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28 Oct 2009
Olympic News , Olympic Museum , Vancouver 2010

Invitation to Vancouver

With just a few months to go before the opening of the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, the last Agora for this year at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne invited the public to find out how the Canadian west coast city is preparing to host this planetary event. On stage next to the two presenters, Massimo Lorenzi, Editor-in Chief of Sport for the Télévision Suisse Romande (TSR), and former TSR journalist Jean-Philippe Rapp, were IOC President Jacques Rogge; IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli; the President of Swiss Olympic, Jörg Schild; SC Bern ice hockey club coach Larry Hurras; and two champions, Vincent Defrasne, the French biathlete and gold medal winner at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, and Mellie Francon, the Swiss snowboarder who placed third in the 2009 World Championships and is a member of the Swiss Olympic “TOP Athlete” programme.

A sustainable legacy for the Games

The concepts of sustainable development and legacy were at the heart of the discussions. For both President Rogge and the athletes themselves, the Olympic Movement has the civic and social responsibility to offer environmentally-friendly Games which will leave behind a positive legacy in terms of sustainable development for future generations. What is more, the organisers of the 2010 Games in Vancouver (VANOC) have undertaken since their candidature to build and operate facilities with the smallest possible environmental footprint.

Games with the four First Nations

As well as offering green Games, VANOC’s main objective was to involve the four host First Nations, Lil’wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil–Wautuh. Right from the start of the candidature, VANOC and these First Nations worked together, opening up new social, cultural and economic avenues. Their collaboration will strengthen the links between communities through sustainable sports and economic development and cultural engagement. The 2010 Games in Vancouver will illustrate the full richness and diversity of the traditions and know-how of the various communities living in Canada. Come and discover the culture and history of these Nations, who will be hosting events on their territory during the Games, through the “Vancouver 2010: Sustainable Development and Challenging Traditions” exhibition at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne between now and 11 April 2010.

An exceptional human adventure

For their part, the two champions present were at pains to stress just how much the Olympic Games represent a magical moment and an exceptional human adventure. After her first experience in Turin, the young snowboarder, Mellie Francon, is keen to take up this new Olympic challenge and win a place on the podium. But taking part in the Games requires a huge amount of preparation, and the role of the entourage is very important. You also need to learn to manage stress and the pressure around you. The aim is to be at the peak of your form, both physically and mentally, to produce your best performance at the right time. Like her, Vincent Defrasne is totally focused on Vancouver, where he hopes to win another title. “I surprised myself by saying, just after Turin: ‘What can I do now to find something as fantastic as that?’, and I turned it the other way round, by saying: ‘I’ve got a fantastic challenge; I need to find the means to experience something as fantastic as that.’” We wish both Mellie and Vincent the best of luck.

This Olympic Agora will be broadcast on TSR2 on 2 December 2009.

Vancouver 2010 official web site


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