Air Canada proudly brings Canada’s Olympic athletes home
Employees with swimmer Penny Oleksiak, who won a record four medals at the Rio Olympic Games: Gold in Women's 100m freestyle; Silver in Women's 100m butterfly; Bronze in the Women's 4x100m freestyle relay; and Bronze in the Women's 4x200m freestyle relay.

Air Canada proudly brings Canada’s Olympic athletes home

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.

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Captain Steve Bulger waves the flag from Air Canada flight 1099 in Toronto.

Returning Olympic athletes get a water cannon salute

Returning Olympic athletes get a water cannon salute.

Air Canada employees with Erica Wiebe, Gold medalist in Women's 75 kg Wrestling

Air Canada employees with Erica Wiebe, Gold medalist in Women’s 75 kg Wrestling.

First Officer Brian Dietrich, trampoline champion Rosie MacLennan with her Gold medal, and Captain Steve Bulger

First Officer Brian Dietrich, trampoline champion Rosie MacLennan with her Gold medal, and Captain Steve Bulger.

Olympic swimmers Kylie Masse (who won bronze in the Women's 4x100m freestyle relay), and multi-medal winner Penny Oleksiak with Air Canada crew

Olympic swimmers Kylie Masse (who won bronze in the Women’s 4x100m freestyle relay), and multi-medal winner Penny Oleksiak with Air Canada crew.

Air Canada employees doing a selfie with Erica Wiebe, Gold medalist in Women's 75 kg Wrestling

Air Canada employees doing a selfie with Erica Wiebe, Gold medalist in Women’s 75 kg Wrestling.

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.