McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited

November 03, 2009 09:00 ET

Golden Opportunity: 11 Canadian Kids Earn Trip of a Lifetime to Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games

Youngsters from coast-to-coast to rub shoulders with athletes, attend high-profile events and interact with kids from around the globe as part of McDonald's Champion Kids® program

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 3, 2009) - 

Attention assignment, Olympics, sports and lifestyle editors:

Four years ago, IOC President Jacques Rogge called upon the youth of the world to assemble in Vancouver to celebrate the XXI Olympic Winter Games. That is part of the inspiration behind McDonald's Champion Kids, a worldwide program that will provide 11 kids from across Canada the chance to experience first-hand the thrill of being in the middle of the action at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

As part of this exciting once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, each kid – along with a guardian – will attend high-profile Olympic events, meet athletes, visit cultural sites and interact with other McDonald's Champion Kids from around the world.

Today, at the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex in one of Canada's most remote regions, Karly King Simpson, 12, from Inuvik, NWT will learn through a surprise announcement during her team's curling practice that she is on her way to the 2010 Winter Games. Karly's participation as one of the 11 Canadian McDonald's Champion Kids highlights the geographical scope and cultural diversity of the program.

"At McDonald's, we believe in the spirit of the Games and their ability to engage the world in a way that is constructive, positive and inspirational," said John Betts, President, McDonald's Canada. "These 11 kids are proud ambassadors of their local community and we're thrilled to provide them with a unique experience they'll remember for the rest of their lives."

The 11 Canadian McDonald's Champion Kids are:

  • Karly King Simpson, 12, Inuvik, NWT
  • Johnathan Botelho, 11, Prince George, BC
  • Ty Wagar, 12, Lacombe, AB
  • Pascale Yee,10, Martensville, SK
  • Seth Henderson, 11,Winnipeg, MB
  • Jared Reckzine, 11, Kapuskasing, ON
  • Lisanne Foley, 12, Quebec City, QC
  • Jaimie Randall, 9, Fredericton, NB
  • Collin Cluett, 11, Dartmouth, NS
  • Desiree Gallant, 11, Charlottetown, PEI
  • Eric Hutchings, 12, St. John's, NFLD

Today's event in Inuvik concludes a cross-country series of surprise announcement events. Each of the Canadian McDonald's Champion Kids learned they were going to the Games at a sports practice or at a school assembly. Each kid received a special send-off package as well as a personal video message from a Team McDonald's athlete.

"This is totally awesome – I can't believe I'll be going to the Games," said Pascal Yee, 10, McDonald's Champion Kid from Martensville, SK. "I'm so excited about having the chance to meet some of my favourite athletes and getting to know kids from around the world. I just can't wait for February to come!"

In provinces that participated in the Go Active!® Fitness Challenge, a school-based fitness program presented by McDonald's Canada with support from the Canadian Olympic Committee that provides schools the opportunity to earn credits to use towards new gym equipment, teachers who registered their class in the program nominated participating students for the chance to be a McDonald's Champion Kid.

The 11 Canadian McDonald's Champion Kids were chosen by a selection committee that included two-time Olympic gold medalist Cassie Campbell and, in Quebec only, two-time Olympic silver medalist Alexandre Despatie, based on their commitment to fitness and leading an active lifestyle, for demonstrating leadership among their peers and for participating in a variety of extracurricular activities.

"The Olympic Games are all about bringing people together and striving for excellence, and these kids have shown great leadership in their communities and like all Olympians, a strong commitment to being the best they can be," said Cassie Campbell, former captain of Canada's National Women's Hockey Team and the only player to captain two Olympic gold medal winning teams.

McDonald's Champion Kids will also have the opportunity to share their Games experiences through their hometown media. All 11 youngsters will be encouraged to "report back" on the Games as correspondents recounting their stories about meeting athletes, attending events and touring cultural sites.

The McDonald's Champion Kids program was first launched during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games where two Canadian children traveled to China along with other kids from all over the world. One of them, Vancouver's Max Newton, will act as an ambassador to the 2010 program. In his role, Max will share his experiences from Beijing while joining the kids for some of the Olympic activities.

About McDonald's and the Olympic Games
McDonald's commitment to the Olympic movement began in 1968, when the company airlifted hamburgers to U.S. athletes in Grenoble, France after they reported being homesick for McDonald's food. Since then, McDonald's has served its menu of choice and variety to millions of athletes, their families and their fans, and will be doing so again in Vancouver including such favourites as the Big Mac® sandwich and World Famous Fries™, as well as the Egg McMuffin® sandwich, Chicken McNuggets®, entrée salads and Fruit n' Yogurt Parfaits.

The Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver mark McDonald's seventh Olympic Games as a Worldwide Sponsor and eighth as the Official Restaurant of the Olympic Games. McDonald's sponsorship will continue through the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

About McDonald's Canada
McDonald's is the leading foodservice company in the world. McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited and its Canadian franchisees own and operate more than 1,400 restaurants and employ more than 77,000 Canadians coast to coast. Approximately 70 per cent of McDonald's Canadian restaurants are locally owned and operated by independent entrepreneurs. For more information about McDonald's Canada, visit the company's web site at www.mcdonalds.ca.

Contact Information

  • For more information or high-res images and visuals:
    McDonald's Canada Media Relations
    1-877-786-3342
    www.mcdepk.ca