Vancouver 2010 Steps Into The Spotlight
At the end of its seventh visit to Vancouver, the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission confirmed that the Vancouver 2010 Organising Committee (VANOC) continues to be on the right track to host top quality Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in February 2010. The Commission was particularly pleased to see that VANOC’s participation in the IOC’s Beijing 2008 Observer’s Programme had had a positive impact on its planning and that the Games legacy remains a top priority for the next Olympic Games organisers.
Raise The Bar
Commenting on the visit, IOC Coordination Commission Chairman René Fasel said, “With the Beijing Games now over, it is Vancouver 2010’s turn to step into the spotlight and I am confident that Vancouver 2010 can also raise the bar for the Olympic Winter Games. Our Canadian friends learned many important lessons during their stay in Beijing as part of the IOC’s Observer’s Programme, and this can be seen in their planning, which is being fine-tuned as VANOC moves into its operational phase.”
During its visit, the Commission had the opportunity to review the venues in the Whistler area, which will host the skiing and sliding sports as well as the athletes’ village. Fasel commented, “The competition venues in Whistler are truly spectacular and will provide a fantastic back drop for the athletes, as they strive for sporting excellence. It is particularly reassuring to see that they are all largely complete and are already being used. Indeed, as VANOC starts to test them, and all of its other Games-time arenas, with its 17 up-coming sport events, it will be a fantastic opportunity for the athletes to get a feel for what awaits them in 2010 and for the public to experience many sports and disciplines that may not be familiar to them.”
The Olympic Games are more than just 16 days of sporting competition, and this was underlined by two announcements made during the visit that will undoubtedly produce positive legacies from the Vancouver Games. On Tuesday 21 October, the Province of British Columbia and VANOC announced an initiative to use temporary housing from the Whistler athletes’ village to help combat homelessness across British Columbia. Additionally, the IOC and VANOC, in close partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), announced the dates of next year’s 8th World Conference on Sport and the Environment, which will be held in Vancouver from 29 to 31 March 2009.
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.