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Molson Canadian Announces $100,000 Support to Canadian Olympic Hopefuls

10 Sochi 2014 medal hopefuls earn $10,000 each as they prepare to take on the world.

CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwired) -- 11/15/13 --

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the Canadian Press picture wire via Marketwired.

With less than 90 days to go until the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, the recipients of the 2014 Molson Canadian "Fund a Champion" Campaign were announced. The contribution will see Molson Coors Canada give $100,000 to a group of 10 elite athletes from across Canada as they put the finishing touches on their preparations for Sochi 2014.

"Molson Canadian is an avid supporter of Canada's Olympic Movement and its athletes, and we are pleased to provide this much needed support," said Dave Bigioni, Molson Coors Canada Vice President of Brand Marketing. "Molson Coors has a long tradition dating back to John Molson himself, of giving back to the communities where we live, work and play. Healthy and vibrant communities are what lead to national pride, and this group of athletes perfectly represent this ideal that is so fundamental to our organization."

"So much is experienced and learned before that grand moment, where an athlete steps onto the podium, the anthem begins to play and the Maple Leaf rises to the rafters," said Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee. "Thank you to Molson Coors for recognizing the importance that community and local experiences have in the development of an athlete's career. This additional funding will help our athletes reach their full potential."

The 10 designated athletes were chosen from a list of applicants who applied through the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) back in September. The selection criteria included performance and international results from the 2012 and 2013 seasons, with priority given to first time Olympic-bound athletes who have strong local ties to their respective communities.

The 2014 Molson Canadian "Fund a Champion" Athletes are:

Laurent Dubreuil                      Speed Skating - Long Track            
Keltie Hansen                         Freestyle Skiing - Halfpipe           
Jessica Hewitt                        Speed Skating - Short Track           
Genevieve Lacasse                     Ice Hockey                            
Philippe Marquis                      Freestyle Skiing - Moguls             
Eric Radford                          Figure Skating - Pairs                
Sarah Reid                            Skeleton                              
Georgia Simmerling                    Ski Cross                             
Cody Sorensen                         Bobsleigh                             
Lenny Valjias                         Cross Country Skiing                  

With the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi less than 90 days away, the funding comes at a time where our athletes are in their final stages of planning, training and competing in order to qualify for the Games.

"This is such great news. I'm so honoured to be named one of this year's recipients," said Cody Sorensen, Sochi 2014 hopeful (Bobsleigh). "Receiving this support is the extra push that will allow me to concentrate on the preparation and training required to compete against the world's best. I am really looking forward to the opportunity of representing Canada on the Sochi track."

In addition to launching the Fund a Champion program, Molson Canadian also announced that they will be debuting a limited edition 625ml Molson Canadian Victory Bottle(TM). This bottle will be available to all Canadians back home to help celebrate Team Canada's successes in Russia. The Molson Canadian Victory Bottle(TM) will be available in retail stores across the country in time for the Olympic Winter Games.

"Since their prolific introduction at Vancouver 2010, the Molson Canadian Victory Bottles have made some notable appearances at key periods of Canadian celebration. For Sochi, we're excited to introduce a take-home version of the bottles, and the originals are sure to make an appearance at Canada Olympic House, along with our new passport-required beer fridge," added Bigioni.

In total, 81 applications were submitted this year, and the final 10 athletes were chosen by a selection committee comprised of representatives from Molson Coors Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the COC's Athletes' Commission. To be considered for the program all athletes had to be senior national team member(s) and in good standing with the winter National Sport Federation included on the official program of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. All athletes were required to be of legal drinking age in their province of residence.

About Molson Coors Canada:

Molson Coors Canada is the Canadian division of Molson Coors Brewing Company, a global brewer with operations in Canada, the U.S., U.K. and Asia. The Company proudly offers some of the most popular brands in Canada with an award-winning brand portfolio which includes Molson Canadian, Coors Light, Molson Export, Rickard's and Molson Canadian 67. Molson Coors also partners with other leading brewers to offer such global brands as Heineken, Corona and Miller Genuine Draft.

Molson Coors Canada employs 3,000 Canadians, operates seven breweries, including boutique breweries Creemore and Granville Island, and invests in communities from coast-to-coast through its various charitable initiatives and sports and entertainment sponsorships. Molson Coors Canada is committed to promoting its products and events in a responsible manner as part of an active, healthy lifestyle.

About the Canadian Olympic Committee:

The Canadian Olympic Committee leads the achievement of the Canadian Olympic Team's podium success and advances Olympic values in Canada. Independent and predominantly privately funded, the Canadian Olympic Committee delivers resources that Canada's elite athletes need to perform at their best and give their everything every day. The backbone of Canada's Olympic movement, the Canadian Olympic Committee works with National Sport Federations to prepare the Team for the Olympic, Youth Olympic and Pan American Games. By sharing our athletes' stories, we inspire all Canadians through the power of sport: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Contacts:
Molson Coors Canada:
Jennifer Kerr
Manager of Corporate Affairs
Cell: 416-779-7921
[email protected]

Canadian Olympic Committee Media Office:
Luc Beaudin
Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations
Cell: 514-206-6720
[email protected]

Jane Almeida
Manager, Media Relations
416-324-4120 / Cell: 416-540-1788
[email protected]

Dimitri Soudas
Executive Director Communications
416-324-4136 / Cell: 289-388-6419
[email protected]

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