Celebration Kicks-off Chinese New Year for Gold and Silver Medal-Winning Figure Skating Pairs and Coach
VANCOUVER, Feb. 17 /CNW/ - Welcoming the start of the Chinese New Year, the City of Vancouver and the Chinese Skating Association (CSA) gathered together in the heart of downtown Vancouver at GE Plaza to honour the achievements of the Chinese figure skating team and their coach during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
The celebration marked the third Olympic Games where coach Yao Bin has led his team to medal in Pairs Figure Skating. Gold medal winners Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, and silver medalists Pang Qing and Tong Jian, joined their teammates Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao at the event.
"The City of Vancouver shares a rich heritage and connection with China, and I know many of our citizens are cheering for both Canada and China during the Olympics," said Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver. "We wanted to recognize the Chinese figure skating team and join them in welcoming the Lunar New Year while they are away from home during the Games."
After accepting the City of Vancouver flag from Mayor Robertson, coach Yao Bin and Mr. Ren Hongguo, Deputy Director of Winter Sports Centre of China State General Sports Administration, joined the Mayor to help introduce a traditional New Year's Lion Dance.
"I am exceptionally proud of the team's success during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and am honoured to have the City and GE acknowledge the team's performance," said Yao Bin. "Vancouver has made our team feel right at home and we are excited to celebrate the Chinese New Year with the City."
GE, a Worldwide Partner of the Olympic Games and Official Sponsor of the Chinese figure skating team, also recognized the remarkable achievements made by the team, coach Yao Bin and the CSA during a private ceremony earlier in the day at the GE Welcome Centre at Robson Square.
"GE is happy to have a long-standing partnership with the Chinese figure skating team," said Mark Norbom, President and CEO of GE China. "We've had great pleasure watching them become a gold medal winning team since the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games and look forward to future successes."
In March 2009, GE announced the renewal of the partnership they had started with the Chinese figure skating team prior to the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games. In the past year, GE has supported the team at all major domestic and international events, and launched an array of marketing programs promoting their partnership and the sport of figure skating.
"GE Plaza embodies the spirit of health and wellness - two important areas GE is committed to improving through its healthymagination program. It was the perfect setting to celebrate these dedicated athletes," said Elyse Allan, President and CEO of GE Canada. "The Plaza also represents GE's lasting legacy in Vancouver and our overall connection to the Chinese community."
Other guests at the event included Wang Yuming, Deputy Secretary General of the Chinese Skating Association.
About GE and the Olympic Games
As a Worldwide Partner of the Olympic Games, GE is the exclusive provider of a wide range of innovative products and services integral to staging a successful Olympic Games. GE works closely with host countries, cities and organizing committees to provide infrastructure solutions related to power, water treatment, transportation and security, as well as healthcare equipment to help doctors diagnose and treat athletes and the local community. In addition, NBC Universal, a division of GE, is the exclusive U.S. media partner of the Olympic Games, with its partnership also extending through 2012.
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SOURCE General Electric Canada Inc.
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