Archive

Archive for the ‘Vancouver 2010’ Category

Vancouver 2010 Winter Games surplus medical/dental supplies/equipment bound for Haiti as part of Olympic Truce legacy – News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

March 29th, 2010

Vancouver, BC — Over 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) of surplus athlete medical and dental supplies and equipment from the 2010 Winter Games are being provided to Canadian medical teams in Haiti as part of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce program and as a legacy of the Games, with the first major shipment en route this weekend. 

The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) has partnered together with the Canadian Forces to donate and deliver the much needed medical supplies in two stages – the first taking place this weekend and the second gradually over the coming weeks and months. 

A first shipment of approximately 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms) of supplies departs on Saturday for Port au Prince on a Canadian Forces CC-177 Globemaster from 8 Wing Trenton.  The supplies and equipment include a wide assortment of soft goods and surgical instruments ranging from bandages and suture kits to orthotic knee braces.  The medical supplies will be provided to Canadian Medical Assistance Teams (CMAT) who have been providing on the ground medical support in Haiti since the devastating earthquake there on January 12.  The remaining inventory of supplies will be collected and stored in Vancouver and shipped as required with CMAT doctors and volunteers as future teams are deployed to Haiti. 

“With the conclusion of the Games, our legacy is in the things we continue to do that reflect the unity and friendship celebrated in the name of sport and the Olympic Truce,” said John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer for VANOC. “We’re grateful to the Canadian Forces for their invaluable partnership in delivering surplus Games medical goods, so that through CMAT we can support the people of Haiti as they continue to heal and rebuild.”

“Our medical team had access to top quality medical and dental equipment and supplies in support of athletes at the 2010 Games,” said Dr. Jack Taunton, Chief Medical Officer for VANOC. “Our work is done and as medical professionals our first thoughts are always to whom else needs help, so we are pleased to support our medical colleagues working so hard in Haiti.”

“The Canadian Forces’ association with the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games has been mutually beneficial,” said Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “Now, we are able to do something together to benefit others. We are pleased to be able to transport these medical supplies on behalf of the Vancouver Organizing Committee, continuing our support to the relief effort in Haiti.”

This donation represents an approximately $125,000 CAD in value for medical and dental supplies to the region. Earlier this month, VANOC with its partners announced a $300,000 CAD donation to UNICEF to support relief efforts in Haiti.

NOTE TO PHOTO/VIDEO EDITORS:  Access is not possible at CFB Trenton to shoot photos/video of the VANOC medical supplies being loaded on to the Canadian Forces CC-177 Globemaster aircraft on March 27, however high resolution colour photos will be taken and posted with cutlines to Canada News Wire as soon as possible after the loading is completed. Also available here.

About the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce
The philosophy of the Olympic Truce is simple: sport can inspire peace. In 2010, athletes set aside their political, religious and social differences and competed on a level playing field in the pursuit of excellence. Their sportsmanship and behaviour are examples of how countries and individuals can find constructive ways to uphold the values of respect and friendship.

The 2010 Winter Games mark the first time Canada has been responsible for leading Olympic Truce efforts since the ancient tradition, dating back to 776 BC in Greece, was revitalized in 1992. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, is patron of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce. For more information, visit www.olympictruce.org.

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 were staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler hosted the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.

About Canadian Forces

Canadian Forces (CF) members are proud to serve Canada by defending its values, interests and sovereignty at home and abroad. The mandate of Canadian Forces is three-fold: protecting Canada and defending our sovereignty; working with Canada’s closest ally, the United States, to defend North America; and contributing to international peace and security through operations around the world, most often in partnership with allies from other countries.

Vancouver 2010

Vancouver 2010 Winter Games surplus medical/dental supplies/equipment bound for Haiti as part of Olympic Truce legacy – News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

March 26th, 2010

Vancouver, BC — Over 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) of surplus athlete medical and dental supplies and equipment from the 2010 Winter Games are being provided to Canadian medical teams in Haiti as part of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce program and as a legacy of the Games, with the first major shipment en route this weekend. 

The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) has partnered together with the Canadian Forces to donate and deliver the much needed medical supplies in two stages – the first taking place this weekend and the second gradually over the coming weeks and months.

A first shipment of approximately 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms) of supplies departs on Saturday for Port au Prince on a Canadian Forces CC-177 Globemaster from 8 Wing Trenton.  The supplies and equipment include a wide assortment of soft goods and surgical instruments ranging from bandages and suture kits to orthotic knee braces.  The medical supplies will be provided to Canadian Medical Assistance Teams (CMAT) who have been providing on the ground medical support in Haiti since the devastating earthquake there on January 12.  The remaining inventory of supplies will be collected and stored in Vancouver and shipped as required with CMAT doctors and volunteers as future teams are deployed to Haiti. 

 “With the conclusion of the Games, our legacy is in the things we continue to do that reflect the unity and friendship celebrated in the name of sport and the Olympic Truce,” said John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer for VANOC. “We’re grateful to the Canadian Forces for their invaluable partnership in delivering surplus Games medical goods, so that through CMAT we can support the people of Haiti as they continue to heal and rebuild.”

 “Our medical team had access to top quality medical and dental equipment and supplies in support of athletes at the 2010 Games,” said Dr. Jack Taunton, Chief Medical Officer for VANOC. “Our work is done and as medical professionals our first thoughts are always to whom else needs help, so we are pleased to support our medical colleagues working so hard in Haiti.”

“The Canadian Forces’ association with the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games has been mutually beneficial,” said Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “Now, we are able to do something together to benefit others. We are pleased to be able to transport these medical supplies on behalf of the Vancouver Organizing Committee, continuing our support to the relief effort in Haiti.”

This donation represents an approximately $125,000 CAD in value for medical and dental supplies to the region. Earlier this month, VANOC with its partners announced a $300,000 CAD donation to UNICEF to support relief efforts in Haiti.

NOTE TO PHOTO/VIDEO EDITORS:  For security reasons, access is not possible at CFB Trenton to shoot photos/video of the VANOC medical supplies being loaded on to the Canadian Forces CC-177 Globemaster aircraft on March 27, however high resolution colour photos will be taken and posted with cutlines to Canada News Wire as soon as possible after the loading is completed.

About the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce
The philosophy of the Olympic Truce is simple: sport can inspire peace. In 2010, athletes set aside their political, religious and social differences and competed on a level playing field in the pursuit of excellence. Their sportsmanship and behaviour are examples of how countries and individuals can find constructive ways to uphold the values of respect and friendship.

The 2010 Winter Games mark the first time Canada has been responsible for leading Olympic Truce efforts since the ancient tradition, dating back to 776 BC in Greece, was revitalized in 1992. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, is patron of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce. For more information, visit www.olympictruce.org.

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 were staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler hosted the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.

About Canadian Forces

Canadian Forces (CF) members are proud to serve Canada by defending its values, interests and sovereignty at home and abroad. The mandate of Canadian Forces is three-fold: protecting Canada and defending our sovereignty; working with Canada’s closest ally, the United States, to defend North America; and contributing to international peace and security through operations around the world, most often in partnership with allies from other countries.

Vancouver 2010

Historic 2010 Olympic Games gold medal winning puck donated by IIHF/VANOC to Hockey Hall of Fame – News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

March 16th, 2010

Overtime pucks added to gold medal game pucks on sale at www.vancouver2010.com/auction

Vancouver, BC – The permanent home of perhaps the most famous six ounces of hard rubber in hockey history – the puck with which Canada’s Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal on Team USA during the overtime period of the Olympic gold medal game – will go to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and four pucks used in the same overtime period are now available for purchase at www.vancouver2010.com/auction

International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) President René Fasel and Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) CEO John Furlong jointly made the announcement of the donation of the gold medal winning puck to the Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF). The famous puck has been delivered by the IIHF to the HHOF, where it will be put onto public display as soon as possible. 

VANOC also confirmed that four pucks used in the overtime period and collected for VANOC by on-ice officials have been added to the selection of sport memorabilia now available through public auction at vancouver2010.com/auction.

All of the pucks feature the Olympic rings in white and Vancouver 2010’s distinctive blue and green Look of the Games.

Gold medal game winning puck:

The game winning puck was retrieved through joint efforts by the IIHF, VANOC and the HHOF to locate it following the game. In the celebrations and tumult of media attention and post-game activities, various officials who had possession of the puck could not immediately identify the appropriate person to hand it off to and so safeguarded it until it could be handed over directly to the IIHF last week.  Photos of the gold medal game winning puck are available with this news release and at http://www.vancouver2010.com/more-2010-information/media-centre/image-gallery/event-photos/event-photos_144050sl.html

“I am happy to see that the puck is going to the hockey hall of fame,” said Sidney Crosby. “I feel very lucky to have been part of that team and that game as well and I am glad hockey fans will get the chance to share the moment by seeing things like the overtime winning puck up close.”

“What an incredible hockey tournament in Vancouver capped off with a gold medal game that will never be forgotten,” said René Fasel. “The IIHF is proud to help ensure that this valuable piece of hockey history will hold an honoured place for all to see it and to remember where they were and what they felt at the exact moment the goal was scored.”

“The moment of the winning goal from the men’s gold medal game at the Vancouver 2010 Games is burned into the memory of Canadians – and all hockey fans – forever,” said John Furlong.  “This puck and the teams that fought hard to score with it in overtime represent some of the most exciting moments of the 2010 Games and we’re delighted to donate it to the Hockey Hall of Fame so that everyone can enjoy it for years to come.”

“The gold medal winning puck is a treasure that will attract so many hockey fans to the Hall and we’re extremely happy that it’s on its way here,” said Phil Pritchard,” Curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame. “Thanks to the IIHF and to VANOC for making this happen and we look forward to getting the puck and making arrangements for it to take its rightful place with the other memorabilia that represent great moments in hockey history.”

Gold medal game warm up, regulation time and overtime pucks at www.vancouver2010.com/auction:

VANOC put into place a process whereby at any stoppage of play in the gold medal hockey game linesmen swapped out the puck in play for a new one and the game pucks were collected and marked for the period in which they were played. Pucks collected in the game warm up and first three periods of the gold medal game have already sold at auction for between $3500 – $5900 CDN, with warm up pucks selling for up to $700 CDN. The four pucks used during the overtime period of the gold medal game have been added to the online auction at vancouver2010.com/auctions and are accompanied by a certificate of authenticity

“There’s been great interest to date in the official sport memorabilia auction such as hockey pucks, jerseys and podia. The bidding for gold medal game overtime pucks – and another chance to own a piece of Olympic history — is likely to be fierce,” said Dennis Kim, VANOC’s Director of Licensing and Merchandising.  The Vancouver 2010 auction is the only source for official 2010 Winter Games memorabilia and for the first time in the history of the Games, some of the most coveted items used during competition including medal podia, medal trays, pucks, ski gates, game-worn jerseys and more are available for purchase.

About the IIHF:

The IIHF, the governing body of international ice hockey and inline hockey, features 68 member associations, each of which is the national governing body of the sport in its nation. Besides controlling the international rulebook, processing international player transfers, and dictating officiating guidelines, the IIHF runs numerous development programs designed to bring hockey to a broader population. The IIHF also presides over ice hockey in the Olympic Games and over the IIHF World Championships at all levels, men, women, juniors under-20, juniors under-18 and women under-18. Each season, the IIHF in collaboration with its local organizing committees, runs around 25 different World Championships in the five different categories. Visit www.iihf.com

About the HHOF

The Hockey Hall of Fame was founded in 1943 to establish a memorial to those who have developed Canada’s great winter sport — ice hockey. Incorporated in 1983, Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum (“HHFM”) exists in order to honour and preserve the history of the game of ice hockey, and in particular, those who have made outstanding contributions and achievements in the development of the game. The HHFM collects, preserves, researches, exhibits and promotes all objects, images and histories which are determined to be significant to the story of ice hockey in Canada, and throughout the world. Visit www.hhof.com

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 were staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler are hosting the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com

Vancouver 2010

Cross-Country Skiing: Swiss coach making major sacrifices – AFP News : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

March 14th, 2010

Vancouver (AFP) – As with many of the participants at the Vancouver Paralympic Winter Games, Swiss Nordic team coach Walter Sporri became involved in disabled sport through the needs of others.

With his wife confined to crutches after childhood polio, Sporri, an avid cross-country skier, became a cross-country technician before moving on to biathlon where he participated in national championships.

He has been the coach of the Swiss Nordic Paralympians since the 2006 Games in Torino.

“Cross-country is my life. It’s a joy. Alpine gives me no joy,” said the gregarious Swiss.

Such joy, however, comes at a personal price as Sporri and his two-person team used their personal vacation to come to Canada, mostly at their own expense.

The team received some funding from Swiss Olympic, an organization representing the country’s sports federations, but nothing from the government.

“It’s hard. We are not professional. I do not get a salary (for coaching),” he laments, adding it’s difficult to attract young people to the sport.

In nine Paralympic appearances, cross-country skiers have accounted for 49 of Switzerland’s 141 medals; Alpine skiers the rest.

“We have a little sponsorship, same for (Paralympic) Alpine. There is a lot of money for able-bodied Alpine in Switzerland but we are not so interesting in the media.

“Disabled sport is secondary, but it is a sport like any other. The people are like any other. It’s just disabled sport.”

str/dj10

Vancouver 2010

VANOC thanks Canadians, fans, for wearing hearts on their hands – News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

March 5th, 2010

Over 3.5 million pairs of Red Mittens purchased in support of Canadian winter athletes

Vancouver, BC ― The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) today thanked Canadians and all fans who showed their support for the Canadian athletes and the 2010 Games by purchasing a pair of Red Mittens. Over 3.5 million pairs of mittens were sold during the five-month campaign and the mittens quickly became one of the most enduring and popular items of the pre-Games and Games-time period. The full inventory of Red Mittens has now been sold.

To everyone who bought a pair of Red Mittens, who waved at a torchbearer in their community, who showed their spirit every day, or who wore them while cheering their team at the venues or while watching on television, we send a heartfelt ‘thank you’,” said John Furlong, VANOC’s Chief Executive Officer. “Red Mittens were more than a souvenir, they became the “it” item to show support for the Games and we’re grateful to everyone who literally wore their hearts on their hands. We also thank our partners, and particularly the Hudson’s Bay Company and CTV, Canada’s Olympic Network, for their strong support of the Red Mittens campaign.”

Since VANOC launched Red Mittens last fall to raise funds to support Canadian athletes at the 2010 Games, Red Mittens have been seen on the hands of a prince, a premier, a prime minister the IOC President and millions of proud Canadians and worldwide visitors. Numerous statues, including the Drumheller dinosaur, the Harry Jerome runner in Stanley Park, the Lion’s Gate Bridge lions and sported Red Mittens. A hit from the beginning, by December 2009, the mittens had reached VANOC’s established goal: one million pairs sold. By the time the Olympic Winter Games ended, on February 28, 2010, more than 3.5 million pairs had been sold. The mittens were made available on www.vancouver2010.com and through Hudson’s Bay Company stores, including Zellers, the Bay and Home Outfitters locations.

Red Mittens were conceived as an affordable, fun and unique way for Canadians and all Games fans to connect with Vancouver 2010 and support Canadian athletes. Demand grew as soon as the Olympic Torch Relay and Olympic torchbearers started, on October 30, to wind their way across the country wearing Red Mittens. As the Christmas holiday season approached, their popularity ― both as a gift item and as practical, fun winter apparel ― grew rapidly. In January/February 2010, demand for Red Mittens peaked as Canadians and international visitors sought out the fun and distinctly Canadian Red Mittens.  

Net proceeds from every pair of Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens sold help complete the funding of the five-year Own the Podium 2010 initiative, which provided Canadian athletes with top Games-related equipment and training. Any additional funds raised through the Red Mittens campaign support a variety of 2010 Winter Games athlete- and sport-based initiatives.

 

About VANOC
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. Please visit www.vancouver2010.com for more information.

For more information:
VANOC Communications
Tel: 604.403.1611
E-mail: mediarelations@vancouver2010.com

Vancouver 2010

VANOC commends Government of Canada for Own the Podium contribution in federal budget – News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

March 4th, 2010

Vancouver, BC ― The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) today commended the Government of Canada for committing an additional $17 million annually in funding in support of the Own the Podium program: $11 million for winter athletes and $ 6 million for summer athletes. The funding announcement came as part of the Government of Canada’s release of the federal budget.

“The Prime Minister and Government of Canada have today confirmed that sport counts in Canada – that sport is an important and vibrant part of the fabric of life in our country,” said John Furlong, VANOC’s Chief Executive Officer. “Canadian winter athletes, through their stellar performance at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and at the upcoming Paralympic Games, are making a significant impact on the country, inspiring national pride and a showing what can be done when confidence is raised to the highest level through strong support. Our summer athletes have tremendous potential as they prepare for the London 2012 Games,” he said.

“As the Own the Podium 2010 program showed, ultimately, it’s about partnership, and corporate Canada played an important and meaningful role, demonstrating that a private /public partnership can not only work, but can win.  We encourage corporate Canada to continue to support these programs and, together with the Government of Canada, to build on the success of Vancouver 2010,” he concluded. 

The Own the Podium 2010 program played a critical role in developing the strongest Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams ever, as demonstrated by the outstanding performance of Canada’s athletes at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and what promises to be a best ever performance at the 2010 Paralympic Games.  Canada set a new all-time team high at the 2010 Olympic Games with 26 medals, including 14 gold medals ― the highest number of gold medals Canada has ever won at any Games, and the most gold medals ever won by any nation at an Olympic Winter Games. The program is a partnership of Canada’s 13 winter national sport organizations, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, Sport Canada and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) .

Approximately half of the funding originated from the Government of Canada, through Sport Canada. VANOC raised the other half through corporate, provincial, territorial, and public support. Bell Canada is the founding corporate partner and other corporate partners include General Motors of Canada, Hudson’s Bay Company, McDonald’s Canada, Petro-Canada, RBC Financial Group and RONA. Provincial and territorial support is provided by the governments of Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and the Yukon.

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.

Media Contact:
VANOC Communications
Tel: 604.403.1611
E-mail: mediarelations@vancouver2010.com

 

Vancouver 2010

2010 Olympic Transportation plan a success – News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

March 3rd, 2010

Citizens urged to keep travelling smart as changes to the road network remain for Paralympic Winter Games

Vancouver, BC – The Olympic and Paralympic Transportation Team (OPTT) today thanked the people of Metro Vancouver and the Sea to Sky regions for making the 2010 integrated Olympic transportation plan a success, while urging people to keep traveling smart in view of changes to the transportation network for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.

Transportation planners – charged with one of the most complex and critical elements of the Games – set the lofty goal of achieving at least a 30 per cent reduction in vehicle use during the Olympic Games, in order to ensure athletes, officials and others could get to their events on time and local residents could move efficiently.

Throughout the Games, Metro Vancouver and the Sea to Sky corridor saw record numbers of people walking, cycling and taking transit, and an overall reduction in vehicle use.  In particular, vehicle use was reduced by an average of more than 35 per cent each day. In addition, TransLink, the public transit operator in Metro Vancouver, moved an average of 1.5 million people per day during the Games, an increase from 730,000 trips per day, while BC Transit, the public transportation provider in the Sea to Sky corridor, saw five times the ridership on the public transit system over normal winter levels.

Paralympic transportation plans

Venues

Building on this success, the OPTT is reminding the public to continue to ‘travel smart’ during the Paralympic Winter Games. While most road networks have been returned to normal, some closures and parking restrictions remain around Paralympic venues during the transition to and throughout the Paralympic Games. These areas include UBC Thunderbird Arena, the Vancouver Paralympic Centre, Paralympic Village Vancouver and BC Place (for March 12 Opening Ceremony). In Whistler, these areas include Whistler Creekside and Paralympic Village Whistler. The public is asked to continue to use sustainable modes of transportation throughout the month of March 2010 and beyond. Details of the 2010 integrated Paralympic transportation plan are outlined in the attached fact sheet. 

“We were very happy with the transportation choices that everyone made during the Olympic Winter Games,,” Penny Ballem, city manager of the City of Vancouver said on behalf of the OPTT. “With fewer changes to the road network during the Paralympic Winter Games, we encourage residents, commuters and visitors to continue to leave their vehicles behind and walk, cycle or take transit to get around during this period.”

“It’s important we ensure our Paralympic athletes and other guests have a smooth, positive experience here during the Games,” added Terry Wright, VANOC executive vice president, services and Games operations. “With road closures, parking restrictions and increased volumes around Paralympic Games venues, traveling smart is still the way to go and everyone should know before they go.”

Paralympic Torch relay and Opening Ceremony March 11 and 12

The public is also reminded the Paralympic torch relay will be underway in downtown Vancouver from 2 pm on March 11 to 2 pm on March 12. The current proposed route is a loop that will involve areas along Robson, Granville and Smithe Streets. Traffic will continue to flow on most major streets, however, there will be road closures and restrictions to vehicle traffic along a few blocks of Robson, Smithe, Granville and Bute. Other cross streets will remain open with rolling intermittent road closures as the torch runs past. Commuters are advised to find alternate routes and modes of transportation around the Robson Square area for March 11 and 12.

In addition, temporary road closures and pedestrian corridors will be in place in downtown Vancouver on March 12 to support the Paralympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony at BC Place. Cambie Bridge, as well as portions of Beatty Street and Robson Street will be closed for most of the day on March 12, so driving will be challenging. Up to date information will be made available on the Host City website through travelsmart2010.ca,so that everyone can plan ahead.

Other transportation highlights

  • Public transportation service will reflect the anticipated number of transit riders during the Paralympic Games, with event level service planned to serve Paralympic venues in Vancouver, and the Games Express service continuing in Whistler.
  • Paralympic Games event tickets include access to public transit for the day of the event.
  • Olympic lanes removed in Vancouver as of March 2, though a temporary Paralympic lane will remain on Highway 99 in Whistler from Function Junction to the Village.
  • Sea to Sky traffic checkpoint removed as of March 1; no permits required to travel north of Squamish.
  • Lane demarcations on Highway 99 will be removed between March 1 and 5.

For the most up-to-date transportation information, visit www.travelsmart2010.ca.

About the OPTT

Members of the Olympic and Paralympic Transportation Team (OPTT) are VANOC, the City of Vancouver, Resort Municipality of Whistler, TransLink, BC Transit, the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit. Planning is also supported by other partners, including Transport Canada and the municipalities of Richmond and West Vancouver.

Vancouver 2010

First-ever Canadian Paralympic Torch Relay signals the start of Vancouver/Whistler Games – News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

March 3rd, 2010

Unique flame ceremonies to see ashes from all 13 celebration sites united in final flame at Opening Ceremony March 12

Ottawa, ON ― As Canada gets ready to host the world’s best Paralympic winter athletes starting on March 12, the inspirational 10-day journey of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay is officially underway with the first group of Paralympic Torchbearers – one from each province and territory – gathering in the nation’s capital to create stories that will inspire the nation. More than 600 torchbearers will proudly carry the flame as the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay, presented by Coca-Cola and RBC and supported by the Government of Canada and the Province of BC, visits 11 communities over the next 10 days, culminating in the lighting of the Paralympic Cauldron at BC Place in downtown Vancouver on March 12, 2010. Tickets for the Opening Ceremony are still available (see ticketing information below).

The Paralympic Flame, which has no ancestral home, was ignited and blessed this morning by Aboriginal firekeepers of the Pikwakanagan and Kitigan Zibi Algonquin bands on Victoria Island during a special ceremony. It was then placed in a lantern and brought to the Parliament Buildings where it was passed to three youth representatives from the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Métis National Council.

They in turn brought the trio of flames to the stage located on the Hill’s historic front lawn where Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed and Squamish Nation Chief Gibby Jacob, on behalf of the Four Host First Nations, reunited the flames in the Paralympic Cauldron.

Arnold Boldt, celebrated multi-sport Paralympian with many world records to his credit, officially sparked the start of the flame’s journey when he dipped his torch into the Paralympic community cauldron in front of a crowd including the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada; the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages; the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of State (Sport); the Honourable Mary McNeil, Minister of State for the Olympics and ActNow BC, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed; and John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).

“To carry the Paralympic Flame is truly an honour,” said Boldt, who triumphed on home soil at the Toronto 1976 Paralympic Games in the long jump and set a world record of 1.86 metres in the high jump. “I hope it sparks inspiration and dreams in people of all abilities across Canada and the world as it travels to Vancouver for the start of the Games. Dreams will come true here in 2010.”

Boldt handed off the flame to 15 other torchbearers at the ceremony in Ottawa ― one to represent each province and territory. The torchbearers were:

  • Founding president of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Dr. Robert Steadward (Alberta);
  • comedian Rick Mercer (British Columbia);
  • daughter of seven-time Paralympian Clayton Gerein, Jasmine Gerein (Saskatchewan);
  • swimmer Chelsea Gotell (Nova Scotia);
  • swimmer Erica Noonan (Newfoundland and Labrador);
  • golfer Simon Koomak (Nunavut);
  • medal-winning Paralympian Jared Funk (Manitoba);
  • advocate for the rights of people with disabilities Rick Goodfellow (Yukon);
  • ice sledge hockey player Colin MacLeod (Prince Edward Island);
  • singer-songwriter Justin Hines (Ontario);
  • Paralympic wheelchair racer Dean Bergeron (Quebec);
  • para-swimmer Katherine Elkin (Northwest Territories);
  • four-time Paralympian and wheelchair basketball player Sabrina Pettinicchi Durepos (New Brunswick).

Aboriginal dance champion, volunteer, athlete and coach, Justine Belair was selected as a representative of Canada’s Aboriginal communities and the final torchbearer during the Ottawa celebration was marathon runner Rick Ball, selected by VANOC, a three-time world record holder and 2012 Paralympic Summer Games hopeful. 

“The Paralympic Torch Relay is designed to illuminate the extraordinary achievements of Paralympians and celebrate the endless possibilities of the human spirit,” said John Furlong. “We encourage Canadians to come out and experience the energy and wonder of the Paralympic Flame throughout its 10-day journey.” 

“The Paralympic Torch Relay ignites the flame in each one of us, as we witness this exciting lead-in to the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. It will be a magnificent journey for the world to see, with each Aboriginal custom representing not only their own origins, but the Paralympic spirit and values,” said Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee.

The Paralympic Flame, carried in a curved steel blue torch designed and manufactured by Bombardier, will visit community celebration sites as follows:

  • Ottawa (March 3)
  • Quebec City (March 4)
  • Toronto (March 5)
  • Victoria and Esquimalt (March 6)
  • Squamish (March 7)
  • Whistler (March 8)
  • Lytton and Hope (March 9)
  • Maple Ridge (March 10)
  • Vancouver (March 10, 11 and 12)

All the torchbearers will receive as their own official keepsake, the matching blue torchbearer uniform, produced by the Hudson’s Bay Company.

“This flame highlights the courage and determination of the Paralympic athletes who have been training long and hard and are ready to shine at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Winter Games,” said the Prime Minister. “The people of Canada are proud that for the first time in our history, we are hosting the Paralympic Winter Games.”

To start each day of the relay, a new Paralympic Flame will be created by members of the local Aboriginal community, in accordance with their customs, wherever the daily torch relay celebration is taking place.  Ashes from each flame creation ceremony will be collected and united in the final fire on March 11 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and then carried to the official opening of the Games

“The Government of Canada is extremely proud to support the Paralympic Torch relay, which will allow us to show Canadian excellence to the entire world,” said James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. “Canada is getting ready to host the Paralympic Winter Games for the first time. It will be great to celebrate this important moment in our history with Canadians from all over the country.”

“Collecting and uniting ashes from each ceremony will truly bring the entire country together as the Paralympic Winter Games approach in the Host Province of British Columbia,” said Mary McNeil, Minister of State for the Olympics and ActNow BC.  “We have seen the ability of a tiny flame to inspire this country. We want the Paralympic Flame to create a flicker in British Columbians, Canadians and citizens of the world — a flicker of inspiration, moments of pride and a renewed belief that anything is possible.”

On March 11, 2010, the relay will turn into a 24-hour event through Vancouver’s downtown core surrounding Robson Square as part of a day-long celebration of culture and sport counting down the final moments until the magical Opening Ceremony of the Games in front of tens of thousands at BC Place. 

“The world’s best winter Paralympians are powerful reminders that if you keep pursuing your dreams, no matter the obstacles, you can achieve great things,” said Mayor Robertson. “We look forward to welcoming these inspirational athletes to our city and cheering on all the amazing people who will carry the flame on its journey to Vancouver for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.”

“This relay is all about celebrating everyday heroes who embody the Paralympic values of courage, determination, inspiration, and equality in their everyday life — much like the Paralympians who will inspire us with their performances in Whistler at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Olympic Games, starting in just 10 days,” said Mayor Melamed.

For more information on the 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay, visit www.vancouver2010.com/torchrelay.

About the 2010 Paralympic Games/ Ticket information

Approximately 1,000 athletes and officials from more than 40 countries will take part in five sports (alpine and cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey, wheelchair curling and biathlon) at the Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler. The international sporting event comes just 12 days after the region hosts the Olympic Winter Games.

Tickets for all Paralympic events are available at www.vancouver2010.com. Tickets for the Opening Ceremony at BC Place on March 12 range in price from $30 to $175. Individual ticket prices to sport events start at $15. Group ticket prices — available for most sport events for groups of 20 or more people — are just $10. More than 70 per cent per cent of all individual tickets are priced at $20 or less.

Customers may also purchase tickets at Main Ticket Centre locations in Vancouver and Whistler operated by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), or by phone at 1.800.TICKETS (1.800.842.5387). A TDD/TTY service is available for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing at 604.629.7140.

About VANOC

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. Please visit www.vancouver2010.com for more information.

About the Government of Canada

The Government of Canada is proud to make 2010 a celebration for all Canadians. Through strategic investments in programming and funding, the spirit and excitement will be felt far and wide and leave lasting legacies for future generations. Through the Olympic Torch Relay and Paralympic Torch Relay, the Government of Canada is supporting citizen and community participation, as well as the inclusion of Aboriginal, ethnocultural and official language communities.  For more information on the Government of Canada’s contribution to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, visit www.Canada2010.gc.ca.

About Coca-Cola and the Olympic and Paralympic Movements

The Coca-Cola Company has been associated with the Olympic Games since 1928 and is the longest continuous corporate supporter of the Olympic Movement. Through the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Coca-Cola encourages people to create their own path of “positivity” in everyday life by believing that anything is possible. The Coca-Cola Company is the exclusive non-alcoholic beverage provider to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. For more information about Coca-Cola Canada, please visit our website at www.cocacola.ca or our parent company’s website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.

About RBC

As part of our commitment to help create a better Canada, RBC sponsors amateur sport, from grassroots programs in local communities to national sport associations that support the development of amateur athletes who compete at home and abroad. As a long standing supporter of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Teams, RBC continues its sponsorship through the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and is proud to help showcase Olympic and Paralympic sport as presenting partner of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays.  RBC is also a premier sponsor of Hockey Canada, the Canadian Snowboard Team, the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team, Athletics Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee. Visit www.rbc.com/sponsorship.

About the Government of British Columbia
The Government of British Columbia is the proud Host Province for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The Paralympic Torch Relay represents a significant opportunity to create understanding and awareness about people with disabilities and the Paralympic Movement. Through the Paralympic Torch Relay, the Government of British Columbia is promoting healthy communities, healthy lifestyles and individual excellence. For more information on British Columbia’s contribution to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, visit www.gov.bc.ca/themes/2010olympics.

Vancouver 2010

Whistler Medals Plaza to host world’s best Paralympians and world-class talent at 2010 Paralympic Winter Games – News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

March 2nd, 2010

Whistler, BC ― The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) today unveiled the lineup of Canadian talent that will pay tribute to the medal-winning athletes of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games with nightly headline performances at Whistler Medals Plaza.

The six concerts from March 13 to March 18, as well as the Paralympic Winter Games Closing Ceremony on March 21, will take place at the world-class outdoor amphitheatre, which also played host to the nightly Victory Ceremonies for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

The headline musical artists are: singer/songwriter Kathleen Edwards (March 13); award-winning indie rock band The Weakerthans (March 14); francophone composer/performer Antoine Gratton (March 15); rockers The Trews (March 16); singer/songwriter Justin Hines (March 17); and Juno winner Serena Ryder (March 18). Local Whistler artist and fan favourite Chili Tom will act as the nightly pre-show DJ.

“We are honoured to celebrate the athletic achievements of the competitors at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games with a lineup of talent worthy of both our medal winners and the world,” said Christy Nicolay, VANOC’s vice president of sport production and Victory Ceremonies.

Spectator access is free to the Victory Ceremonies at Whistler Medals Plaza and via an at-venue queue, located in Village Stroll directly outside the plaza. Spectator access is limited to 5,000 people nightly. Gates open at 5:30 pm.

Medals will be awarded in the Paralympic sports of alpine skiing, biathlon and cross-country skiing at Whistler Medals Plaza. Ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling medals will be awarded in-venue in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia (also known as the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre) and the Vancouver Paralympic Centre. From March 19 to 21, Whistler event medals will also be awarded in-venue so the plaza can prepare for the Closing Ceremony.

In just 10 days, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, will officially open the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games on March 12 at BC Place in downtown Vancouver.

The Opening Ceremony will be a wonderful, affordable celebration with spectacular performance components that showcase dance, highlight unique abilities and celebrate the athletes. More than 4,000 volunteer performers including dancers, singers, acrobats, athletes, and musicians will celebrate the compelling achievements of the 1,000 athletes and officials from more than 40 countries around the world at the Games. The ceremony’s grand finale will be the lighting of the Paralympic Cauldron, signalling the official start of the Games and the end of the 10-day Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay, which starts on Wednesday, March 3 in Ottawa, ON.

Tickets to the Opening Ceremony range in price from $30 to $175 and are available now to Canadian residents on a first-come, first-served basis at www.vancouver2010.com. The Paralympic Closing Ceremony on March 21 at Whistler Medals Plaza is already soldout.

Tickets for all Paralympic events are available at www.vancouver2010.com. Individual ticket prices to sport events start at $15. Group ticket prices — available for most sport events for groups of 20 or more people — are just $10. More than 70 per cent per cent of all individual tickets are priced at $20 or less.

Customers may also purchase tickets at Main Ticket Centre locations in Vancouver and Whistler operated by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), or by phone at 1.800.TICKETS (1.800.842.5387). A TDD/TTY service is available for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing at 604.629.7140.

For more information, visit www.vancouver2010.com.

For more information on the headline artists visit:
Kathleen Edwards          www.kathleenedwards.com
The Weakerthans           www.theweakerthans.org
Antoine Gratton             www.antoinegratton.mu
The Trews                     www.thetrewsmusic.com
Justin Hines                   www.justinhines.com
Serena Ryder                www.serenaryder.com
DJ Chili Thom                 www.chilithom.com

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.

Media Contact:
VANOC Communications
Tel: 604.403.1611
E-mail: mediarelations@vancouver2010.com

Vancouver 2010

Closing Ceremony: Canada says congratulations and goodbye to world’s top winter athletes – News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

March 1st, 2010

After 17 wonderful days of top athletic competition, Canada says congratulations and goodbye to world’s top winter athletes during light-hearted Closing Ceremony of 2010 Olympic Winter Games

Ceremony pokes fun, celebrates three of Canada’s greatest exports:
talent, innovation and humour with homegrown comedic talents, musical superstars

See the Closing Ceremony photo gallery

Vancouver, BC ― Canada bid adieu to the world’s best winter athletes tonight, ending 17 days of thrilling athletic achievements and rousing displays of patriotism with a spectacular ceremony full of pomp and circumstance and a tongue-in-cheek homage to Canadiana for the official closing of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Relaxed and joyous in spirit to reflect the celebratory atmosphere of the athletes, the ceremony started with a dramatic countdown by more than one thousand young British Columbians chanting “Vancouver” and slamming down their snowboards like dominoes to form the countdown numbers and the iconic words “strong and free” from O Canada.

The more than 2,600 Olympians who competed at Canada’s Games entered the indoor stadium no longer grouped by nation but altogether as “one nation of athletes.” They appeared as Nikki Yanofsky, Derek Miller and Eva Avila belted out the upbeat debut of the song Let’s Have a Party written expressly for the night.

“Athletes of the world, at your hands and through your determination and tenacity we have felt every imaginable emotion,” said John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). “We have lived the agony and the ecstasy with you as if we ourselves were competing. Boys and girls you will never meet now know that it is possible to achieve greatness through the power of a dream.

“I believe we Canadians tonight are stronger, more united, more in love with our country, and more connected with each other than ever before. These Olympic Games have lifted us up. That quiet, humble national pride we were sometimes reluctant to acknowledge seemed to take to the streets as the most beautiful kind of patriotism broke out all across our country.

“And finally to those who have watched us all over the globe we hope you enjoyed these Games and the telling of our humble Canadian story. The young men and women you sent here are coming home ― you can be very proud of them.”

During the ceremony, Vancouver 2010 volunteers Ingman Bysse, Julien Capraro, Julia Li, and Bet Tuason were recognized with bouquets of flowers as a tribute to the tireless 18,500 volunteers who have worked hard ― some for years ― to help welcome the world and make Canada’s Games a success.

The night also featured the official handover of the Olympic flag by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson to Anatoly Pakhomov, mayor of Sochi — Host City of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014 showcasing the best of Russian culture and sport, including Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova as a magical fairy, a live orchestral performance from Red Square led by maestro Valery Gergiev in Vancouver, members of the Bolshoi and Kirov ballets, and opera singer Mariya Gulegina performing atop a stylized troika, or three-horse Russian sleigh, encased in a glowing white “zorb.”

“We have shared the joy of dreams fulfilled. We have been moved by tears of elation and tears of disappointment. We have witnessed extraordinary acts of courage and exceptional determination by athletes who refused to give up. Thank you to the people of Canada, for your generous hospitality, your warmth, and this unique and joyous celebration of Olympism,” said International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge.

“And now, in accordance with tradition, I declare the XXI Olympic Winter Games closed, and I call upon the youth of the world to assemble four years from now in Sochi, to celebrate the XXII Olympic Winter Games.”

The most emotional moment of the night came as the tens of thousands of spectators watched as the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Cauldron flickered and then was extinguished by falling snow in BC Place as Canadian rock legend Neil Young sang Long May You Run in tribute to the athletes. Olympic fans gathered outside at the legacy cauldron, located along the Vancouver waterfront, as it was simultaneously extinguished around 6:30 pm Pacific Time.

The later part of the evening was devoted to a cheeky audiovisual and musical extravaganza of Canada’s three greatest exports: talent, innovation and humour. Three of Canada’s most famous actors (didn’t know they were Canadian, eh?!) — Star Trek’s William Shatner, SCTV alumnus and Hollywood comedic talent Catherine O’Hara, as well as Family Ties and Back to the Future star Michael J. Fox — kicked off the segment. Shatner gave a bravo performance on the glories of the Great White North’s landscape called We Dream Big, while O’Hara poked fun at the Canadian reputation for politeness in We’re Sorry. In his routine We Will Claim You, Fox warmly declared all the world’s athletes Canadian as they prepare to depart for home.

David Atkins, executive producer and artistic director, and Ignatius Jones, artistic director, created and produced the ceremony with a Canadian and international artistic team including director of design Doug Paraschuk, director of music Dave Pierce and director of choreography Jean Grand-Maître.

“We would like to thank that country for giving us the opportunity to work with them, those fabulous, warm, chronically polite and frankly, crazy Canucks. They’ve battled so hard to create these ceremonies, and laughed and smiled and pushed on when we asked them to do yet another impossible thing,” said Atkins, and Jones.

“We’d like to thank our truly magnificent crew, many of whom have travelled from every corner of the globe to work with the Canadian team and who’ve done an unbelievable job. And of course, we’d like to thank Vancouver, for pulling out all the stops to show the world what it can do. So party hard, Canada, BC, Vancouver and Whistler. Tonight the applause is yours, and you’ve earned it all.”

The fun continued with an elaborate ― and deliberately over-the-top ― musical routine in the style of Hollywood master Busby Berkeley playing off some of Canada’s most iconic and lampooned cultural imagery. As crooner Michael Bublé gave a swinging, jazzy rendition of the Canadian standard The Maple Leaf Forever he was joined by singing and dancing performers dressed in the red serge uniforms of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), tabletop hockey players, voyageurs, lumberjacks, dancing canoes, flying maple leaves, giant inflatable beavers and moose, as well as a motorized Stetson hat in homage to this staple of the traditional RCMP uniform.

As the athletes flooded back onto the main stage, one of Canada’s most famous rock bands Nickelback launched into rockin’ renditions of their hits How You Remind Me and Burn It to the Ground, followed by songstresses Avril Lavigne and Alanis Morissette, Montreal-based punk-pop outfits Simple Plan and Hedley, and French-Canadian pop-rock idol Marie-Mai and the rollicking kitchen party folk and world beat rhythms of La Bottine Souriante.

Toronto-born award-winning rapper k-os ended the evening on a joyous note with a wicked Eye Know Something as hundreds of hip-hop dancers from XXS (Xtreme Soul Style), NON (Now or Never) and Hip Hop Youth of Vancouver took over the aisles and stage with Scrap Arts Music and Beat Nation Drummers playing along.

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.

Media Contact:

VANOC Communications

Tel: 604.403.1611
E-mail: mediarelations@vancouver2010.com

 

 

 

See John Furlong’s speech from the Closing Ceremony and the Ceremony’s photo gallery

Vancouver 2010