WINNIPEG (Manitoba) December 21, 2009 – Today, Coca-Cola Canada named some of its Olympic Torchbearers for Winnipeg and the surrounding area. These Canadians will carry the Olympic Flame between January 5 and 8 as the torch relay makes its way to the Opening Ceremony for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games on February 12, 2010.

These Canadians were chosen through Coca-Cola’s torchbearer nomination program because they have chosen to ‘Live Positively’ by committing to a more active or environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

They have made simple, small modifications to their lives that incrementally amount to bigger and better changes – for themselves, the planet and their fellow Canadians.

Coca-Cola is also part of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay’s 189 city celebrations. The Coca-Cola experiences attendees will enjoy include:

  • Being mystified by the extraordinary world of Zero Gravity Circus where acrobats will dazzle the crowd
  • Seeing rare Olympic Torches dating back to 1948
  • Taking a picture with the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch
  • Enjoying an interactive drummer to get the crowd all jazzed up for Coca-Cola’s Open Happiness stage show


Ryan Anderson - resident of Winnipeg; sold his 5.0L Mustang to run and bike across Canada from Victoria to St. John’s for the David Suzuki Foundation; created Vision-Green, a non-profit organization that raises awareness and money for the environment; speaks about how to take action towards living a healthy, active lifestyle and better the environment to schools as well as the community; has completed marathons, triathlons and the Canadian Death Race (a 125 km all-terrain, extreme adventure race course; oversees an apartment block that is environmentally friendly with no smoking, and has CFL bulbs, low flow toilets and a blue box recycling program; recognized for his commitment to active living and the environment; carrying torch in Winnipeg on January 5.

Kathleen Leathers - resident of Winnipeg; founding member of the Prairie Pathfinders Walking Club; leads hikes twice a week in Winnipeg, monthly in rural Manitoba; co-author of ''Winnipeg Walks'', ''Hiking the Heartland'' and ''Manitoba Picnic Perfect”; has given many presentations to the community to promote the benefits of walking and hiking opportunities in Manitoba; recognized for her commitment to active living; carrying torch in Winnipeg on January 5.

Rita Burgess - resident of Winnipeg; made it a goal to get active in her 50th year; realized that just a few changes in her daily routine could help her meet her goals; continues to be active every day, especially by snowshoeing in the winter and walking in the warmer months; recognized for her commitment to active living; carrying torch in Winnipeg on January 5.

Joe Landreville - resident of Winnipeg; junior Canadian champion in weightlifting who believes his involvement in sports has helped define the person he is today; has coached dozens of weightlifters at varying levels of competition; encourages regular exercise and proper diet with his family to ensure they stay healthy and fit; recognized for his commitment to active living;carrying torch in Dugald on January 5.

Rebecca Bayes - resident of Winnipeg; former figure skater who recently decided to become a Big Sister - through this organization Rebecca hopes to share her love of the sport and teach the importance of active living; Rebecca’s father also carried the torch in 1988 and looks forward to sharing her torch relay experience with her family and ‘little sister’; recognized for her commitment to active living; carrying torch in Steinbach on January 5.

Brian McLean - resident of Winnipeg; inspired by Terry Fox to live an active life and encourage others to the same; ran his first marathon at age 50; in Winnipeg, and in participation of the Nijmegen March in the Netherlands, he completed four days of marching totalling 160 kms; goes to the gym every morning to run on the treadmill before walking to work; recognized for his commitment to active living; carrying torch in Winnipeg on January 5.

Selkirk Community Pool (Group Torchbearers) - the Selkirk Community Pool is a 25-meter indoor heated pool attached to the Regional Comprehensive School; the pool is operated by the Lord Selkirk School Division and is home to the Selkirk Dolphins Swim Club; group will carrying torch in Winnipeg on January 6.

Sogo Active Manitoba (Group Torchbearers) – Sogo Active Manitoba was formed by Recreation Connections Manitoba; 20 teenagers affiliated with Recreation Connections Sogo Active Manitoba will carry the Olympic Torch as group torchbearers; recognized for their commitment to active living; carrying torch in Winkler on January 7.

Denis Brodeur - resident of Winnipeg; construction worker who educated himself and his staff on how regular citizens could make their home and land more sustainable; explained to his staff the benefits of re-claiming construction materials, especially some types of insulation; made improvements to his own home - installing newer windows, low flush toilets and a higher efficiency furnace; bought a composter and started to fill two recycling bins a week; started using a rain barrel to reuse water for the garden and yard at his home; recognized for his commitment to the environment; carrying torch in Winnipeg on January 7.

Gene Gelmich – resident of Winnipeg; 64 year old who believes living active is an important part of his life; as the father of one daughter, participates in the Father’s Day marathon in Winnipeg; ran his first half marathon when he was 49 and has been participating in marathons ever since; also an active fundraiser in support of the intellectually challenged; recently encountered a set back and was diagnosed with RCC (renal cell carcinoma) and had an operation to remove a small tumour and part of one kidney - now on the road to recovery and hopes to be running again soon; carrying torch in Brunkild on January 7.

Eryn Weibe - resident of Winnipeg; a teacher and Girl Guide leader who leads children to be more environmental conscious; bringing bags while shopping, turning off lights, unplugging electronics and using products with recyclable packaging are all choices she has made and shared with the children she teaches; works with her Sparks Unit, which includes girls ages 5-6, on recycling projects and conducts annual walks to clean up her community; recognized for her commitment to the environment; carrying torch in Gladstone on January 8.

DATE AVAILABLE: Interviews with Olympic Torchbearers are available upon request

WHO: Coca-Cola’s Vancouver 2010 Olympic Project Team Member

DATE AVAILABLE: December 17 - January 5

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Ross McDowall of Visual Lizard

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