TORONTO — Canada’s Olympic team (and their medal haul) were flying, and not just because of a great performance at the Rio Olympic Games. As an Official Sponsor of Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic teams, Air Canada flew the athletes back to Canada with flights arriving yesterday and today at Toronto Pearson airport.
“Like all Canadians, we at Air Canada have cheered our athletes and been inspired by the skills and sportsmanship they have demonstrated during the games,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.
Transporting Canada’s team to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro was a large logistical undertaking requiring the dedicated efforts of hundreds of Air Canada employees, added Smith. Here are some of the highlights:
- Air Canada has been a proud partner and the official airline of Canada’s Olympic Team since 2006 and its Paralympic Team since 2007
- In total, Air Canada transported approximately 690 athletes, coaches and support staff with the Canadian Team to Rio
- Air Canada’s #FlyTheFlag initiative struck a chord with Canadians keen to show their pride throughout the games and achieved a peak of 500 mentions per hour on social media
- In 2012, the Air Canada Athlete of the Year Award was inaugurated. It is presented annually to an exceptional Canadian athlete who excels in leadership and excellence in an Olympic sport, while inspiring the athletes of future generations. Canoeist-kayaker Mark de Jonge, was voted the winner, with pole vaulter Shawnacy Barber and high jumper Derek Drouin the other finalists for the 2015 award. Canadians will be invited to vote for the 2016 Air Canada Athlete of the Year Award later this year.