Canadian Olympians Trained by the Honorable Al Gore

(April 7, 2008 – Ottawa) Some of Canada’s most inspiring athletes and senior sport and recreation leaders have joined forces with former Vice-President of the United States and Nobel laureate Al Gore to take an active stand in dealing with the climate crisis.

Clean Air Champions from coast to coast including Nancy Drolet (ice hockey), Guylaine Dumont (beach volleyball), Brandon Crichton (road cycling), Sara Renner (cross-country skiing), M.J. McCann, (alpine skiing), Kristina Groves (speed skating), Ray Zahab (adventure runner), Ingrid Liepa (speed skating) and senior sport leaders including Sharon Jollimore (Canadian Parks and Recreation Association), Deirdre Laframboise (Clean Air Champions) and Dina Bell-Laroche (True Sport Consultant) were invited by The Climate Project – Canada to be trained as volunteer presenters of The Inconvenient Truth, the Academy Award Winning film that has inspired millions world-wide to respond to the environmental crisis we now face.

“I have been a Clean Air Champion for a number of years and was so excited about this opportunity,” shared newly-crowned speed skating world champion and Olympian Kristina Groves. “I now have a deeper appreciation of the urgency surrounding climate change and will definitely be taking this message to Canadians and when I compete internationally.”

“The time to act is now,” stated multiple Olympic medalist Nancy Drolet. “I have a five year old son and I can’t help but wonder what the world will look like if we fail to respond to the greatest international crisis we as a global community are facing.”

Adventure runner, motivational speaker and author Ray Zahab shared first hand the impact that the climate crisis has had world-wide during his incredibly moving presentation on Sunday morning. Zahab has run over ten thousand miles since 2004, including in the Sahara desert, to raise awareness about water quality and the issue of poverty and its impact on children.

Approximately 250 Canadians attended the 3 day workshop in Montreal over the weekend and were inspired by Mr. Gore who shared tips and insights on how to best deliver “An Inconvenient Truth” PowerPoint presentation. All volunteer presenters have committed to make at least 10 presentations over the next year.

“Clean Air Champions is all about educating and inspiring Canadians, particularly youth, to adopt practices and lifestyles that reduce our environmental footprint – we do that through the voices of our Champions; Canada’s top athlete role models,” says
Deirdre Laframboise, Executive Director of Clean Air Champions. “We believe change is possible and all of us at Clean Air Champions are committed to helping Canadians understand the severity of the issues and doing what we can to stop climate change.”

“I plan to connect this message back to the sport sector and to work with other leaders to best address how sport can minimize its environmental footprint and to stimulate innovative solutions in the process,” said long-time sport advocate Dina Bell-Laroche. “The time to stand still on this planetary emergency is over.”

Clean Air Champions is a national charity formed in 2001 and is dedicated to educating and inspiring Canadians to adopt practices and lifestyles that enhance personal and environmental health. The Champions consist of over 120 national team, Olympic and Paralympic athletes from across Canada, each passionate about the issues and concerned for the health of Canadians and our planet. For more information please visit: www.cleanairchampions.ca

True Sport is a national Movement of communities and groups across Canada working to ensure a positive, meaningful and healthy experience for all who participate in sport. True Sport is built on the values of fairness, excellence, inclusion and fun and is brought to life in communities across the country by people who care deeply about ensuring that sport lives up to its full potential. There are currently over 1170 declared True Sport communities and the list grows daily.

The Climate Change Project – Canada (TCP Canada) has been established as a non-profit organization to manage and coordinate the Canadian training session as well as follow up support and activities for presenters. In June 2006, The Climate Project (TCP) began operations based in Nashville, Tennessee, as non-profit organization with the mission of increasing public awareness of the climate crisis at a grassroots level throughout the United States and abroad. By this April, a diverse group of over 2,200 volunteers (including now over 275 Canadians) world-wide have been trained to present a version of the slide show on which the Academy Award-winning film, “An Inconvenient Truth” is based.