OTTAWA, ONTARIO – April 16, 2008 – The Royal Canadian Mint today officially released the second Olympic 25-cent circulation coin of 2008. The sport of freestyle skiing is depicted on the coin, which is the seventh of 17 circulation coins to celebrate the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
"With less than two years before Vancouver hosts the world for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the excitement and anticipation is building from coast to coast to coast," said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. "This newest commemorative circulation coin, featuring the dynamic sport of freestyle skiing, is yet another way for Canadians to collect a piece of the Games."
"We are proud and excited to have our sport as part of the Mint's Olympic commemorative coin program," said Peter Judge, CEO of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association. "The Royal Canadian Mint is doing a great job keeping sport front and centre in the eyes of Canadians."
Up to 22 million 25-cent freestyle skiing coins will enter into circulation today and will be available exclusively at RBC Royal Bank and participating Petro-Canada gas stations. RBC is a Premier National Partner and Petro-Canada is a National Partner of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Canadians can also look for these special coins in their change. Participating Petro-Canada gas stations will also sell freestyle sport cards, containing a uniquely painted version of the coin. The sport cards, which are now available, sell for $7.95.
Started by skiers who were looking for a more creative way to express themselves and compete at the highest levels, the first Freestyle skiing competition was held in New Hampshire in 1966. The sport made its Olympic debut as a demonstration sport two decades later at the Calgary 1988 Winter Games. The Freestyle discipline of Moguls was accepted as an official medal sport at the Albertville 1992 Winter Games, followed by Aerials at the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer - where, in the moguls competition, Jean-Luc Brassard won the first Olympic gold medal ever by a Canadian male in a skiing event.
The newest Olympic Winter Games event, Freestyle Ski Cross, will make its debut in Vancouver in 2010, where both men and women will compete in all three freestyle disciplines. Canada has a proud Olympic history in freestyle skiing, having won ten Olympic medals in the sport, including four gold medals.
Designed by Canadian artist Glenn Green of Vancouver, BC, the freestyle skiing circulation coin features a freestyle skier in the centre, a stylized maple leaf and the words ‘Vancouver 2010'. The obverse features the portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, rendered by Susanna Blunt.
Canadians can look forward to three more Olympic Winter Games themed circulation coins in 2008: two 25-cent coins will feature the sports of figure skating (September 10th) and bobsleigh (October 29th), while the 2008 Lucky Loonie will be launched on July 23rd.
Additionally, the Mint is offering a sterling silver collector version of the freestyle skiing coin, featuring a stunning hologram. The sterling silver coin was designed by artist John Mardon of Thornhill, Ontario, and retails for $71.95. The Mint is also offering the first day 25-cent freestyle skiing coin ($15.95) and the 25-cent freestyle skiing circulation coin roll ($16.95). These items and other coins can be purchased through the Mint's website at www.mint.ca by calling 1-800-267-1871 or through authorized dealers.
In June, 2006, the Mint became an Official Supporter of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games with the signing of an agreement with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). The Mint has undertaken to produce the most extensive circulation coin program in relation to the Olympic Games ever conceived by any mint worldwide.
The Mint has exclusive rights for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in the Minting of circulation, Precious Metal and Base Metal Numismatic and Bullion Coins product and service category and will also be responsible for minting the athlete medals.
During its three-year program, the Mint will put into circulation 17 coins in Canada featuring designs related to the 2010 Winter Games. Thirty-six limited mintage collector
coins and sets will also be offered. Canadians from coast to coast can share in the pride and touch the Games by collecting and saving these special Canadian coins.
About the Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2008, is the Crown Corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada's circulation coins. An ISO 9001-2000 certified company, the Mint is recognized as one of the largest and most versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high quality coinage products and related services on an international scale. For more information on the Mint's history, its products and services, please visit www.mint.ca.
Images and product details of the RCM's newest collection are available by visiting ftp://communications:RCM2007@ftp.mint.ca