With the Olympic Games underway in Japan from July 23-Aug. 8, one of the Canadian Olympic Committee’s (COC) official supporters revived a popular postcard program to connect the country’s athletes and their fans.
Cheerios, whose parent company General Mills is an official COC supporter, invited people to cut out and mail pre-paid postcards from its specially marked cereal boxes through June 30. People were encouraged to write messages to Team Canada’s athletes, and Canada Post delivered the postcards for free to Tokyo’s Olympic Village.
“There’s something magical about walking onto the track and hearing the cheers from our fans,” said Andre De Grasse, of Markham, Ont., who leads Canada’s track and field team at the Tokyo Games. “We’ll be missing that in-person support this year, so every ‘cheer card’ we receive is a win. They give us that energy we need and remind us that Canadians back home are rooting for us.”
De Grasse is one of five Team Canada athletes with which Cheerios has partnered to promote its cheer campaign; the others are swimmer Penny Oleksiak, trampoline gymnast Rosie MacLennan, skateboarder Matt Berger and diver Jennifer Abel.
“Cheer is a powerful thing,” said General Mills vice-president of marketing Emma Eriksson, who added the power of cheer is why the company created its cheer card program more than a decade ago.
“We’ve seen the impact that they’ve had on athletes over the many years that we’ve been a proud supporter of Team Canada. It has been an extra-long road for them this year, and they need our support now more than ever. Research has shown that cheer from a crowd can be directly linked to the performance of an athlete. With approximately 400 Team Canada athletes expected to be far from home and juggling new restrictions, we can make every single athlete feel our cheer from afar.”
Since the program’s inception 10-plus years ago, more than 100,000 cheer cards have been delivered to Canadian athletes.