TORONTO – Today, joined by Canadian Olympians and Paralympians, Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) officials and special guests, RBC announced the names of 47 world-class Canadian athletes who will be part of the RBC Olympians program from 2013 through 2015. Combined, these exceptional athletes have earned a total of 31 Olympic medals and 36 Paralympic medals.
As the first and longest-standing corporate sponsor of the Canadian Olympic Team, RBC supports Canadian amateur athletes in both summer and winter sports. Since 1947, the company has encouraged healthy, active lifestyles, while building a lasting legacy for Canadian athletes through partnerships with organizations including the COC.
“Investing in our athletes is an investment in Canada, and we are thrilled to welcome these 47 incredible athletes to the RBC Olympians program,” said Dave McKay, group head, personal and commercial banking, RBC. “RBC has a longstanding tradition of being committed to helping Canadian athletes succeed—on and off the field of play and in their transition to life after sport. We’re here today to continue this important relationship.”
The RBC Olympians program, which began in 2002, is a national initiative that provides elite athletes with much-needed funding and flexible work arrangements which allow the athletes to focus on training and competition. The program also provides an opportunity to gain career-oriented skills and experiences that help them succeed in their transition to life after sport.
“Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes are some of our country’s greatest assets and they are proof that the power of sport can improve our society, inspire and bring Canadians together,” said Marcel Aubut, president, COC. “Our athletes embody the true spirit of sport and Canada – though they may compete in individual events, they come together as a team and rally an entire country behind their efforts.”
Returning to the RBC Olympians roster are well-known Canadian Olympians and Vancouver 2010 gold-medalists Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue (figure skating), 2013 world champion Patrick Chan (figure skating), Marc Kennedy (curling), Benoît Huot (Paralympic swimming), Jayna Hefford (ice hockey) as well as Greg Westlake, captain of the Canadian men’s sledge hockey team.
With the upcoming Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games mere months away, all RBC Olympians will be looked up to by young Canadian athletes from across the country that dream of one day competing in the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“Canadians rally behind our athletes – it’s in our DNA as a proud, patriotic country,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), also present for today’s announcement. “Our Olympic and Paralympic athletes embody the true spirit of Canada, dedicating themselves to their sport and proudly representing their country on the world stage.”
Continuing its legacy of supporting amateur athletes, the RBC Olympians program recruits and hires both current and retired Olympic and Paralympic athletes to work as community ambassadors for RBC while bringing the Olympic messages of excellence, teamwork, leadership, and commitment to Canadian communities. In addition, athletes are outfitted with the necessary business skills to have a career after sport. At today’s event, RBC also announced that since the program began, nearly 200 current and retired Olympic and Paralympic athletes have participated in the RBC Olympians program, with 10 becoming full-time RBC employees.
The RBC Olympians for 2013/2014 are:
Will Dean, rowing
Scott Frandsen, rowing
Rosalind Groenewoud, freestyle skiing – halfpipe
Trevor Hirschfield, wheelchair rugby
Darcy Marquardt, rowing
Christian Redmann, beach volleyball
Doug Vandor, rowing
Viviane Forest, Paralympic alpine skiing
Joshua Riker Fox, modern pentathlon
Kristina Groves, long track speed skating
Marc Kennedy, curling
Brady Leman, freestyle skiing – ski cross
Carla MacLeod, ice hockey
Bobbi-Jo Slusar, ice hockey
Miranda Biletski, wheelchair rugby
Jillian Gallays, wrestling
Brad Jacobs, curling
Colin Mathieson, wheelchair racing
Jill Officer, curling
Robbi Weldon, Paralympic cycling
Jennifer Botterill, ice hockey
Ashley-Lynn Brzozowicz, rowing
Jason Burnett, trampoline
Patrick Chan, figure skating
Becky Kellar Duke, ice hockey
Heather Hamilton, athletics – pole vault
Jayna Hefford, ice hockey
Martha McCabe, swimming
Derek O’Farrell, rowing
Mark Oldershaw, canoe – sprint
Brian Price, rowing
Kevin Rempel, sledge hockey
Cody Sorensen, bobsleigh
Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue, figure skating
Greg Westlake, sledge hockey
Caroline Calvé, snowboard – alpine
François Coulombe Fortier, taekwondo
Hugues Fournel, kayak
Benoît Huot, Paralympic swimming
Mikaël Kingsbury, freestyle skiing – moguls
Marie-Claude Molnar, Paralympic cycling
Caroline Ouellette, ice hockey
Benoît St-Amand, sledge hockey
Adam Lancia, Nova Scotia, wheelchair basketball
Una Lounder, Nova Scotia, kayak
Ben Russell, Nova Scotia, canoe – sprint
About RBC and Amateur Sport
RBC supports amateur sport in communities across Canada, from recreational to competitive activities, and from grassroots to elite-level athletes. At the grassroots level, RBC is committed to supporting programs which help children develop the confidence and skills they need to enable them to play, and become happy, healthy and active for life. RBC is proud to be the longest-standing corporate supporter of the Canadian Olympic Team, since 1947, as well as a premier sponsor of Hockey Canada. Visit www.rbc.com/sponsorship.
RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2012, we contributed more than $95 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $64 million and $31 million in sponsorships.
For more information, please contact:
Brand Communications, RBC