HOUSTON – Canadian Olympic medalist Ryan Cochrane will be visiting
Houston on April 4th as part of the GamesTown 2010 celebrations, Bulkley
Valley – Stikine MLA Dennis MacKAY announced today.

“Mr. Cochrane made this country proud when he took home the bronze medal
in the 1500 metre freestyle swim at the Beijing Summer Olympics in
2008,” says MacKAY.

“Having him visit is a great lead up to the winter
games in 2010, as he shares his enthusiasm for an active and healthy
lifestyle with the residents of Houston.”

GamesTown 2010 is a contest designed to engage communities and let them
actively participate in the excitement leading up to the 2010 Olympic
and Paralympic Winter Games. Each community in B.C. will be vying to
showcase themselves as the province’s ultimate “GamesTown.”

In the March Early Bird Prize Draw, Houston won a visit from an Olympic
or Paralympic athlete.

Victoria’s Ryan Cochrane is an Olympian who won Canada’s only medal in
the pool in Beijing, when he received the bronze medal in the 1500 metre
swim. He is also the only Canadian to swim 1500 metres in under 15
minutes. Outside of his sport, Ryan visits schools to talk to children
about Olympic values and the importance of being active. Ryan is also a
member of the ActNow BC Athlete Ambassador team that travels around B.C.
to help promote healthy living.

Participants in GamesTown 2010 have until October 31 to go online and
submit photos, stories and videos to show why their community should be
the winner. After the online Public Voting Period (Nov. 1, 2009 – Jan.
4, 2010) identifies the top 10 communities, a panel of B.C. celebrities
will pick the gold, silver and bronze medal winners (Jan. 5 – 16, 2010).

The “Gold Medal” Winner receives a cash award of $100,000 to be put
towards upgrading a local sports or healthy living facility. “Silver
Medal” winner receives $50,000, and Bronze Medal winner receives
$25,000; all three winning communities will also receive some tickets to
the 2010 Winter Games.

In each of March, April and May, all participating communities will be
entered into a draw for prizes to help with promotion within their
community. Sixteen communities will win each month and over those three
draws, 15 pairs of tickets to the 2010 Winter Games will be awarded.

For a complete itinerary of Ryan Cochrane’s visit, see below. For more
information on GamesTown 2010, visit www.gamestown2010.ca.