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Aboriginal youth from across Canada gather in British Columbia to celebrate, take part in Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games – News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics

January 31st, 2010

Vancouver, BC ― To help celebrate the world’s biggest potlatch ― the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games ― up-and-coming young Aboriginal leaders from across Canada are gathering today in British Columbia’s Sea to Sky region as part of an ambitious forum to explore and share their cultures through the Olympic Movement.

Over the next 16 days, more than 300 First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth, aged 19 to 29, will experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be at Canada’s Games in person and showcase their culture and region through a range of activities and special events.

As part of the gathering, participants will tour Olympic venues, watch the world’s best athletes train and compete and meet sport heroes, business leaders and Aboriginal elders in person. They will also take part in cultural performances at the 2010 Aboriginal Pavilion and the GG’s 2010 Olympic Truce Youth Dialogue: Promoting Mutual Understanding‬ hosted by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, on February 11.

“It is truly exciting to welcome all these young ambassadors from First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities across the country to the traditional lands of the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations where the 2010 Winter Games will take place,” said Tewanee Joseph, executive director and CEO of the Four Host First Nations.

“This gathering is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be right in the centre of the action at the Games and play an important role in showcasing and sharing Aboriginal culture. The 2010 Winter Games mark a time of transformation for our people, where we focus on the positive aspects of our culture. These young people represent a great hope and a brighter future for Aboriginal people for years to come.”

The Vancouver 2010 Indigenous Youth Gathering is part of a larger ongoing program to achieve unprecedented Aboriginal participation in the planning and hosting of the 2010 Winter Games by the Four Host First Nations and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) with the support of many partners.

The Government of Canada is a key supporter of this vision and has worked closely with VANOC and the Four Host First Nations to ensure the Games leave a legacy of economic and social benefits for Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

“The 2010 Indigenous Youth Gathering will provide First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth from across Canada with a unique opportunity to connect with one another and to celebrate and showcase their cultural heritage through the Olympic Movement,” said the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

In addition to the Government of Canada, the gathering is supported by BC Hydro, Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Council of Yukon First Nations, as well as, the Aboriginal Youth Sport Legacy fund, 2010 Legacies Now, and regional and national Aboriginal organizations.

“The Province of British Columbia is proud to welcome these young Aboriginal leaders for this historic gathering as part of the 2010 Winter Games,” said the Honourable Gordon Campbell, premier of British Columbia. “This 16-day program is sure to take them on an amazing journey with lasting friendships made right here in British Columbia.”

The programming for the Vancouver 2010 Indigenous Youth Gathering, which runs until February 14, is connected to the pillars of the Olympic Movement: sport, culture, sustainability, as well as the objectives of the Olympic Truce (youth, action, legacy, awareness, and peace).

“The importance of recognizing and working in close partnership with Aboriginal peoples in Canada through the Four Host First Nations has been a primary focus for everyone as we developed our plans for the 2010 Winter Games,” explained John Furlong, VANOC’s Chief Executive Officer. “It is our sincere hope that this unique gathering and opportunity to live the excitement of the Games first hand will be an inspirational experience for these young Aboriginal leaders in Canada ― one they can take back to their communities and share as a lasting legacy of the friendships and knowledge they will gain here.”

Participants will be housed in accommodation sites located in the pristine and breathtaking Paradise Valley of Squamish in the Sea to Sky region. The sites offer educational programs on forestry and wildlife, salmon habitats, a bald eagle sanctuary, as well as traditional connections to the land.

“Squamish is pleased to extend a big welcome to the more than 300 participants of the Vancouver 2010 Indigenous Youth Gathering to our district, the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada,” said Squamish Mayor Greg Gardner. “We’re ideally located to host a group of this size and scope because of our proximity to Olympic and Paralympic venues in Vancouver and Whistler.”

About VANOC
VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the 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 www.vancouver2010.com.

Press Contact
If you are a member of the media, please contact mediarelations@vancouver2010.com

Vancouver 2010

Canada: Hughes to carry host flag in Opening Ceremony – AFP News : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics

January 31st, 2010

Vancouver (AFP) – Speed skater Clara Hughes, a five-time Olympic medallist, will carry the Canadian flag at the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, the Canadian Olympic Committee said Friday.

The announcement came as the COC officially announced the 206 athlete who will compete for Canada.

“This is without a doubt the greatest honour of my sporting life,” Hughes said. “Leading the Team into BC Place is something I look forward to because of the world class Canadian athletes beside me, and the inspiring stories behind each one of them.

“These Games will have a profound impact on every Canadian, fostering so many hopes and dreams. I remember being that young person and seeing the Games in Calgary – that was the beginning of my amazing journey that has brought me here today.”

Hughes has won multiple Olympic medals at both Summer and Winter Games as part of a career that will now span five Olympic Games.

She claimed her first medals at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Summer Games, capturing two cycling bronze.

Hughes made her Winter Games debut at Salt Lake City in 2002, competing in the 5,000 metres. Her bronze medal performance made her just the fourth Olympian to reach both the Summer and Winter Olympic podiums.

In Torino in 2006, Hughes captured gold in the 5,000 metres and silver in team pursuit.

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Vancouver 2010

Alpine skiing: Cuche still hopeful on Olympic Games despite thumb injury – AFP News : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics

January 31st, 2010

Kranjska Gora (AFP) – Swiss veteran Didier Cuche still expects to compete at next month’s Winter Games in Vancouver despite fracturing his right thumb in a fall in Friday’s giant slalom at Kranjska Gora.

Cuche will have surgery on Saturday in Zurich but expects to make a swift recovery to keep his Olympic dream alive.

“The Olympics are still on. We will see how the operation goes and how (the injury) can be protected,” said the super-G world champion, who last week produced a double downhill-super G triumph on the Streif at Kitzbuehel to take his season win tally to four and career total to 13.

Cuche, 35, will be operated on by Dr Walter Frey at Zurich’s Schulthess clinic after he suffered the injury in clipping the third last gate “pretty hard”.

The veteran has already been racing through the pain barrier in recent weeks after he fractured a rib six weeks ago at Val d’Isere, a problem which took three weeks to clear up.

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Vancouver 2010

Alpine Skiing: Vonn confident despite left hand injury – AFP News : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics

January 31st, 2010

Washington (AFP) – Alpine World Cup ski star Lindsey Vonn is confident she will be in top form for the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games next month despite a bruised left hand that still bothers the American in slalom runs.

The two-time defending World Cup overall champion said Thursday in a conference call with reporters that the left hand she injured a month ago in Lienz, Austria, continues to improve and her confidence continues to grow.

“The arm is getting better every day,” Vonn said. “It has just been a struggle on slalom this year. I think things will be fine for all the other disciplines but it will be difficult for the slalom.”

Vonn, 25, suffered a training crash at Turin just before the 2006 Olympics that wiped her out as a medal favorite, even though she fought back to return.

This year, she enters Vancouver as the reigning world downhill and Super-G champion and a hunger to claim an Olympic medal after a season in which she has dominated rivals.

“It’s going to be difficult to not let the expectations get to me,” Vonn said. “I have high expectations. I just have to do by best not to let the distractions get to me.”

Being the target of every rival in every race has taken a toll, Vonn admitted.

“It’s hard. I’ve been the one they consistently want to beat,” Vonn said. “It’s hard to stay focused and keep your concentration. It’s going to be a lot harder at these Olympics but hopefully it will be more rewarding as well.”

Struggles in the slalom since the hand injury had delivered a punch to Vonn’s confidence but she has since rebounded, especially after strong results in the past month.

“It’s getting back the confidence,” she said. “It had been a downward spiral. It’s not weighing on me. I’ve been able to bounce back from the bad slalom results and have great speed results.

“I know I can do it. It’s a matter of if I have confidence in myself. I have a lot of time before the slalom race in the Olympic Games. I think I will be fine.

“I have a lot of confidence in downhill and Super-G. It helps when you start off strong. I kept that confidence going despite the hand injury. Confidence is why I’ve still been able to do well in downhill and Super-G.”

After this weekend’s World Cup races in Switzerland, Vonn will train for a few days then return to the United States for several days off and arrive in Canada on February 9.

“There are definitely going to be a lot of days off. That’s definitely what I need right now,” Vonn said. “I’ve been grinding away pretty hard on the World Cup tour. It will be good to be rested and refocused on Whistler.”

Vonn has heard good things about the snow on the mountains near Vancouver, a host city that the US star’s friends have taken to calling “Vonn-couver”.

“It’s pretty funny,” Vonn said. “My friends started that in Aspen. They always have the Vonn-tourage. I dont really take it to heart. It’s something someone made up. It’s a funny little slogan. It’s cute.”

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Vancouver 2010

Brazil’s life expectancy up five months in one year

January 28th, 2010

Brazil’s life expectancy rate increased over 2005-2006, according to IBGE (Brazilian Geography and Statistics Institute). The country’s average rose from 71.9 to 72.3 years

IBGE said the increase was a result of improvements in items like availability of health services, vaccination campaigns, medical advancements and higher education levels.
Women’s life expectancy is higher than men’s (76.1 and 68.5 years, respectively).

The federal district of Brasilia registered the highest life expectancy in the country – 75.1 years – followed by Santa Catarina (75) and Rio Grande do Sul (74.8).
Compared with 1960, when the average life expectancy in Brazil was 54.6 years, figures show an increase of nearly 18 years

While life expectancy went up, infant mortality rate fell in the 2005-2006 period (from 25.8 deaths per 1,000 live births to 24.9) – down 64 percent from 1980, when total deaths amounted to 69.1 per 1,000 live births.

Rio 2016

Pan American games leave a legacy for the security of Rio de Janeiro

January 28th, 2010

RIO DE JANEIRO – The Pan American Games Rio 2007, held on July 13 to 29, left to the city of Rio de Janeiro an important legacy in the security area. The Public National Security Department (Senasp) decided to transfer to Rio de Janeiro Government 500 out of the 700 vehicles that reinforced the police patrolling of the city during the Games.
These 500 units will be added to other 632 new cars acquired in September by the State Government to be used by the Military Police.
With these new vehicles, almost 100% of the Metropolitan Region fleet will be renewed up to the end of the year. Other 200 vehicles used in Rio 2007 will be distributed through other cities of the country.

Rio 2016

Wireless internet to reach Copacabana beach this year

January 28th, 2010

Cariocas (the people of Rio) will benefit from a new telecommunications feature from May onwards as a Wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) service will be implemented in the Copacabana Beach and Baixada Fluminense areas as a result of a Digital Seashore Project initiative. Free Internet access will be provided on a sign-up basis to users who have a laptop computer or any other Wi-Fi compatible apparatus. According to Rio de Janeiro Secretary for Science and Technology Alexandre Cardoso, a statewide Wi-Fi network should be put in place in the next two years.

For the Secretary, the travel and retail trade industries will benefit from the novelty. “The Wi-Fi technology will enable tourists in Copacabana to take cell phone pictures on the beach and send them directly to someone back in their home countries. In the Baixada Fluminense area, retail trade will definitely move into the Internet era, boosting on-line sales”, said Alexandre.

Plans include expanding the network around the Guanabara Bay area and reaching the rest of the State in two years, at a total cost of R$ 40 million. Funds will be provided by a Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Faperj) and Ministry of Science and Technology partnership.

The idea is based both on New York City’s experience of reduced violence rates – 30 percent – following the implementation of a Wi-Fi network, and the project that has earned Piraí, Rio de Janeiro, international awards for providing citywide Wi-Fi connection.

Alexandre Cardoso also said, at least during 2008, the system should be maintained by the Government at a cost of R$ 50 thousand. A future private sector partnership, however, could be considered.

Rio 2016

Brasil é um dos destinos preferidos para investimentos

January 28th, 2010

RIO DE JANEIRO – Um dos países aspirantes a receber os Jogos Olímpicos de 2016, o Brasil está entre as cinco nações preferidas por empresas multinacionais para realização de investimentos no triênio 2007-2009, de acordo com pesquisa da Agência das Nações Unidas para o Comércio e o Desenvolvimento (Unctad).

O tamanho do mercado interno e a expansão econômica brasileira são citados pelos empresários como as principais razões para investimento no Brasil. A China lidera a lista, seguida pela Índia. Os dois países são os mais populosos do mundo.

A possibilidade do Brasil ser a sede da Copa do Mundo de 2014 e dos Jogos Olímpicos de 2016 aumenta a perspectiva de investimentos estrangeiros no país, que poderiam ser aplicados na construção e reforma de instalações esportivas, aumento da capacidade hoteleira, obras de infra-estrutura, entre outros.

Rio 2016

Federal Government funds project that will transform traffic in rio

January 28th, 2010

The Road Arch, a project intended to improve traffic in the greater Rio de Janeiro, is about to become real. The President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva approved last Monday, 12th, the budget of R$ 100 million to Rio de Janeiro State Government to start the construction works. The project is included in the proposal of Rio de Janeiro to be the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games.

The project will smoothen the traffic on access roads taking to the greater Rio de Janeiro, removing most heavy vehicles from Avenida Brasil, Ponte Rio-Niterói and metropolitan sections of Rio-São Paulo (BR-116) and Rio-Petrópolis (BR-040) highways, improving, thus, the road traffic in the city. In the event that the Olympic Games in 2016 are to be held in the city, access to sport venues will be easier for athletes, delegates, tourists and people living in the city.

The initial budget granted by the Federal Government will be used by the Rio de Janeiro State Government, responsible for the execution of the project, for bidding procedures and start of construction works, which will start in January 2008, according to the Vice-Governor of Rio de Janeiro, Luiz Fernando Pezão. The constructions are planned to be completed within months, with total investments of R$ 802 million.

During the grant funding ceremony in Brasília, Lula and the Governor of Rio de Janeiro, Sérgio Cabral, showed their enthusiasm with the works, highlighting its relevance for the State of Rio de Janeiro. The President stated “the project will change Rio de Janeiro’s look”. According to Cabral, the Road Arch will allow economic and social gains to the State.

“The Metropolitan Arch will be extremely important for the development of greater Rio de Janeiro’s economy. Rio de Janeiro is developing a lot. It will represent a great change in the quality of life of the people who live in Greater Rio de Janeiro and in downtown. It will generate new flows for the distribution of products, additional alternatives for investments and generate jobs”, he said.

Rio de Janeiro State Sports Secretary, Eduardo Paes, emphasized the benefits of the project for the sport.

“This was a solid action of government levels which, besides generating a permanent legacy for the city, will fulfill the commitment of Rio de Janeiro to be the host city of 2016 Olympic Games”.

The Arch will be a 70,9 km, double-lane highway, which will cross the cities of Itaboraí, Guapimirim, Magé, Duque de Caxias, Nova Iguaçu, Japeri, Seropédica and Itaguaí. The work will enable large investments in the state; such as the Petrochemical Center of Itaboraí and Companhia Siderúrgica do Atlântico, in Itaguaí. Besides benefiting other job-generation centers, such as the Gas-Chemical Plant of Duque de Caxias and Reduc (Duque de Caxias Refinery).

Rio 2016

President of rio 2016 committee celebrates the choice of brazil as the host country for the world cup 2014

January 28th, 2010

The president of Rio 2016 Committee and the Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC), Carlos Arthur Nuzman, cheered the choice of Brazil as the host for the Soccer World Cup in 2014, announced this Tuesday, the 30th, in Zurich (Switzerland). In Nuzman’s opinion, FIFA decision reinforces the Brazilian desire to host the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. “The World Cup in Brazil reinforces the Brazilian bidding to the Site of the Olympic Games 2016 in all aspects. The investments to be done in both events are complementary and will provide Brazil with an opportunity of repeating successful experiences of countries which organized the two events in a sequence, such as Mexico (1968/1970), Germany (1972/1974) and the United States (1994/1996)”, said BOC’s President.

For Nuzman, when choosing Brazil to host the Cup 2014, FIFA expresses a clear demonstration of trust in the country’s capacity to successfully organize great sports events. “The formalization of Brazil as the site for the World Cup 2014 shows the importance of the country in the world’s sports scenario and highlights the trust FIFA deposits in Brazil’s organization and accomplishment power. I am very happy with the announcement made in Zurich. An event like this will only bring benefits and legacies to the host country and to the cities hosting the games. Brazil has been showing its capacity to organize great international sports events and certainly the World Cup 2014 will be a landmark in the history of the world soccer”, he said.

Rio 2016