By Duncan Mackay

Rio_Tinto_to_sponsor_Australian_athletesApril 23 - Rio Tinto, who are to produce the materials for the medals to be awarded at London 2012, have increased their involvement in the Olympics by signing-up as a partner of Australia's team for next year's Games.

Rio Tinto Australia already invests more than $100 million (£65 million) a year in programmes and activities that assist regional communities, young Australians and Indigenous communities to achieve their long-term goals.

Rio Tinto managing director Australia David Peever said "Australia has a proud history of Olympic success and we want that tradition to continue as our athletes strive for glory in London.

"Australians are fierce sporting competitors and there is no doubt that we will witness some amazing achievements from our athletes at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"Rio Tinto's own values of accountability, respect, teamwork and integrity are in tune with those of the Australian Olympic team and we are thrilled to partner with the AOC (Australian Olympic Committee) and help our athletes achieve success in London.

"Our Olympians will inspire the nation with their courage and dedication to achieve their absolute best.

"Rio Tinto's 20,000 employees across Australia will be right behind the Australian team. We wish our athletes every success in London."

AOC President John Coates said: "Rio Tinto's sponsorship makes it possible for our Australian athletes to achieve their lifelong goals and hopefully Olympic Games success in 2012."

"Our Australian athletes are incredibly grateful for Rio Tinto's generous support of our Olympic Team.

"We hope that through the support shown by Rio Tinto, we can inspire and encourage more young Australians to participate in sport and be our Olympians of tomorrow."

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