Cheerios boxAugust 8 - Some of Canada's top athletes preparing for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympics in Vancouver have received a boost by being chosen to appear on limited edition Cheerio cereal boxes.

The iconic box has been transformed into a limited-edition commemorative package featuring a gold embossed Cheerios logo and a call-out for a special C$5 (£2.75) donation.

Unique PIN codes for the Gold Box Aspiring Olympians programme have been printed inside every commemorative box.

Canadians can collect and submit PIN codes at

On this site they have the unique opportunity to select which athlete will benefit from their donation.

Manufacturer General Mills will donate C$5 (£2.75) is donated to each chosen athlete for every Gold Box Cheerios PIN code submitted.

Dale Storey, the vice-president of marketing, General Mills Corporation Canada, said: "Through our tradition of supporting Olympians, General Mills knows that now, more than ever, our athletes need our support.

"Every dollar counts.

"The funds collected through the Gold Box Cheerios campaign will be used by athletes to offset the high financial costs associated with preparing for the Games, allowing them to focus on fulfilling their dreams."

The Gold Box Cheerios campaign is part of General Mills' Aspiring Olympians programme.

Launched in April to provide funding to some of Canada's Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, Aspiring Olympians helps athletes overcome financial barriers as they train for the 2010 Winter Games.

Funds raised from all Aspiring Olympians programmes, including Gold Box Cheerios, go directly to the athletes and are used to offset the high costs of equipment, travel and other expenses incurred during training.

Amanda Overland, a short track speed skater who is part of the programme, said: "Training for the Olympic Games is a full-time job, so funding an entire season can be difficult without financial support.

"Programmes like General Mills' Gold Box Cheerios are as important as my skates.

"Without them, I'd never make it to the Games."