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Mint Releases 25-Cent Coin Celebrating Cindy Klassen's Five Medals in Long-Track Speed Skating in 2006

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Cindy Klassen celebrates the launch of the Mint's latest Vancouver 2010 circulation coin; the 25-cent coin honouring her five medals in long-track speed skating at the Turin Games in 2006.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – January 5, 2010 – The Royal Canadian Mint is inviting Canadians to save the latest circulation coin in its Vancouver 2010 collection – the 25-cent coin celebrating Cindy Klassen's unprecedented five medals at the Turin Games in 2006. She won the gold medal in the 1500 meter race, silver medals in the 1000 meter race and in the team pursuit, as well as bronze medals in the 5000 meter and 3000 meter races. This extraordinary accomplishment led IOC president Jacques Rogge to name Klassen the "woman of the Games".

"I recall the 2006 Winter Olympic Games for the pride Canadians felt as they watched Cindy Klassen sweep around the Torino Oval Lingotto and grace the podium on five separate occasions," said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. "Employees of the Mint could not be more proud than to have produced this coin in Winnipeg, featuring hometown speed skating hero Cindy Klassen and we wish her the very best as she competes at the Vancouver 2010 Games next month."

Up to 22 million 25-cent coins featuring Cindy Klassen will enter into circulation today, January 5th. In a unique twist, three million of these coins were produced in brilliant colour and inserted randomly into circulation coin rolls.

The coins are available exclusively at RBC branches and participating Petro-Canada locations. 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 locations will also sell sport cards, containing a uniquely painted version of the coin for $7.95.

Klassen's five medals at the Turin Games was voted by fans as the #3 Canadian Winter Olympic Games Moment of all time – out of 10 moments – in an online contest hosted last year by the Mint and Canada's Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium. Fans voted the men's and women's hockey gold medals at Salt Lake City in 2002 as moments #1 and #2 respectively. The 25-cent circulation coins celebrating these moments entered into circulation on September 29, 2009 and November 17, 2009.

Designed by Burlington, Ontario artist Jason Bouwman, the moment #3 coin features Klassen in a familiar speed skating pose on the backdrop of a maple leaf. The words 'Cindy Klassen', the year '2006' and the logo of the Canadian Olympic Committee also appear on the reverse of the coin. The three million coloured 25-cent coins, which were produced using state-of-the-art patented technology feature the maple leaf in brilliant red colour.

The Mint has also produced a special uncirculated set featuring all three coloured moments coins, available at www.mint.ca/2010. This set and other Royal Canadian Mint products are also available for purchase by calling 1-800-267-7000. Visitors to www.mint.ca/2010 can request a free coin collector card, to keep all of the circulation coins from the Vancouver 2010 collection.

Canadians can look forward to the release of the remaining 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games themed circulation coins: the 2010 Lucky Loonie coin will be launched on the first day of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games (February 12, 2010), while the 25-cent coin featuring the sport of sledge hockey will be launched during the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games (March 18, 2010).

About the Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown Corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada's circulation coins. An ISO 9001-2008 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. The Mint is an Official Supporter of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and has undertaken to produce the most extensive circulation coin program in relation to the Olympic Games ever conceived by any mint worldwide, while also offering limited mintage collector coins and sets. Visit www.mint.ca/2010 for Vancouver 2010 keepsakes and gifts.

Images and product details of the Mint's latest products are available by visiting ftp://communications:RCM2007@ftp.mint.ca.

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For further information, please contact:
Christine Aquino
Director, Communications
(613) 993-9999
aquino@mint.ca