Vancouver 2010: Sport under the spotlight
Sport was at the centre stage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s visit to Vancouver this week. Reviewing the progress of the preparations for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the IOC Coordination Commission, led by its Chairman René Fasel, and the Winter Olympic International Sports Federations present on the occasion, focused on sport looking forward to the first test event to be staged next February.
“Vancouver 2010 made a commitment to the world of winter sports that it would have its venues completed early, so that the athletes would be able to come and train on those sites well before the Games – they are currently living-up to that promise,” said Fasel who is also head of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF).
“With all of the impressive competition venues scheduled to be completed by the end of next year, we felt that it was a perfect time to bring together all the Federations involved in Olympic winter sports, together with the Commission and VANOC in order to iron out any small issues that may remain and to ensure that the needs of the athletes and the sports were at the forefront of everyone’s mind. By doing this VANOC has made great progress in ensuring that the athletes will have a truly great experience in 2010.”
All seven Olympic Winter Sports Federations took part in this week’s meetings and discussed with VANOC the state of preparations for their respective sport.
Commenting on the week’s events, VANOC CEO John Furlong said, “Every IOC visit presents an invaluable opportunity for collaboration. These meetings have been highly productive and confirmed that we are on track in all key areas including our venue construction programme, which is on time and on budget.” He continued, “Hosting the seven International Winter Sport Federations this week has reminded us that soon the athletes will be here. With our first test event on the horizon in February 2008, the whole experience of the Games is becoming very real. We thank the International Sport Federations and the IOC Coordination Committee members for their support and solution oriented approach, and look forward to hosting President Rogge and the Coordination Commission in February when we celebrate our two years to go countdown to the Games.”
The Coordination Commission had the opportunity to meet with the Honourable David Emerson (Federal Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics), Premier Gordon Campbell (Premier of British Columbia) and Mayor Sam Sullivan (Mayor of the City of Vancouver) during its visit – further emphasising the strength of the spirit of partnership that the Commission has been able to create amongst the different partners involved in organising the Vancouver Games.
The Commission also paid particular attention to the activities foreseen to ensure that the Games become a memorable experience for all beyond the sporting arena. VANOC presented a series of great initiatives including a live sites programme that, thanks to a collaborative effort between the Cities of Vancouver and Richmond, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the Province of BC, the Government of Canada, and the Four Host First Nations will allow all stakeholders to enjoy the sporting competitions in live sites in Vancouver and Whistler. They were also pleased to hear that other communities are investigating hosting live sites during the Games.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
IOC Coordination Commission
The IOC, as the guardian of the Olympic Games, assists and monitors the work of Organising Committee for the Olympic Games through the work of the Coordination Commission. The Commission visits the host city once a year until four years from the Games, when the visits become twice yearly until the Games are held. The Commission’s full meetings are supplemented by the regular visits of smaller IOC teams involving the Commission Chairman, selected members of the Commission and members of the IOC administration. The next visit of the Coordination Commission to Vancouver is will be in February 2008. A full list of the Vancouver Commission’s members can be found here:
About the International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), created in 1894, is a non-governmental organisation with volunteer members who represent its work around the world, and an administrative staff based in Lausanne, Switzerland. The IOC and its 205 National Olympic Committees worldwide promote the Olympic Movement, whose vision is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport. In addition to selecting the host city and coordinating the staging of the Olympic Games, the IOC and NOCs collaborate with a range of organisations and their members in the public and private sectors to place sport at the service of society. The main goal is to promote the values of Olympism, which include excellence, respect and friendship. For more information please visit www.olympic.org.
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.