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Press release from CNW Group

Air Canada Announces Christine Sinclair as Recipient of First Annual Air Canada Athlete of the Year Award

Monday, December 10, 2012

Air Canada Announces Christine Sinclair as Recipient of First Annual Air Canada Athlete of the Year Award11:00 EST Monday, December 10, 2012MONTREAL, Dec. 10, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada today announced Canadian women's soccer player, Christine Sinclair, as the recipient of the first annual Air Canada Athlete of the Year Award. As recipient of this award, she will receive two complimentary Executive First tickets to anywhere in the world Air Canada flies as well as year-long Super Elite membership privileges for two in Air Canada's Altitude program.In selecting Ms. Sinclair for the award, Air Canada President and Chief Executive Officer, Calin Rovinescu, said, "Christine is a true ambassador for sport in Canada.  Her performance, leadership and courage have come to the fore on many occasions and have been a source of pride for many Canadians, leading to an unprecedented interest in women's soccer in this country.  Her outstanding accomplishments are the inspiration for the creation of the Air Canada Athlete of the Year Award - an annual award to be voted on in the future by our customers. By recognizing leadership, excellence and inspiration among our nation's athletes, it is our hope that Canadian youth will strive for the highest ideals of performance - a value we share as Canada's flag carrier."Beginning in the fall of 2013, Air Canada's customers will be invited to vote for the Air Canada Athlete of the Year; details of the award program will be announced next year.Air Canada has a long history of supporting amateur and professional sport in Canada.  The airline has been a supporter and official airline of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams since 2006, and for more than 25 years, a sponsor and transporter of many of Canada's NHL hockey teams as well as Hockey Canada.Burnaby B.C. native Christine Sinclair is a two-time Olympian and led the 2012 London Games with a record-setting six goals to lift Canada to a bronze medal and earn herself the honour of carrying the flag at the Closing Ceremonies.Captain of Canada's women's national soccer team, Ms. Sinclair has spent the last 13 years (2000-2012) with the Canadian team, participating in three FIFA World Cups (2003, 2007, 2011) and the 2008 Olympic Games.  Among her individual accomplishments is a "Top-5 Player in the World" status for the last decade.At the age of 29, Ms. Sinclair is Canada's all-time leader in appearances and goals and a nine-time Canadian Soccer Player of the Year.  She played her college soccer at the University of Portland, where she set an all-time Division I goal-scoring record with 39.Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 175 destinations on five continents.  Canada's flag carrier is the 15th largest commercial airline in the world and in 2011 served more than 33 million customers.  Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 59 Canadian cities, 56 destinations in the United States and 63 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America.  Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,290 destinations in 189 countries. In 2012, Air Canada was ranked Best International Airline in North America in a worldwide survey of more than 18 million airline passengers conducted by independent research firm Skytrax.Note to Photo Editors: Photos of Christine Sinclair are available from Canada Soccer here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/canadasoccer/6234253662/SOURCE: AIR CANADAFor further information: Isabelle Arthur (Montréal) (514) 422-5788 Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto) (416) 263-5576 Angela Mah (Vancouver) (604) 270-5741 Internet:   aircanada.com canadasoccer.com