes prior to Olympics and went on to earn gold medals in Salt Lake City. Established in 1954, General Mills Canada Corp. is based in Mississauga, ON, with regional offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Halifax. The company's flagship brand is Cheerios, Canada's #1 cereal brand, which accounts for over 10% of all cereal purchases. Other popular brands made by General Mills include Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Hamburger Helper and Old El Paso.About the Canadian Hockey Association
The Canadian Hockey Association (CHA) (www.canadianhockey.ca), is the sole governing body for hockey in Canada, following the merger in July 1994 of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association and Hockey Canada. The association links over 4.5 million Canadian players, coaches, officials, volunteers, administrators and others involved in local hockey across Canada to all provincial, national and international hockey bodies. CHA, with over 560,000 participants, oversees the management of hockey programming in Canada from entry level to international competitions. The CHA strives to improve the delivery system for hockey development programs and communication throughout Canada with 13 member Branches and regional Centres of Excellence in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Saint John.
To arrange an interview with General Mills, Team Cheerios athletes, or for more information, contact:
Katie Clark, Optimum Public Relations Brad Pascall, Director, Communications
Phone: (416) 934-8409 Canadian Hockey Association
Email : email@example.com Phone: (403) 777-3636
Yanik Deschenes, Optimum Public Relations
Phone: (514) 985-8267
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Fawn Mulcahy, Optimum Public Relations
Phone: (604) 647-2968
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This is the finding of an Ipsos-Reid poll conducted on behalf of General Mills of Canada between December 12 . The poll is based on a randomly selected sample of 2,003 adult Canadians. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. A major portion of the survey focusing upon those Canadians who watched at least one gold medal Olympic hockey game has a sample of 965, with a margin of error of ± 3.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.