skip to content
13 Feb 2009
IOC News , Press Release

IOC invites athletes to take part in the Vancouver Olympic Games in one year’s time

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today officially invited the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of the world to attend the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

During a traditional ceremony in front of a live audience at the brand new Richmond Olympic Oval, IOC President Jacques Rogge called upon the world’s athletes to come and compete in Vancouver in one year’s time.

He symbolically presented an invitation to the Canadian Olympic Committee, the British Olympic Association, and the Russian Olympic Committee - the NOCs of the next Games host cities, as well as the United States Olympic Committee - the country that neighbours Canada. The other NOCs will receive their invitations by post directly from the IOC’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Inviting the athletes to Vancouver, Rogge said, “The Olympic Games engender dreams and inspiration in the hearts of young people everywhere. For athletes around the world the chance to compete next year in Vancouver will be their goal, the culmination of a lifetime’s ambition. I wish them all good luck, and on behalf of the IOC, I invite them to participate in the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, one year from now.”

At the same time, people across Canada were taking part in a series of celebrations to mark exactly one year until the start of the Vancouver Games.

“We’re rounding the corner of our final lap as we head into this last year and Canada will be ready to welcome the world in 2010,” said John Furlong, VANOC Chief Executive Officer.  “We are delighted to have IOC President Rogge with us to mark this special milestone and his invitation to the National Olympic Committees of the world makes it all very real for our team. Athletes are already training and competing on the spectacular Olympic venues in Vancouver and Whistler and you can feel the excitement building.  On behalf of all Canadians, we look forward to sharing the uniquely Canadian 2010 story with the world in just one year.”

Earlier today, the Vancouver Organising Committee (VANOC) launched the Olympic Torch and the uniforms for the torchbearers at a ceremony in Whistler, the site of the sliding events and many of the ski disciplines in 2010. This was another key milestone on the way to this year’s torch-lighting ceremony in Olympia, Greece.

Vancouver and Whistler will host the XXI Olympic Winter Games from 12 to 28 February 2010. A total of 85 NOCs took part in the Olympic Winter Games in Turin in 2006. Vancouver is expected to see a record number of countries participating in the competitions next year.

For more information please contact the IOC Communications Department,
Tel: +41 21 621 60 00, email:, or visit our website at
back to top