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Pirmin Zurbriggen to become patron of Oerlikon's youth promotion program

Pfäffikon SZ, January 11, 2007 - Swiss company OC Oerlikon Corporation AG, Pfäffikon, is launching a far-reaching Swiss skiing youth promotion program together with Pirmin Zurbriggen, the most successful Swiss ski racer of all time. The aim is to identify the potential skiing champions of tomorrow and to provide them with long-term support.

Oerlikon and Pirmin Zurbriggen will, together with a body of experts consisting of former ski racers, coaches and parents, plan and set up a youth promotion program focused on talented young skiers born between 1989 and 1992. This age group is in particular need of a boost.

One of Oerlikon's principal concerns is that the young athletes benefit directly from the financial means provided. This is ensured through grants based on a set of sports performance criteria. The Oerlikon grant is intended to ease the financial burden on the parents of a young ski racer making his or her way to the top; a burden that often stretches a family's financial capacity to the limits.

The details of the program will be drawn up in the course of this winter by a body of specialists headed by Pirmin Zurbriggen, and will be presented to the public at the alpine skiing world cup finals in Lenzerheide in mid March.

In the words of Oerlikon CEO Thomas Limberger: "With this commitment we want to help make Swiss skiing more successful again over the long term. Just as in the corporate world, the nurturing of promising young talents is a key factor here. We are proud that Pirmin Zurbriggen, the most successful Swiss ski racer of all time, will be the ambassador of our youth promotion program and assist us in developing the program."

Pirmin Zurbriggen comments as follows: "The future of Swiss ski racing is particularly close to my heart and I am actively involved in the associated youth promotion work. The initiative launched by Oerlikon will no doubt prove an important stimulus for young Swiss talents. I am happy to be able to play a leading part in developing this program."

For further information, please contact:

Sara Vermeulen-Anastasi

Sara Vermeulen-Anastasi

Head of Group Communications

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