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CIBC to honour Canadian Paralympic Team at athlete welcome home events in hometown branches

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CIBC and the Canadian Paralympic Committee celebrate the return of Canada's Paralympians from Sochi 2014 at CIBC branches nation-wide

TORONTO, March 26, 2014 /CNW/ - CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) and the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) are proud to announce the first official national program to welcome Canadian Paralympians home in their local communities following Team Canada's outstanding performances at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

To celebrate and honour Canada's Paralympic heroes after Team Canada's successful third-place finish in the gold medal count in Sochi, CIBC and the CPC are pleased to invite Canadians to the CIBC Paralympian Welcome Home festivities in communities across Canada over the next few weeks.

"As a proud partner of the Canadian Paralympic Team, CIBC is honoured to shine a spotlight on these amazing athletes and celebrate their tremendous accomplishments at our CIBC Paralympian Welcome Home events," says Laura Dottori-Attanasio, Senior Executive Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer, CIBC. "By bringing communities together at our branches to welcome them home, we're not only celebrating Canada's diversity, but we're also hoping to raise greater awareness for the Paralympic movement and motivate this nation's youth to stay active and healthy."

CIBC is hosting the celebrations at its branches in Paralympians' hometowns. To mark their performances in Sochi 2014, CIBC will present each athlete with a gold-plated coin and a personalized sports pennant, commemorating their participation at Sochi 2014. The first of these events was held amid much fanfare in Winnipeg on March 22 to honour Dennis Thiessen, who won his first Paralympic gold medal in wheelchair curling in Sochi.

Thanks to an innovative new broadcast partnership for Sochi, of which CIBC was a presenting partner, Canadians enjoyed the most comprehensive coverage of a Paralympic Games ever available in this country. More than 90 hours of broadcast and 350 hours of digital streaming were available during the Games, giving Canadians the opportunity to cheer on the podium finishes and world-class performances of our athletes.

"We are proud to have CIBC as a partner who not only helped us to raise visibility for our Paralympians during the Games, but is also continuing to celebrate them after the Games," said Gaétan Tardif, President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. "The CIBC Welcome Home events will showcase our Sochi Paralympians to all Canadians."

"I commend CIBC and the Canadian Paralympic Committee for working together to keep the spirit of the Paralympic movement alive after the Games have ended," said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). "Our Government is proud to support these remarkable athletes who represent our country with such athleticism and pride, and their achievements should be celebrated. It's fitting that CIBC is hosting these celebrations for our Paralympic heroes given its support of amateur sport and history of engaging people in communities across Canada."

CIBC's four-year sponsorship of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, announced in October 2013, broadens CIBC's support of Canada's up-and-coming amateur athletes and reflects the bank's passion for sports as a way of enriching communities and inspiring the next generation of youth.

About the Canadian Paralympic Committee

The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, private organization with 25 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic Movement. The Canadian Paralympic Committee's vision is to be the world's leading Paralympic nation. Its mission is to lead the development of a sustainable Paralympic sport system in Canada to enable athletes to reach the podium at the Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian high performance athletes with a disability and promoting their success, the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organizations. For more information, visit www.paralympic.ca

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients. CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada, and has offices in the United States and around the world. CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, our employees and our communities through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of employees. In 2012, CIBC contributed more than $38 million to over 1,900 charitable and non-profit initiatives in 450 communities. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Press Centre on our corporate website at www.cibc.com.

Follow the Canadian Paralympic Committee:
www.paralympic.ca
www.facebook.com/CDNParalympics
www.twitter.com/CDNParalympics
www.youtube.com/CDNParalympics

SOURCE Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Image with caption: "Canadian Paralympians Chris Klebl, Mike Edwards, Mark Arnez, Brian McKeever and Ian Lockey cheered on before CIBC Paralympian Welcome Home event in Canmore, Alberta. (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140326_C7184_PHOTO_EN_38375.jpg

Image with caption: "Canadian Paralympian Dennis Thiessen shows children his gold medal in wheelchair curling at recent CIBC Welcome Home event in Winnipeg (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140326_C7184_PHOTO_EN_38389.jpg

Image with caption: "CIBC welcomes home Canadian Paralympian and Gold Medallist Dennis Thiessen in Winnipeg (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140326_C7184_PHOTO_EN_38377.jpg

Image with caption: "Julie Marchand, CIBC branch manager, congratulates Canadian Paralympian Dominic Larocque, Bronze Medallist, Sledge Hockey at a CIBC Paralympian Welcome Home event in Quebec City. (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140328_C7184_PHOTO_EN_38510.jpg

Image with caption: "CIBC employees in Quebec City welcome home Sébastien Fortier, Para-Nordic skier, and Dominic Larocque, Bronze Medallist, Sledge Hockey from the recent Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140328_C7184_PHOTO_EN_38496.jpg

Image with caption: "CIBC Team Next Mentor Bruny Surin is flanked by Canadian Paralympic Team members Gold Medallist Graham Nishikawa, and Robin Fémy, a Gold and double Bronze Medallist, at the CIBC Paralympian Welcome Home celebration in Montreal. (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140328_C7184_PHOTO_EN_38508.jpg

Image with caption: "CIBC welcomes home Canadian Paralympian Robin Fémy, a Gold and double Bronze Medallist in Para-Alpine Skiing, from the recent Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140328_C7184_PHOTO_EN_38504.jpg

Image with caption: "Canadian Paralympians Robin Fémy, Gold and double Bronze Medallist, and Graham Nishikawa, Gold Medallist, are all smiles as they show their CPC-CIBC special commemorative gold coins in Montreal at a CIBC Paralympian Welcome Home event. (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140328_C7184_PHOTO_EN_38558.jpg

Image with caption: "CIBC welcomes home from Sochi Canadian Paralympians in Ottawa. Left to Right, Caroline Bisson, Margarita Gorbounova, Marc Dorion, Ben Delaney and John Leslie. (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140328_C7184_PHOTO_EN_38500.jpg

Image with caption: "CIBC welcomes home Canadian Paralympians in Ottawa, one of many branch events happening in communities across Canada. (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140328_C7184_PHOTO_EN_38498.jpg

Image with caption: "A fan admires Ben Delaney's Bronze Medal in Sledge Hockey at the CIBC Paralympian Welcome Home celebration in Ottawa. (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140328_C7184_PHOTO_EN_38502.jpg

Image with caption: "Canadian Paralympian John Leslie is all smiles at the CIBC Welcome Home event in Ottawa. (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140328_C7184_PHOTO_EN_38506.jpg

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For further information:

Caroline Van Hasselt, Director, External Communications and Media Relations, 416-784-6699, or caroline.vanhasselt@cibc.com; or Alison Korn, Manager, Media Relations and Communications, Canadian Paralympic Committee, 613-569-4333 ext. 243 / Cell: 613-298-4927, or akorn@paralympic.ca.

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