CP Spirit Train Challenges Ontarians to Help Canadian Athletes Get to Podium in 2010

TORONTO — The Canadian Pacific (CP) Spirit Train is challenging Ontarians to show their enthusiasm and passion for Canadian athletes, helping them boost their current second place standing internationally to first by the time the 2010 Games arrive.

“Truth is, our Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes are well on their way to success in 2010 and more Canadians need to recognize this,” says Paul Rosen, Sledge Hockey gold medalist and ambassador for the Canadian Pacific Spirit Train. Rosen is touring with the CP Spirit Train, sharing his inspiring story and 2010 gold medal hopes with thousands of Canadians.

The Spirit Train’s mandate aligns well with the sentiment of Canadians. In a survey conducted by the NRG Research Group in 2006, 69% of Canadians say that it is important for Canada to be the top medal finisher at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Canadians surveyed cited international recognition and national pride most often.

Among the contending nations for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Canada finished second with 184 World Cup medals at the conclusion of the 2007/2008 winter season according to recent research conducted by Own the Podium, an organization promoting and tracking the success of Canadian athletes leading up to 2010. More impressively, Paralympic athletes won an unprecedented 47 World Cup gold medals last season, propelling them into first place among winter Paralympic sport nations.

“Ontario should take advantage of the Spirit Train program to push our athletes onto the podium,” added Rosen. “Come to the event, meet your favourite sports heroes, and tell them in person what you will do to get them to the medal podium.”

Helping with the heroes’ celebration, each day-long event includes the Vancouver 2010 Games mascots, interactive sports displays, Aboriginal Celebrations, a one-hour performance showcasing Aboriginal talent from across Canada and the music of rock superstar, Colin James.

Best of all it’s all free. The CP Spirit Train will be in Sudbury on Oct 11, Mississauga on Oct 13, and Smiths Falls on Oct 16 before ending its journey in Montreal on Oct 18.

— CNW