Calgary, February 22, 2012
CALGARY – The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Suncor Energy today announced that Suncor, through its Petro-Canada brand, will continue to support Canadian athletes, their coaches and their families for an additional four years. The renewed sponsorship agreement extends the current agreement from 2013 to 2016 supporting the Canadian Olympic movement past Sochi 2014 and through to Rio 2016.
“The real winners today are Canadian athletes,” said COC President Marcel Aubut. “Once again, Suncor is stepping up and leading by example to help ensure that Canada’s Olympic heroes have the tools to compete – and to win – against the best in the world.”
For 25 years, Suncor through its Petro-Canada brand, has supported Canadian athletes through targeted programs funding Canadian sport beginning at the grassroots level. Since 1988 the company has helped over 2,300 young Canadian athletes and contributed more than $8 million in direct financial support through the Fuelling Athlete and Coaching Excellence (FACE) program, formerly the Olympic Torch Scholarship Fund.
“We’ve long recognized the need to contribute to the development of athletes at the earliest stages, helping their dreams become reality,” said Steve Williams, Suncor’s president and chief operating officer. “We celebrate the achievements of high potential athletes and support the development of these ‘up and comers’ into Canada’s future Olympians.”
Over the years, Suncor has extended its support beyond athletes to include coaches and families, recognizing that their support is critical to an athlete’s success. Through the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif coaches are offered growth and development opportunities and through the Petro-Canada Family Athlete Program families are offered an opportunity to see their loved one compete.
“The Government of Canada applauds Suncor Energy for continuing their commitment to Canadian athletes in their pursuit of Olympic dreams,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “We all have a part to play in supporting Canadian athletes, and our Government is encouraged to see Suncor Energy set an example to the private sector as they continue their proud legacy of funding the Canadian Olympic Team.”
“I have a deep interest in what’s happening in London less than six months from now,” said 2012 Chef de Mission for the Canadian Olympic Team, Mark Tewksbury. “One element of Suncor’s support, right now, is the continuation of the amazing Petro-Canada Athlete Family Program. I can’t emphasize enough how much it means to an athlete to have members of their family present during Olympic competition.”
“Petro-Canada has been a huge support to me throughout my career as an athlete, from the first moment I decided to be an Olympian, 25 years ago,” said four-time Olympic speed skating medallist Kristina Groves. “From being a kid and chasing the dream of running in the 1988 Petro-Canada Olympic Torch Relay, to receiving one of their scholarships so I could train and study in Calgary, to helping my parents watch me compete in Vancouver 2010, their ongoing contribution to the Canadian Olympic Team and to me has made a tangible difference to my Olympic journey and that of so many other Canadian athletes.”
“As a 2012 recipient of the Petro-Canada Fuelling Athletics and Coaching Excellence Program, I have a very real understanding of the difference Suncor is making to athletes fighting their way towards the Olympic podium right now,” said wrestler Leah Callahan. “I’m really happy I’m getting the opportunity to tell Canadians all about it.”
The announcement was made at the Suncor Energy Centre at 11:00 a.m. MST. Photos, a video of highlights and an archived copy of the webcast will be available shortly following the event at: • Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/iwilldreambig/ • YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/PetroCanadaOlympics