Archive for August, 2009

VANOC announces an all-Canadian lineup of creative talent behind Opening and Closing Ceremonies of Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games – News Releases – Vancouver 2010

August 31st, 2009

Vancouver, BC– Fifteen Canadians with expertise in costumes, lighting, music, and stage direction are joining the creative team tasked with orchestrating the magical and awe-inspiring moments celebrating the dramatic achievements of Paralympians at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. 

They include a choreographer who strutted on stage with Janet Jackson, one of the world’s foremost B-boy dancers and an audio designer who captured the blissful “I do’s” at the wedding of the world’s richest man. 

“We scoured the country for the last six months to find a great Canadian creative team to help bring alive the vision we have for inspiring the world to celebrate the possible by watching the top Paralympians reach for the performances of their lives here in Vancouver and Whistler,” said David Guscott, executive vice president, celebrations and partnerships for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). 

“It is with great pleasure today that we are announcing these 15 artists — many of whom are from right here in British Columbia — chosen by ceremonies producer Patrick Roberge Productions to help stage Canada’s Games,” he added. 

Under Patrick Roberge’s direction, the creative team will deliver on the creative vision for the ceremonies, create mass choreography for the 5,000 volunteer performers, including performers with a disability, design lighting and audio systems, select composers and musical arrangements, as well as design sets, costumes and props. 

“The team is already hard at work on creating all the elements we need to put on exciting and memorable shows — one indoor, one outdoor — in two different locales over 100 kilometres apart in less than seven months time,” said Roberge. “Our first big challenge will be to find the hundreds of volunteers we need to perform in the ceremonies before audiences around the world. We’ll be launching this search in a manner of weeks so stay tuned for more details.”

Tickets are still available for both Paralympic ceremonies and can be purchased later this fall when Phase 3 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games ticketing program is launched. Tickets are to 5. For more information, visit 

The ceremonies’ creative team members announced today are: 

Associate Director and Head Choreographer: Jocelyn Peden
An accomplished dancer, choreographer and director, Peden has choreographed and directed the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Los Angeles Lakers and Vancouver Grizzlies dance teams, choreographed music videos and performed with artists such as Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, Paul McCartney, and Canadian Olympian Emanuel Sandhu. She has also staged multiple live sport productions for VANOC.

Music Director: Paul Airey
Airey has composed and produced music for radio, TV, film, and special events for more than 20 years. Co-owner and operator of Avenue Music Productions Inc. and Sound Kitchen Studios in Vancouver, his themes, scores and jingles for clients such as Warner Bros. and the National Hockey League have been heard worldwide. 

Art Director: Daniel Planko
Planko, who specializes in the concept, design and implementation of art, exhibit and event installations, has worked with photographer Annie Leibovitz, actor Alan Cumming, singer and actress Bette Midler, and was a stylist on HBO’s The Sopranos. A sitescape designer for countless production, Planko was responsible for installations at New York’s Gering & López Gallery. 

Production Director: Nik Von Schulmann
For more than 20 years, Von Schulmann’s extensive experience in production, design and staging have been utilized in many large-scale productions, including the 2007 Canada Games, The Phantom of the Opera, Ragtime, Show Boat, Riverdance, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, as well as Vancouver Opera’s productions of Carmen, Aida and La Bohème. 

Headline Director: Shaw Saltzberg
Saltzberg is an integral part of S.L. Feldman & Associates, Canada’s largest talent agency. He has travelled the world representing his roster, which includes Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan and Diana Krall. He has also provided cultural programming for the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. 

Segment Director: Luca (Lazylegz) Patuelli
Patuelli has captivated audiences with his unique breakdancing for more than a decade. Born with arthrogryposis and diagnosed with scoliosis as a child, Patuelli incorporates strength with crutches to excel at dance competitions. He has performed with Kanye West and appeared on America’s Got Talent and NBC’s Today Show. 

Visuals Director: Sean Nieuwenhuis
Owner of Sensory Overload Productions, Nieuwenhuis supplies multimedia design and visual presentation services to corporations, festivals and charitable organizations, including the Vancouver 2010 Olympic bid. In the theatre world, his projection design work has contributed to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Vancouver Opera and Theatre Calgary. 

Costume Designer: Sheila White
White has created costume designs for nearly 25 years and worked for Jil Sander and the English Theatre of Hamburg. In Vancouver alone, she has designed for over 100 theatrical productions, most recently for Vancouver Playhouse’s The Miracle Worker. Her work has been featured in film and TV, including Da Vinci’s City Hall and The Score

Production and Lighting Designer: Robert Sondergaard
Founder of Electric Aura Lighting Design, Sondergaard has designed lighting for theatre, TV and event productions, including the opening ceremonies of the British Columbia Canada Pavilion in Beijing in 2008, Kidd Pivot’s Dark Matters, the 2007 Canada Games, the 2007 Rankin Family Canadian tour, the 21st Gemini Awards, and the Canadian Football League’s 2005 Grey Cup halftime show.

Interactive Visual Designer: Roger Parent
Parent has been involved on the cutting-edge of the entertainment and architectural design industries since the early 1970s and has collaborated on more than 5,000 shows in America, Europe and Asia. As president of Montreal-based, he produces interactive moving architecture for public spaces, exhibits and museums. He also helped Cirque du Soleil transform from a single touring show troupe into a multi-show company. 

Interactive Visual Designer: Louis-Pierre Morin
Morin’s expertise in video projection, show control programming, sound mixing, and video editing spans many years and countless TV shows and galas. Based out of Montreal, he has worked on the Closing Ceremonies at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games and installations at Tabù, Liquidity and Eyecandy nightclubs in Las Vegas. 

Stage Designer: Mark Patterson
Owner of Eclipse Productions, Gemini Award winner Patterson has produced sport and news production designs for all Canadian TV networks. He has worked on international events such as the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2006 World Figure Skating Championships and 2006 World Urban Forum.

Host Broadcast Liaison: Tim Lewis
With more than 30 years of TV and event production experience, Lewis’s credits include the 2004, 2006 and 2009 gala fundraisers An Evening with Diana Krall & Friends and the 23rd Gemini Awards. Lewis was the audio designer for the wedding of Bill Gates and sound director for the 1999 Pan American Games and the 1994 Commonwealth Games. 

Associate Producer: Heather Connell
Connell started her career as a stage manager at the 2003 Western Canada Summer Games and later oversaw the ceremonies, medal presentations and protocol portfolios for the 2005 Canada Summer Games and 2007 Canada Winter Games. She previously worked with VANOC on the mascot launch.

Associate Producer: Anna Bond
Bond has managed and coordinated talent, performers and VIPs for a wide variety of large-scale, high profile events, including the British Columbia Canada Pavilion in Beijing in 2008 and opening and closing ceremonies at the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse.

The Abilities Arts Festival, a Toronto, ON-based disability arts organization and forum for creative and artistic excellence, will act as the disability arts talent consultant for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. Abilities Arts Festival serves as a leader, catalyst and resource to bring together artists, arts and cultural organizations and a diverse public by promoting an inclusive and vibrant arts and culture sector. 

On March 12, 2010, a thousand of the world’s top winter sport Paralympic athletes and team officials from more than 40 countries will gather in BC Place in downtown Vancouver for the indoor Opening Ceremony. Nine days later, the Games will draw to its official end in the Host Mountain Resort of Whistler in a unique outdoor amphitheatre designed especially for the two-hour Closing Ceremony.

VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit

About PRP
PRP Inc. is a live entertainment and show production company that specializes in creating spectacular, large-scale shows and events. Based out of Vancouver, BC, PRP’s award-winning team boast more than 22 years of high-profile international events and entertainment production.  Visit

Press Contact
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For all other inquiries, please contact

Vancouver 2010

Get it right

August 31st, 2009
Organising Olympic Games is a complex and challenging venture. To get it right, the Organising Committees (OCOGs) have to take into account that the staging of the Games goes beyond the athletes, venues and competitions. Each OCOG has to have a clear vision for the Games and what legacy it wants to leave. A 360° sustainability check includes issues concerning the environment; the integration of social minorities; the use of venues after the Games; respect for athletes from other cultures and religions; its role as a socially respected employer; a clean supply chain; and the full integration of educational and cultural elements in the programme.


Vancouver 2010 is a good example. In this video, key people from the Vancouver Organising Committee (VANOC) explain how important it is to them to demonstrate good governance, illustrated by concrete examples in the field of the environmental protection as part of a sustainability strategy. At the end of the day, it is the credibility of the Olympic Games that is at stake. For this reason, there will be an in-depth debate on these topics at the Olympic Congress in Copenhagen, which takes place from 3-5 October 2009. Good governance is key for the Olympic Movement as it is ultimately judged on this.


VANOC continues testing at final sport event counting down to 2010 Winter Games Tickets start at $10 to watch world’s best female hockey players compete in Hockey Canada Cup in Vancouver – News Releases – Vancouver 2010

August 28th, 2009

Vancouver, BC — The top-ranked female hockey players in the world will face off this week in downtown Vancouver on the same ice where gold will be decided at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games in less than six months time. This is the first women’s competition of the 2009-2010 International Ice Hockey Federation’s (IIHF) season and one of the last competitions before the Games. For information on tickets, which start at , visit Fans can also take advantage of a full-tournament package for 0.

Approximately 100 athletes representing four countries will compete in the Hockey Canada Cup at GM Place, known at Games time as Canada Hockey Place, from August 31 to September 6.

The United States is currently atop the IIHF women’s world rankings with Canada in second. Rivals Finland and Sweden, ranked third and fourth respectively, will also play in the 10-game Hockey Canada Cup tournament. Twenty-six Canadian players are each vying for one of the coveted 21 spots available on Team Canada’s final Olympic roster for the 2010 Winter Games.

The four teams will play games on August 31 and September 1 and 3, with semifinals on Saturday, September 5 (Canada plays at 7:30 pm Pacific time) and the gold medal game scheduled for Sunday, September 6 at 7:30 pm Pacific time. The final will be televised live on TSN.

Operational Readiness Testing
During the Hockey Canada Cup, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) will test its operational readiness at the venue in preparation for the Games. The venue will host men’s and women’s ice hockey in 2010, including the women’s semifinals and medal games, while matches will also be held at the University of British Columbia’s Thunderbird Arena, also known as the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.

“Hockey fans in Vancouver are already intensely familiar with this arena but this will be the first time they’ll catch a glimpse of what lies in store for General Motors Place at Games time,” said Denis Hainault, VANOC’s general manager for Canada Hockey Place. “This is a significant event for us as we head into the home stretch and confirm our operational readiness for 2010.”

At this latest sport event, VANOC is focusing its operational testing on the following areas: field of play, as well as simultaneous timing and results systems with UBC Thunderbird Arena where a private ball hockey tournament will be held in an effort to replicate the overlapping multigame format of the Olympic Winter Games.

This is the final 2010 competition venue to be tested by VANOC, as well as the final Games sport test event to be held in Metro Vancouver and Whistler before the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games start. It is also the second sport event held with Hockey Canada and the IIHF in a Games venue this year. In March, a Hockey Canada Cup for ice sledge hockey was held at UBC Thunderbird Arena involving four countries.

Field of Play Testing
For the first time in Olympic history, all ice hockey games in 2010 at Canada Hockey Place and UBC Thunderbird Arena will be played on North American-sized ice rather than converting to the larger international size. The IIHF made the decision in 2006. VANOC is testing the ice, ice maintenance systems and adjustments to the dasher board system to expand the boxes for players and officials, as well as the penalty boxes, in order to provide a suitable field of play, according to IIHF rules and regulations.

Venue Operations
VANOC will work with the venue owner and staff to familiarize itself with the venue in order to test general venue operations, including spectator services, workforce and athlete flows, as well as overall spectator accessibility. Crews will also construct a temporary wall on the P1 level of the arena’s underground parking garage to test how they will construct 35 rooms, measuring 1,980 square metres, needed for anti-doping, news conferences and office space during the Games. These rooms will be constructed during venue overlay when VANOC takes over the facility in January.

The Organizing Committee has temporarily removed 2,000 seats to replace the old seat bolting system with a newer system enabling faster change out during the overlay process.

A workforce of approximately 280 (including around 190 volunteers) will work at the ice hockey sport event, as well as regular arena staff provided by Canucks Sports & Entertainment.

Press Operations
VANOC’s Press Operations team will run the Venue Media Centre, manage photo positions, test media access control processes and operate the athlete mixed zone where accredited media gather to interview athletes. The team will also test the virtual LAN or VLAN system and hockey net cameras for media, as well as WiFi capabilities at the arena for photography. The Olympic News Service, which collects and distributes sport event news to the media, will also use the Hockey Canada Cup as a training session for their volunteers.

Timing, scoring and results
Timing, scoring, results, as well as graphics for television will be tested simultaneously at GM Place and UBC Thunderbird Arena. At GM Place, the existing scoreboard will be tested in coordination with the Games-time Omega system. VANOC will also print and distribute reports and test the commentator information systems.

Working in cooperation with the IIHF, the VANOC Anti-Doping team will conduct in-competition urine tests. A total of 11 Games-time anti-doping volunteers will participate in the event. The VANOC anti-doping athlete outreach booth will also be located at the athlete hotel, providing World Anti-Doping Agency resources and information regarding the Vancouver 2010 Anti-Doping Program.

In keeping with previous sport events, VANOC will also test its medical services and sport production functions.

VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit

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Vancouver 2010

HIV & AIDS prevention through sport: making it work in Eastern Africa

August 28th, 2009
Today, more than 30 million people are living with HIV, and many of them are involved in sport, either as spectators or as participants. Because the prevention of HIV/AIDS and fight against discrimination are the two fields in which sport can clearly make a difference, and because sport breaks down barriers, builds self-esteem and can teach life skills and healthy behaviour, the sports movement has decided to join the world campaign against the HIV & AIDS epidemic. Through its global network, the sports community can be a key protagonist in reaching out to communities. The IOC, in cooperation with the Ugandan Olympic Committee and Churches United Against HIV & AIDS in Eastern and Southern Africa (CUAHA), organised a workshop in Kampala on 16 and 17 August 2009.


AIDS-prevention toolkit in an African language: a first for an Olympic publication  
The roll-out of the recently published Swahili version of the IOC-UNAIDS toolkit on HIV & AIDS prevention through sport was among the main topics of the workshop. This is the first time ever that a major publication of the Olympic Movement has been translated into an African language. Jointly developed by the IOC and UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS), this practical guide will thus reach millions of sports people in Africa and the region, and will help them engage in activities and programmes to combat this disease. Participants from selected National Olympic Committees of Eastern Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania) exchanged views with representatives of CUAHA on how this toolkit could effectively be applied to educational programmes, particularly for young people. 


Making it work in Uganda  
The main subject on the agenda of this two-day workshop was how sport could help support national and international efforts to curb the spread of the AIDS epidemic, especially among young people. The workshop was thus an occasion for the participating NOCs to present their programmes and actions, particularly the Ugandan NOC, which has become a role model in the fight against the pandemic. The participation of the sporting icons in an advocacy and stigmatisation campaign has been highly underlined and encouraged, as has talking to the young generation using the language of sport.


Concrete recommendations
The workshop concluded with a list of concrete recommendations and commitments for future action, calling on the main stakeholders from the sport and health sectors to set up a task force building on existing partnerships. The document also encourages further action on developing an HIV and AIDS policy for each relevant organisation. A similar workshop for countries of Southern Africa will be organised by early January 2010.




Kelly Holmes on the future of the Olympic Games

August 28th, 2009

Have your say! Tell Dame Kelly Holmes what you think is the future of the Olympic Games, and you could win a trip to Copenhagen, Denmark, and attend the Olympic Congress, which will be held between 3 and 5 October 2009!

 Have your say on




Three years to go to the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games

August 28th, 2009

Saturday 29th August represents exactly three years to go to the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) marked the milestone date by announcing the appointment of Chris Holmes MBE as its new Director of Paralympic Integration.

London 2012

London 2012 marks three years to go to the Paralympic Games

August 28th, 2009

Saturday 29 August is exactly three years from the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games. To mark the milestone, the London 2012 Organising Committee has announced the appointment of Chris Holmes MBE as the new Director of Paralympic Integration.

London 2012

VANOC confirms International Olympic Committee’s commitment to assist financially if required; no open guarantee to cover any deficit – News Releases – Vancouver 2010

August 27th, 2009

Vancouver, BC – The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games (VANOC) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed today that in response to the challenges VANOC is facing raising its remaining revenues in the global economic downturn, the IOC will assist financially if the Organizing Committee has a deficit at the end of the 2010 Winter Games. However, it is important to clarify that the IOC is not guaranteeing to cover all outstanding costs or to ensure there is no deficit at the end of the Games.

The IOC’s support to help mitigate a possible deficit has a limit. It does not and is not intended to replace the responsibility of the Organizing Committee and its partners and other entities in respect of their obligations to stage the Games. And it remains VANOC’s responsibility to manage its budget responsibly to continue to raise revenues to the greatest extent possible and, if necessary, to cut costs in a strategic manner to maintain a balanced budget. VANOC also clarified that the IOC has fulfilled all of its obligations in respect to the TOP sponsorship program.

VANOC has been in discussions with the IOC for the past several months on its budget in general and conversations in the past two weeks have resulted in this commitment.

“This is a very supportive, generous commitment by the IOC, but in no way does it guarantee to cover all costs and any deficit at the end of the Games,” said Dave Cobb, executive vice president and deputy chief executive officer. “While we now have the confidence we need to spend against our revenue targets, the economy will challenge us until the Games arrive and the pressure remains to continue to find additional creative solutions to ensure we maintain a balanced budget.”

VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit

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Vancouver 2010

IOC reaches agreement for 2014 & 2016 broadcast rights in Brazil

August 27th, 2009
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has awarded the broadcast rights in Brazil for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in 2016 to three organisations.


Globo Comunicação e Participações S.A. (TV Globo), which won the bid, has acquired the rights across all broadcast platforms, including free-to-air television (on a non-exclusive basis, in partnership with Rádio e Televisão Bandeirantes Ltda (Bandeirantes)) and subscription television, internet and mobile phone (on an exclusive basis).


In addition, Radio e Televisão Record S/A (Rede Record) has acquired the rights on free-to-air television (on a non-exclusive basis).


Speaking about the partnership, IOC President Jacques Rogge said, “This is an important announcement, not only for the IOC but for the Olympic Movement as a whole. Brazilians will be able to enjoy unparalleled coverage of the Olympic Games in 2014 and 2016. The agreement also represents an important increase in revenue for the Olympic Movement, which will be redistributed to help develop and promote Olympic sports around the world.”


Commenting on the deal, IOC Executive Board member Richard Carrión, who led the negotiations, said “This is an unprecedented announcement, and I would like to personally thank all the parties involved in the negotiations. By working with Brazil’s leading media organisations, we are confident that this represents a great deal for Olympic fans in the region. There will be a huge increase in the amount of Olympic action broadcast, both during and outside Games time, and Brazilians will have more choice of how, when and where they follow the Olympic Games.”


Roberto Irineu Marinho, President of TV Globo, said “Globo is very proud to have won the IOC tender for the broadest set of media rights ever offered for the Brazilian market. We are also very pleased that our innovative offer for non-exclusive over-the-air rights responded to the IOC’s desire to maximise broadcast coverage, allowing the IOC to subsequently seek additional broadcast partners at its discretion, and return the Olympic Games to Brazil in a multi-channel environment.”


João Carlos Saad, President of Bandeirantes, said “The Bandeirantes Group feels extremely happy to have won the right – that is also a noble mission – to broadcast the Olympic Games. This is proof of our strength not only in national sport but also in Brazil´s communications system. It represents the perpetuation of a tradition deep-rooted in BAND´s history, always as a loyal and efficient partner of the IOC”.
Alexandre Raposo, President of Rede Record, said “The presence of Record reaffirms our commitment to support the Olympic Movement and I believe that all broadcasters will make their best efforts for excellent coverage of the Games in 2014 and 2016”.




The rights holding broadcaster in Brazil for the Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 Olympic Games is Rede Record:


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


TV Globo, Gisela Pereira, Tel: +55 21 2540-2945, email


Vancouver is ready for 2010

August 27th, 2009
“Vancouver is ready for 2010”, said the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Coordination Commission for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games through its Chairman, René Fasel. For its ninth and final visit (25 – 26 August) to the next Olympic and Paralympic Host City, the Commission was joined by representatives of the Olympic Winter International Federations, who were able to bring their expertise to bear in the discussions with the Vancouver Organising Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) relating to the sporting elements of the Games, as well as by observers from the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee.


Fantastic Experience
Speaking at the close of the meetings, Fasel said, “The organizers of the Games in Vancouver and Whistler are ready for 2010. We’ve heard from VANOC and its partners about all the steps that they are undertaking to ensure that the athletes and other Games visitors have a fantastic Olympic and Paralympic experience. We are extremely happy with what we have seen and heard, and are confident that they will deliver.” He continued, “The Commission members and I have seen this project grow from plans on paper into almost a reality, and we would like to commend the work of the team led by Jack Poole and John Furlong. The venues are spectacular and the plans for next February are very good. The great venues, the outstanding natural setting and hugely knowledgeable and enthusiastic fans will guarantee that these Olympic and Paralympic Games will be an unparalleled success.”


Reports And Tour
During its meeting, the Commission heard reports from VANOC on areas such as the Olympic Torch Relay, spectator services, sport, marketing, media operations, National Olympic Committee services, technology and the Paralympic Games. The visit also provided the opportunity for some Commission members to tour venues including the Vancouver Olympic Village, UBC Thunderbird Arena, Richmond Oval, Hillcrest Curling Centre and the Main Press and Broadcasting Centres.
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.