Back-to-back gold medal victories on Day 1 from CIBC Team Next athletes in 4-person kayak sprint and duet synchronized swimming
TORONTO, July 11, 2015 /CNW/ - CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM), the Lead Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, is thrilled to congratulate two CIBC Team Next athletes for winning Canada's first and second Pan Am gold medals.
CIBC Team Next's kayak sprinter Michelle Russell won Canada's first Pan Am gold medal with her teammates in the K-4 500-metre in Welland. Just hours later, her fellow CIBC Team Next member Jacqueline Simoneau captured the gold with her partner in the duet synchronized swimming competition at the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre & Field House in Scarborough.
"I'm speechless. This is a phenomenal way for us to start the Games. I've got a few races ahead and this is the start of many great things to come," CIBC Team Next athlete Michelle said after their victory.
"I am absolutely thrilled for Michelle. She's worked so hard for this," says Kara Lang, Michelle's CIBC Team Next mentor and Canadian soccer player and sports analyst. "I couldn't be happier for her. She's earned it. I am so proud."
Michelle, 23, who hails from Fall River, Nova Scotia, and Jacqueline, 18, a Montreal native, are two of the 67 up-and-coming amateur athletes in the CIBC Team Next program, which provides financial support and advice, plus mentorship from world-renowned Canadian athlete champions. The program's mentors include: Simon Whitfield, Kara Lang, Josh Cassidy, Mary Spencer, Mark de Jonge, Stephanie Dixon, Kyle Shewfelt, Bruny Surin and Benoît Huot. Nearly three-quarters of the athletes and para-athletes in the program will be competing during the Games.
"Way to go Jacqueline! I am so happy for you," says her CIBC Team Next mentor Kyle Shewfelt, an Olympic and Commonwealth gold-medal gymnast. "You've done us proud."
Jacqueline is also competing at 3 p.m. on Saturday in the team event.
CIBC in partnership with AthletesCAN, the association of Canada's national team athletes, and the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario selected the CIBC Team Next roster based on their potential on and off the field of play. To be considered, the athletes had to be nominated by their national sport organizations.
CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with 11 million personal banking and business clients. Through our three major business units - Retail and Business Banking, Wealth Management and Wholesale Banking - CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada with offices in the United States and around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC on our corporate website at www.cibc.com/ca/media-centre/.
About CIBC's Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Sponsorship
As the Lead Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games CIBC is committed to enriching Canadian communities through the power of sport. Through our investments we will create a lasting legacy by funding next-generation athletes, encouraging the volunteer spirit of our employees, helping finance landmark venues and engaging our diverse communities while fusing sport with arts and culture. To learn more visit www.cibc.com/ca/features/panamgames.html.
SOURCE Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Image with caption: "Kayak sprinter Michelle Russell, 23, part of the CIBC Team Next program, shows her form in competition ahead of the Games. (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150711_C9129_PHOTO_EN_43988.jpg
Image with caption: "CIBC Team Next's Jacqueline Simoneau all smiles while training for Games (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150711_C9129_PHOTO_EN_43987.jpg