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24 Apr 2005
Vancouver 2010 , Olympic News

VANCOUVER 2010: VANOC Unveils New Olympic Winter Games Emblem

The Organising Committee for the XXI Olympic Winter Games – Vancouver 2010 (VANOC) has unveiled its new emblem, which will be the cornerstone of its visual identity for the next five years. The emblem was presented during an hour-long television spectacular that was broadcast nationwide in Canada and featured both the IOC President, Jacques Rogge, and Coordination Commission Chairman René Fasel. The emblem is a contemporary graphic representation of an Inukshuk and is called “Ilanaaq”.

Ilanaaq the Inukshuk
Inukshuks were created for centuries by the peoples of the Canadian north to act as guideposts across the vast terrains of snow and ice. The Inukshuks were rocks that were stacked in such a way as to create human forms. They were of different sizes and each stone in the form was necessary to support the others. Their creators used them in many different ways, such as to indicate directions to shelter, for hunting and to locate fishing areas. The word Ilanaaq is the Inuit word for friend and this represents the friendly spirit and soul of Canada.

Welcome the world
IOC President Rogge said in an address during the unveiling that when he learned that the emblem would be an Inukshuk, a stone figure that guides people on their travels, that he knew it would be an “ideal emblem to welcome the people of the world to Canada for the Olympic Winter Games of Vancouver 2010”. This was a sentiment echoed by John Furlong, the CEO of Vancouver 2010 who said, “Ilanaaq above all is a team player. As VANOC relies on partnerships and a shared vision to deliver the Games, so does our emblem. Each stone relies on the other to support the whole. Together, the result is a symbol of strength, vision and teamwork that points us all in the direction of excellence and it will welcome the world to Canada in 2010.”

The emblem
The emblem was created by Vancouver-based Rivera Design Group and was selected by an international jury from more than 1,600 entries that were submitted through the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Emblem Design Competition. The emblem contains five stone-like formations in colours that reflect the natural features of Vancouver-Whistler and Canada in general. The green and blues represent the coastal forests, mountain ranges and islands, while the red represents Canada’s maple leaf, and the gold the sunrises that paint the Vancouver skyline and snow-capped mountain peaks.

Previous Games emblems
The emblem from the Athens Games was a wreath from an olive tree branch or kotinos, as it is known in Greece, which was the official award of Olympic Champions at the ancient Olympic Games. The olive is also the sacred tree of Athens, and the colours of the emblem symbolised the shades of white and blue found in the Greek countryside. In Salt Lake City 2002, the emblem was a stylised snow crystal with bright yellow, orange and blue colouring. The colours represented the colours that can be found in the Utah landscape. The theme of this emblem was contrast, culture and courage.

Vancouver will host the XXI Olympic Winter Games from 12 to 28 February 2010. The mountain events will take place in Whistler, which will also host the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games from 12 to 21 March 2010.

Learn more on the emblem
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