VANCOUVER, April 1 /CNW/ - With 317 days to go until the Opening Ceremony
of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the International Olympic
Committee (IOC)'s Coordination Commission has finished its penultimate visit
to the next Olympic Host City by congratulating the Vancouver Organisers
(VANOC) for the high quality of the recently completed sports events. The
Commission meeting also overlapped with the 8th IOC-UNEP Sport and the
Environment Conference, which was held in Vancouver from 29 to 31 March. This
Conference once again underlined the Olympic Movement's commitment to the
environment and sustainability.
Speaking at the end of the Commission meeting, Chairman René Fasel said,
"After six years of planning, we have finally seen athletes on the field of
play, with the successful completion of the recent sports events and we
congratulate VANOC and its hugely supportive partners on this achievement.
While some of the spectators have had the opportunity to learn about new
sports, it has also been the occasion for VANOC to learn and understand how
its planning assumptions will operate in reality. There have been some
important lessons learned, and VANOC's team has taken them on board. We are
confident that they will translate them into a great Olympic experience for
the athletes, spectators and everyone else who will attend the Games or watch
them on TV."
He continued, "We had a lot of positive feedback about the sports events
but the Games are a much larger and more complex affair, so VANOC cannot
afford to rest on its laurels. As we enter these final stages of preparations,
they must now focus on finalising a number of key points, such as
transportation planning, workforce accommodation, cleaning & waste operations,
and catering agreements, as well as their exciting ticket redistribution
programme, which has our full support. VANOC will also need to remain vigilant
to any risks that may present themselves over the coming year, while
continuing to enhance its overall operations. The finish line is in sight and
it will be the quality of our work between now and February 2010 that will
decide if we finish on the podium or not."
"As always when we meet with the IOC, our project is stronger as a result
of the discussions, feedback and decisions taken," said John Furlong, VANOC
CEO. "The past two days produced strong, collaborative discussions with the
IOC and our partners on all areas of Games preparations, and particularly
against the backdrop of the current challenging economy. We remain focused and
committed to delivering great Games in all of the core areas, and in the most
creative, efficient and cost effective way we can."
"We also had encouraging discussions about our upcoming Olympic ticket
sales strategies," continued Furlong. "Feedback was positive on our plans for
a June 6th launch of Phase 2 of ticket sales and plans for our authorized
ticket redistribution program which we will launch this summer."
"Finally, this latest visit by the IOC reminded us and our valued
partners just how soon the 2010 Winter Games will be here and the importance
of each day as we head into the final 10 months of preparations," he
In parallel to the Commission meeting, the 8th IOC-UNEP Sport and the
Environment Conference also took place in Vancouver this week. The Conference
is a bi-annual forum for bringing together the world of sport to talk about
the environment and sustainability. The Games have sustainability right at
their core from the bid stage, and no where has this been taken more to heart
than in Vancouver. Commenting on VANOC's work, Fasel said, "We often speak
about the legacy of the Games for a community. One of the great legacies of
the Vancouver Games will surely be VANOC and its partners' work in the area of
sustainability. From brand new venues that were built with the environment in
mind to initiatives like their carbon offset plan, the Vancouver Games will
leave a positive sustainable legacy to future generations. As Chairman of the
Coordination Commission, it's one of the things that makes me very proud about
the work that we have accomplished thus far with VANOC."
The Commission meeting, which ran from 31 March till 1 April, saw the
Commission hear updates from VANOC in a number of areas including sport,
spectator services, media services, marketing and technology. The Commission
will return for its final visit in August 2009.
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