On Course for Vancouver 2010
“We are confident VANOC and its partners will deliver unique and inspiring Games next February.” This was the message from IOC Coordination Commission Chairman René Fasel during his presentation to the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen today. Presenting to the Session for the last time before it convenes in Vancouver ahead of the Games, which will begin on 12 February 2010, Fasel was joined by John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver 2010 Organising Committee (VANOC), as they both updated the IOC membership on Vancouver’s progress.
Venues Complete & Tested
On 19 February 2009, Vancouver officially completed its sports venue programme, with the completion of the last competition venue – the Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre, which will host curling at Games time. Since then, the last two training venues have recently been opened, and the non-competition venues, such as the Olympic Villages and Main Media Centre, are well on their way to being ready for the Games. All these facilities and upgrades have been planned to leave a lasting legacy to the communities where they are situated. The competition venues have also been fully tested, as VANOC has conducted operational testing in the venues at 17 sports events (international competitions, such as World Cups or World Championships) over the last year.
Public interest is high around the Vancouver Games, with ticket sales seeing high levels of demand within Canada and abroad. The final phase of ticket sales in Canada will be launched in autumn 2009. This interest is also increasing, as the start of the Olympic Torch Relay draws closer. The Olympic flame will be lit in Olympia on 22 October 2009 and will arrive on Canadian soil on 30 October, where it will begin its 106-day tour across Canada.
Education and Legacy
VANOC has also instituted a comprehensive education programme - /EDU – which gives students across Canada the opportunity to learn about the Olympic and Paralympic values, as well as to discover the 2010 Winter Games. This educational legacy will be joined by many other sustainable legacies, which will range from new community recreational facilities to affordable housing to increased sports participation.
Vancouver and Whistler will host the XXI Olympic Winter Games from 12 to 28 February 2010 and the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games from 12 to 21 March 2010. The seven Winter Olympic sports that will be on show in Vancouver are Luge, Skiing, Skating, Ice Hockey, Biathlon, Bobsleigh and Curling.