Archive for December, 2009

Figure skating: Takahashi wins nationals, books Olympic spot – AFP News : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics

December 27th, 2009

Kadoma (AFP) – Former Four Continents champion Daisuke Takahashi booked a ticket to his second Olympics as he won the men’s title at the Japanese national figure skating championships Saturday.

With a 12.31-point lead from the short programme, the 23-year-old Takahashi also topped the free-skating segment with 168.28 points for a total of 261.13 points to win his fourth national title in five years.

Defending champion Nobunari Oda, who had already booked another of three Olympic berths allotted to Japanese men by finishing second at the Grand Prix Final earlier this month, came in second with 244.30 points.

Takahiko Kozuka, the 2006 world junior champion, finished third with 236.13 and was expected to win the Japan Skating Federation’s remaining ticket to February’s Vancouver Winter Olympics on Sunday.

“It was a disappointing free programme,” said Takahashi, who has come back after missing the entire 2008-2009 season for an injury to his right knee.

The 2008 Four Continents champion, who finished eighth at the 2006 Turin Olympics, braved a difficult quadruple toeloop in his opening element. But he two-footed and touched the ice on landing with the jump being downgraded to a triple.

“But I didn’t just go on to finish. I could control myself well,” he said after skating to Nino Rota’s soundtrack music for “La Strada.”

In the women’s short programme, former world champion Mao Asada took the lead, showing her comeback to form in her quest for Olympic glory.

Asada, who has struggled from the start of this season with her trademark triple axel, under-rotated her attempt at the demanding 3.5-revolution jump in a combination with a double toeloop in her opening element.

But the 19-year-old skated steadily to Aram Khatchaturian’s “Waltz Masquerade” and collected 69.12 points, ahead of Yukari Nakano at 68.90 and 2007 world champion Miki Ando at 68.68.

By virtue of her second-place finish at the elite final in Tokyo, Ando has already booked one of three Olympic berths allotted to Japanese women.

Asada, the only woman who regularly attempts the triple axel in international competitions, and others were vying for the remaining two berths.

“I have finally made it,” said Asada, the 2008 world champion, about her triple axel attempt, which was downgraded but ended with a clean landing.

“I thought the short programme would be the key. I’ve cleared one crucial stage.”

Asada had succeeded only once in her eight previous triple axel attempts this season. She popped, landed on two feet or fell in the other instances.

She failed to qualify for the final despite being the defending champion as she was second to Kim at the season-opening Grand Prix in Paris in October and finished a lowly fifth at the second round in Moscow.


Vancouver 2010

Nordic skiing: Techpalova, Matveeva banned for doping – AFP News : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics

December 27th, 2009

Paris (AFP) – Triple Olympic champion Julia Tchepalova and fellow Russian nordic skier Natalia Matveeva have been slapped with doping bans by the International Ski Federation (FIS).

Tchepalova is among the most successful women nordic skiers of the past decade, winning Olympic gold in 1998, 2002 and 2006 and claiming world titles in 2001 and 2005.

After testing positive for the banned blood booster EPO (erythropoietin) during a World Cup leg in Val di Fiemme, Italy on January 3, 2009 the 33-year-old has been banned from competition until August 20, 2011.

Matveeva, 23, also tested positive for EPO, on January 16 at a World Cup leg in Whistler, Canada – the venue which will host the cross country events at the 2010 Olympic Games. She is suspended until March 12, 2011.

Both skiers have the right to appeal FIS’s decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).


Vancouver 2010

Handball Arena foundations complete

December 22nd, 2009

Construction started on the Arena in July 2009 and now two hundred concrete columns have been drilled 25m into the ground to form the foundations. The venue has started coming out of the ground with the lifting into place of 13 of 30 concrete walls.

London 2012

Olympic first: Official ‘fan-to-fan marketplace’ for reselling or donating Vancouver 2010 tickets online – News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics

December 21st, 2009

More tickets available to public than originally projected

Vancouver, BC ― Ticket holders in Canada who want to sell their tickets for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will now be able to post them for sale to winter sport fans around the world at, or donate them to community groups in Metro Vancouver and the Sea to Sky region. 

The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) released details today on the fan-to-fan marketplace reselling initiative and other exciting ticketing options for Games’ fans, including: ticket donations through the Celebrate 2010 program, auctions for some great seats at high-demand events, and single event luxury suites at Canada Hockey Place for select ice hockey sessions. For more details, including on-sale dates and pricing, see below. 

Along with these new additional ticketing options, VANOC confirmed today that it has exceeded its goal of ensuring at least 30 per cent of the seats at high-demand events are available to the public for purchase ― the highest ratio in recent Winter Games history ― and is now targeting 40 per cent. Overall, the Organizing Committee estimates 75 per cent of all 2010 Winter Games tickets will be available to the public instead of the originally estimated 70 per cent.

The fan-to-fan marketplace ― which is now live ― enables ticket holders to simply sign into their existing Vancouver 2010 ticketing account and click the “sell my tickets” option for the seats they want to sell. Ticket holders can set their selling price and buyers can browse for available tickets in the same location as other tickets sold at Not only does this system help ensure there will be full venues at Games times, it also guarantees all tickets sold through this official channel are valid. 

This marks the first time both Canadian and international clients can purchase tickets at ― a transaction they can make knowing tickets are valid and legitimate because the website is operated by the Organizing Committee in partnership with, the official ticketing services supplier for the 2010 Winter Games. It is also the first time customers can donate their tickets to local community groups. 

“We know that well over 90 per cent of Canadian ticket account holders plan to use all their tickets for the Games but a secondary market will exist where people will want to buy, sell and donate tickets,” explained Caley Denton, VANOC’s vice president, ticketing and consumer marketing. “The fan-to-fan marketplace will be the safest and most secure way for Games’ fans in Canada and worldwide to purchase Vancouver 2010 tickets from fellow fans in Canada as we guarantee the tickets purchased through our fan-to-fan marketplace have valid bar codes and are legitimate. 

“In the first few days initial prices will likely be high as people test to see what the fan-to-fan marketplace will bear. We encourage people to check back often as the lowest priced tickets usually sell quickly,” he added. 

“Our ticket auction, single event luxury suite sale and donation options also give Games’ fans another opportunity to purchase their dream tickets, or give to others the experience of a lifetime at Canada’s Games. We’re especially pleased to confirm that we’re closing in on making 40 per cent of all seats at high-demand events accessible to the public to purchase and that overall 75 per cent of all 2010 Winter Games’ tickets will be in the hands of the public ― a much higher number than previous Winter Games.” 

Additional details:

  • Fan-to-fan tickets are available ONLY at and on a first-come, first-served basis. Visa is the only payment card accepted.
  • There is no limit on the number of seats ticket holders can post for resale through the fan-to-fan marketplace or a ceiling on how much they can charge for their tickets. Sellers can adjust their asking price at any time, or remove posted tickets entirely from the marketplace.
  • Both the ticket seller and buyer will be charged a 10 per service fee

    to cover the costs of hosting and developing the fan-to-fan tool.

  • Buyers are encouraged to check back often as new tickets are expected to be posted frequently.
  • If fan-to-fan tickets do not sell by 24 hours before a session’s start time, VANOC will cancel the posting and the tickets will remain in the seller’s account. 

Ticket donation to Celebrate 2010

Another option for ticket holders who are unable to use their seats is to donate them at to community groups in Metro Vancouver and the Sea to Sky region through the Celebrate 2010 program. There is no fee for the service or tax receipts issued. 

The donation window will close 24 hours before each individual ticketed session starts to facilitate the distribution of the tickets through the Celebrate 2010 program, which is designed to ensure thousands of people with limited financial means are able to share in the dream of attending Canada’s Games. Ticket recipients will include children and families, Aboriginal peoples, and residents of Vancouver’s inner-city neighbourhoods. 

Additional details:

  • The program was created by VANOC

    and its community and Games partners, including Jet Set Sports, Official Supporter of the 2010 Winter Games, which is making a significant cash contribution.

  • The Organizing Committee is currently working with a range of community implementation partners including BC Housing, the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, the Four Host First Nations Secretariat, and various Spirit of BC Committees supported by 2010 Legacies Now to distribute the Celebrate 2010 tickets.
  • Ticket recipients will be identified by the community organizations or social agencies with whom they interact

    and tickets will not be provided to individuals directly. The great majority of the tickets will be distributed to residents within a two-hour drive of Games’ venues because of accommodation and transportation logistics.

Vancouver 2010 ticket auction

A limited number of seats offering some of the best views in the house at high-demand sport and ceremony events are now available to the highest bidder at

The tickets include prime seats in the judges’ chairs at the figure skating gala, behind the players’ benches at the ice hockey semifinals, centre ice at the gold medal ice hockey games, and prime viewing spots at the snowboard halfpipe competition, as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. 

Additional details:

  • Tickets will be listed at a small percentage above the regular face value. There is no cap on bid amounts but depending on the session, increments will be as low as .
  • New auction items will be posted every week and will typically be open for three days. Funds generated will go towards staging the Games.
  • All of the auction tickets will be delivered to the ticket holder via Purolator Courier.
  • All tickets sold to Cypress Mountain and Whistler-area venues will also include the cost of pre-booked transportation on the Olympic Bus Network. 
  • The auction is similar in scope to one successfully conducted during the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Games.

Single event luxury suites at Canada Hockey Place

For select ice hockey sessions at Canada Hockey Place, single event luxury suites are available for purchase per game. The suites located at Level 200 in the arena permit 20 people premium viewing of the game. For more information, visit to fill out a request form. Interested parties will be e-mailed with information on available sessions and pricing, which starts at ,000. For in-demand sessions a lottery will be held. Food and beverage are not included in the price. 

Other tickets to Olympic and Paralympic sport events released

VANOC released today a limited number of tickets for select city events and will continue to do so leading up to the Games as venue configurations become finalized. Tickets may be purchased at, by phone at 1.800.TICKETS (1.800.842.5387) or TDD/TTY 604.629.7140, as well as in person at Main Ticket Centres in Vancouver and Whistler. 

A limited number of partially obstructed view seats were also released today and are available for select city sessions at up to a 10 per cent discount while supplies last. They are only available for purchase at VANOC’s two Main Ticket Centre locations, or by phone. 

An obstructed view seat is one where the entire field-of-play may not be visible for part of or an entire session because of a railing or platform, for example. Obstructions are different depending on the seat, venue and event.

Olympic tickets also remain for all Whistler-area competition venues including events at The Whistler Sliding Centre, Whistler Creekside and Whistler Olympic Park. They are only available for purchase at the Whistler Main Ticket Centre and do not allow travel on the Olympic bus network from hubs in Metro Vancouver. To purchase Whistler Olympic tickets, customers must provide government issue photo identification and have an address in the Sea to Sky region or proof of accommodation in the area. 

For more information on ticketing, visit

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

Vancouver 2010/VSO Clarify ceremonies participation; highlight VSO important contribution to 2010 games – News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics

December 19th, 2009

VANCOUVER, December 19, 2009 – The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) will play a prominent role at the 2010 Winter Games and will showcase its musicians’ talent to the world both through the Cultural Olympiad, and the playing of over 90 national anthems.  VANOC regrets that the complex technical requirements of the Opening Ceremonies have put the VSO in a difficult position and both parties wish to move forward in the spirit of preparing for the great Games ahead.  

Hundreds of musicians – many of whom are also members of the VSO — have joined with other musicians and artists from across Canada and around the world to contribute to the rich, diverse sound of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, some of which has been and is currently being recorded, and will also be played live.  VANOC apologizes to the VSO for putting the orchestra in an untenable position regarding the Opening Ceremonies.

Under the direction of conductor Bramwell Tovey, the GRAMMY award winning Vancouver Symphony Orchestra will be showcased as part of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad and – perhaps the greatest honor — has recorded the renditions of the national anthems of all participating nations to be played at the Games, including at Team Welcome Ceremonies in the Athlete Villages and medal presentation ceremonies both in the sport venues and at Victory Ceremonies at BC Place and Whistler Celebration Plaza.

“The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is proud to be an integral part of the 2010 Games and wish every success to VANOC,” said Tovey. “The VSO is making a significant contribution to the musical memories of the Games and our collaboration with VANOC is one of the most important in the orchestra’s long and distinguished history.” 

“Bramwell Tovey and the VSO have been with us throughout this remarkable journey, from the bid phase on through, and it has never been our intent to put them, or any of our partners in a compromised position,” said John Furlong, VANOC CEO.  “Whether through the Ceremonies, or the VSO recording of the anthems or the concerts of the Cultural Olympiad, the Games offer the opportunity for collaboration and a true showcase of the VSO members, who may perform or be heard individually on occasion or as a whole.  We know that the VSO will be a celebrated partner in what promises to be an unforgettable experience.” 

The Opening Ceremony takes place on February 12 and the Closing Ceremony takes place on February 28th.  The VSO performs throughout the Cultural Olympiad 2010, including two feature performances of Mahler Symphony No. 8: Symphony of a Thousand January 30th and February 1st 2010.

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Vancouver 2010

Ready to transform the Olympic Park’s south

December 18th, 2009

Skanska has been appointed to transform the area, which most people will use to enter the Park.

London 2012

Northern Irish company wins last contract for Basketball Arena

December 18th, 2009

The contract is to provide the modular accommodation for the Arena, including temporary offices and athletes’ changing rooms, as well as press and media accommodation.

London 2012

Children’s Promise kids celebrate fifth birthday at Olympic Park

December 18th, 2009

Children born on 20/12/2004 who were part of the Children’s Promise programme during the bid for the 2012 Games celebrated their fifth birthday by helping to decorate the Christmas tree on the Olympic Park.

London 2012

Figure Skating: Hughes, Meno and Sand join US Hall of Fame – AFP News : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics

December 17th, 2009

COLORADO SPRINGS (AFP) – Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic champion Sarah Hughes and three-time world pairs medalists Jenni Meno and Todd Sand were named Thursday as inductees to the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

The trio and Ice Capades show director, producer and choreographer Robert Turk will be honored at induction ceremonies on January 21 during the 2010 US Championships, the American qualifying meet for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Hughes won only 16 when she executed the most technically difficult program ever performed by a woman in the Olympic Games to win gold on home ice, becoming the first person to rally from fourth after the short programme to take the title.

Meno and Sand began skating together in 1992 and married in 1995. The couple won US crowns from 1994 through 1996 and reached three world podiums, claiming bronze in 1995 and 1996 and a silver medal in 1998.


Vancouver 2010

Alpine skiing: More alpine injury woe for Olympic hosts Canada – AFP News : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics

December 17th, 2009

Val d’Isere (AFP) – Canada’s womens’ alpine skiing World Cup team suffered its second training accident in as many days after Kelly Vanderbeek crashed here on Thursday.

Vanderbeek was stretchered off the piste conscious but with her left leg in a splint after a spectacular tumble on a training run for Saturday’s downhill.

On Wednesday her teammate Larisa Yurkiw injured her left knee in a downhill training session after a heavy fall which will rule her out for the rest of the season, Canada’s team doctor told AFP.

Canada, which is hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver in February, has also been hit with injury among the men.

Downhill world champion John Kucera was the victim of a leg fracture in November and Jean-Philippe Roy hurt his right knee at Val d’Isere last weekend.

Kucera, Roy and now Yurkiw have all been ruled out of the Olympics.

And while the team will be nervously awaiting a diagnosis on Vanderbeek, downhill specialist Emily Brydon admitted it has been a “heartbreaking” period for the 2010 Olympic hosts.

Brydon injured her right knee six months before the 2002 winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, then injured her left knee three months before the event.

“I know what it’s like to have that dream taken away from you but I can only imagine if that dream was (to be competing) in Canada,” Brydon told AFP.

“It’s tough, it’s a sport that we enjoy and we choose to do it and we like the adrenaline, but there are consequences.

“I don’t know the crazy percentage of knee injuries we have in this sport, but the timing of it, with the Olympics being so near, makes this especially tough to bear.”

Brydon admitted the fear of injury was ever present whenever she, and other skiers, are at the start gate. But she knows that it is simply an occupational hazard.

“For sure I’ve thought about it. It is a fear, that something can be taken away from you so quickly,” she added.

“But you have to be a racer to succeed, you have to go that extra mile to be on the podium. And you’re not going to qualify for the Olympics if you don’t do that.

“It’s just kind of part of the hazard.”

The women’s races begin Friday here with a super-combined, composed of a downhill and a slalom.

The blue riband event of the downhill, in which reigning world champion Lindsey Vonn is the big favourite, will be held Saturday while a super-G, for which no training runs are held, is held on Sunday.


Vancouver 2010