Coca‑Cola has been a global partner of the Olympic Games since 1928. As part of this collaboration with the IOC (International Olympic Committee), which Coca‑Cola recently extended to 2020, the beverages company – in its capacity as a Presenting Partner – is also supporting the Torch Relay of the 2010 Winter Olympics which will be carried across all of Canada starting at Vancouver Island on 30 October 2009. At the invitation of Coca‑Cola Switzerland, the Olympic medal winners Pirmin Zurbriggen and Maria Walliser will carry the Torch through the streets of Montreal on 10 December 2009.
“We’re really pleased that the 42nd day of the 2010 Winter Olympics’ Torch Relay will be taking place with the involvement of the Swiss and we’re proud to invite to Montreal two former Olympic medal winners and two of Switzerland’s most successful skiers: Maria Walliser and Pirmin Zurbriggen,” says Flavio Calligaris, Market Operations Manager at Coca‑Cola Switzerland GmbH.
Maria Walliser and Pirmin Zurbriggen will carry the Olympic Torch through the streets of Montreal early in the morning of Thursday 10 December 2009. Maria Walliser feels honoured to be allowed to carry the Torch: “Winning an Olympic medal is the dream of any athlete. And I consider it a really special honour to be participating in the Torch Relay at the invitation of Coca‑Cola.”
Pirmin Zurbriggen is also looking forward to the procession through Montreal: “I won two Olympic medals at the 1988 games in Calgary, one of which being gold in the Downhill event. This makes me extremely happy to be allowed to participate in the Torch Run in the country of my Olympic triumph.” The third Swiss, Marc Walder, Head of Ringier Switzerland, will also be there at the start. As a former champion athlete, he’s also looking forward to the procession.
The Torch Relay for the 2010 Olympic Games which will be held in Vancouver unites all of Canada and will cover a total distance of 45,000 kilometres. After the lighting of the Olympic Torch in Olympia (Greece), it will pass through over 1,000 Canadian communities during the course of its 106-day journey over land, through the air and across water starting 30 October 2009.
At the same time, around 12,000 torchbearers will be carrying the Torch for parts of its journey on foot, by dog sledge, snowmobile, horse, aeroplane and by other means of transport. The Torch will arrive in Vancouver on 11 February 2010 where it will be used the following day to light the Olympic Flame as part of the opening ceremony.
During her career, Maria Walliser won a total of 25 World Cup races. She has taken the top spot on the podium in all disciplines apart from the Slalom. She was able to clinch the Overall World Cup and Downhill World Cup twice, and the Super-G World Cup once. She won silver at the 1984 Olympic Games in Sarajevo.
The highlight of her career was winning gold both in Downhill and Super-G events as well as bronze in the Giant Slalom event at the 1987 World Skiing Championships in Crans-Montana. She repeated her success in the Downhill event at the 1989 World Skiing Championships in Vail.
Pirmin Zurbriggen is one of the most successful ski racers of all time. Four-times World Cup winner and with 40 World Cup victories to his name, he is one of the few to become a winner in all five disciplines. Competing in three World Cups, he won a total of nine medals (four gold, four silver and one bronze) – and gold in the Downhill event and a bronze in the Giant Slalom event at the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary.
The Coca‑Cola Company is proud to be a partner of the Olympic Movement – a partnership that is over 70 years old.
Ever since the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam, Coca‑Cola has been a partner of the Olympic Movement – making it the oldest sponsor of the Olympic Games. As a result of the collaboration with the IOC, the organisers of the Olympic Games and around 200 national Olympic committees, Coca‑Cola is contributing towards making the Olympic Games an unforgettable experience for athletes and viewers alike.
This historic partnership with the IOC has now been extended to 2020 which means it’s almost a century old. As an organisation, Coca‑Cola is committed to upholding the Olympic Values such as pleasure in achievement, excellence, friendship, fair play and willingness to create a better and friendlier world. Alongside the Olympic Games, in Switzerland, this commitment to sport covers numerous large events in relation to football and winter sports-related sporting activities.
A deep responsibility has grown out of the love for sport which is expressed in various projects both in major-league and broader-based sport, and in a commitment to promote an active lifestyle.
Ruth Mathias, Corporate Affairs Manager, +41 (0)44 8359910 or firstname.lastname@example.org