News releases

US Paralympic hopeful wants to connect with Canadians in Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John’s, NL, Sept. 1, 2009 – Having clinched a spot on the US Adaptive Alpine Ski Team, Caitlin Sarubbi is now on a mission to sharpen her competitive edges and find out what makes Canadians tick. So she’s travelling to The Rock to find out.

A relative newcomer to alpine skiing, Caitie was born with a rare syndrome that affects only about 13 people in the world, Ablepharon Macrostomia Syndrome (AMS), which led to her having over 56 surgeries and left her visually impaired.

Caitie begins her investigation today in St. John’s getting to know members of the St. John’s Regional Fire Department over lunch at the hall (Caitie’s dad is a New York City firefighter who worked at Ground Zero during and after the events of 9/11.) Over the coming days, Caitie and her family will sample some extraordinary local adventures, and experience the world-renowned Newfoundland and Labrador hospitality. 

Through the Connecting with Canadians program, the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) and its tourism partners are sending elite international athletes and their families to Canada. The families and athletes have the chance to meet locals, have adventures and make memories before the competitors return to make Olympic and Paralympic history. The CTC will share their experiences with key media markets to inspire the world to travel to Canada.

“It’s a pleasure and an honour to have Caitlin and her family in Canada to explore the unique beauty of Newfoundland and Labrador,” says Michele McKenzie, president and CEO of the CTC. “Caitlin’s story is truly inspiring and having her here is just one more way the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are shining the spotlight on Canada.”

“We are very excited and pleased to welcome Caitlin and her family to Newfoundland and Labrador,” said the Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation. “Through the CTC’s Connecting with Canadians program, athletes like Caitlin have the opportunity to share their Paralympic journey with the people of the Province and Canada. We hope Caitlin and her family enjoy their visit and we wish her all the best in the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.”

The 2010 Paralympic Winter Games will be held in Vancouver and Whistler from Mar. 12-21, 2010. A total of 1,350 athletes and teams officials from 40 countries are expected to be vying for medals in five sports.

About the CTC
The CTC is Canada’s national tourism marketing organization. Our vision is inspiring the world to explore Canada. With our partners in the tourism industry and the governments of Canada, the provinces and the territories, we advertise and market Canada in 12 countries around the world, conduct industry research and studies, and promote product and industry development. For daily updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to CTC News, available through RSS feeds and by e-mail.

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For further information, please contact:
Jitka Licenik
Corporate Communications Advisor / Conseillère en communications
Canadian Tourism Commission / Commission canadienne du tourisme
Tel/ Tél 604 638-2482
Fax/ Téléc 604 638-8438
licenik [dot] jitka [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca
www.mediacentre.canada.travel