One of my highlights of 2021 was watching the Canada vs Sweden Women’s Soccer Gold Medal Final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games. I may have been alone on my couch, but I felt connected to everyone across the country as we held our breath during that tense penalty kick-off, and cried out together with relief and elation at that final winning goal. What a rush! I felt so proud to be Canadian, and so proud of Team Canada. (I’m not gonna lie, there were some tears.) These days especially, the efforts of our athletes can bring us all together.
And now, only a few short months later, we get the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, starting February 4. I mean WINTER, right? That’s our SPECIALTY. Bring it on.
This year, 215 Canadian athletes and their coaches are making the journey to Beijing to compete with the world’s best in 14 different sports. For them, it’s the culmination of years of determination, hard work and sacrifice. A few of these athlete/coach pairs share their experience below:
If you follow us on Facebook and Instagram (and if you don’t - now is the time!) then you already know that we love cheering on Canadian athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Petro-Canada is a long-time sponsor of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC). Each year, through our Fuelling Athlete and Coaching Excellence (FACE™) program, 55 athletes and their coaches are selected to receive direct funding. These special grants come at a crucial time for athletes, when they’ve started training for the Olympic or Paralympic Games, but are not yet eligible for government funding. Since 1988, Petro-Canada has given over $12 million in financial support to 3,000+ Canadian athletes and coaches.
This is a big year for the program, with 30 FACE™ athletes in 12 different sport disciplines competing in Beijing. We’re proud to see so many FACE™ alumni on the team!
If ordinary folks like me get so worked up during the Olympic Games (sitting on our couches, weeping with joy), I can’t imagine how the families of Canadian athletes must feel. Since 2010, Petro-Canada’s Canadian Athlete Family Program has supported the families of Team Canada by providing them with two complimentary tickets to their athlete’s event. This year, since they won’t be able to attend, we’re sending each family a limited edition cheer box. This specially designed box is filled with items to help show support, make a little noise from afar, and send positive vibes all the way to Beijing.
If you were following us for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games, then you saw some of the Team Canada families sharing stories and pictures of these cheer boxes - they were a huge hit! This time there are a few extra boxes to give away to lucky fans so stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram for details. Also on our Facebook page, we’ll be giving away limited edition Petro-Canada Olympic or Paralympic pins each time a Team Canada athlete wins a medal.
If you want to add a little Olympic spirit to your own social stories, you can download our Petro-Canada Giphy stickers! There’s a wavy foam finger, a “Go Canada” animation, and an awesome selection of “visual cheers”. They’re easy-to-use, fun, and will show our athletes that you’ve got their backs. You can find them here or search for “petrocanada” in the GIF toolbar of your favourite social app.
And for those in-between moments as you’re waiting for the next Canadian to compete, Petro-Canada and Team Canada have a special treat in store: a fast-paced mobile game called Bobsleigh Bolt! Download the Team Canada app to play (available on iOS or Android) and start bragging to your friends about your high score – plus, you’ll be able to win some great prizes.
Enjoy the Winter Games, everyone and good luck to our 30 FACE™ athletes and to all of Team Canada!
Like my fellow Canadians, I’ll be cheering from my couch: Go, Canada, Go!