More than two years before Games begin, construction completed at all Whistler-based Vancouver 2010 competition venues



    WHISTLER, BC, Dec. 14 /CNW/ - Canadian construction workers may not win
coveted Olympic and Paralympic competition medals, but they most definitely
set new records this month with the completion of construction on all three
Whistler Olympic and Paralympic competition venues, on time and on budget. In
reaching this landmark goal, the team was able to meet a commitment by the
Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games (VANOC) to offer venues for athlete training two years before the 2010
Winter Games begin. Funded equally by the Government of Canada and the
Province of British Columbia, the venues offer all Canadians a legacy of high
performance and recreational use, both before - and long after - the 2010
Winter Games.
    Construction is now complete at The Whistler Sliding Centre, Whistler
Olympic Park (formerly known as the Whistler Nordic Venue) and Whistler
Creekside. Whistler Creekside has been operational since the beginning of the
2007-08 ski season; Whistler Olympic Park is operational and will host its
first sport competition, and open for public access, tomorrow, December 15th;
detailed fit-out and testing at The Whistler Sliding Centre will continue over
the next few months.
    "Every construction worker and member of our venue team put their hearts
into this project and is standing atop their own podium today," said John
Furlong, VANOC Chief Executive Officer. "Their efforts are helping us to meet
our commitment to deliver spectacular theatres for sport and lasting community
legacies, and we are following through on our promise to offer athletes the
chance to train and compete at a world-class level more than two years in
advance of the Games."
    A workforce of 2,500 men and women was recruited from British Columbia
and across Canada to help build the Whistler venues that will host 46 Olympic
medal events and 62 Paralympic medal events in 2010.
    "The construction of these venues demonstrates what can be achieved
through great partnerships," said Dan Doyle, VANOC's Executive Vice President,
Venue Construction division. "The dedication of the construction companies and
their workers, and the strong support from the Government of Canada, the
Province of BC and our sponsors, helped deliver our venue program on time and
on budget. Through their work on these venues, our construction team just
completed their own Olympic and Paralympic Games and are looking forward to
watching proudly as athletes from around the world seek to reach the pinnacle
of their sporting lives in 2010."
    To celebrate the end of construction, VANOC and its funding partners from
the Government of Canada and the Province of BC will recognize the workers
involved in the construction of the three Whistler venues, and their families,
at a free community celebration this afternoon. The event will feature local
musical talent and a visit by the Vancouver 2010 mascots.
    "Today's milestone event will create a tremendous amount of momentum for
the Games, our communities and our Canadian athletes as we continue to prepare
for the opening of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games," said the
Honourable David Emerson, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the
Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics. "The Government of Canada
is extremely proud of all the workers who have contributed to making today's
achievement possible."
    Each Olympic and Paralympic venue demonstrates a number of sustainability
wins such as building the venues to LEED (Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design) standards; recycling wood waste on-site; and reusing
captured waste heat. In addition, Squamish and Lil'wat Nations-owned companies
completed 50 per cent of the construction work at Whistler Olympic Park, which
led to additional business opportunities for the Nations in the Sea-to-Sky
corridor.
    "Part of the Province's commitment in hosting the 2010 Winter Games is to
ensure all venues are turned into sustainable legacies once the Games are
over," said Colin Hansen, Minister of Economic Development and Minister
responsible for the Asia Pacific Initiative and the Olympics. "I can assure
British Columbians that our province is getting full value on our investment
for these Whistler venues and, as a result, our athletes and citizens will
benefit for years to come."
    "A host of Vancouver 2010 sponsors, including General Electric, Bell,
General Motors (GM) of Canada, Petro-Canada, RONA, Dow Canada and EPCOR,
played key roles in delivering the materials, equipment and necessary
expertise to ensure our venues are a source of pride for all Canadians when
they watch our athletes compete in 2010," continued Doyle.
    During the 2010 Winter Games, Whistler Olympic Park will host the
biathlon, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined and ski jumping events; The
Whistler Sliding Centre will host bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events;
Whistler Creekside will host the alpine skiing events.
    The three Whistler venues are among the nine competition venues in the
2010 Winter Games program. The venues for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games draw on new and existing facilities in Vancouver,
Whistler, Richmond and the District of West Vancouver. They will provide
optimum conditions for athletes to compete and for spectators to enjoy the
excitement of competition.

    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.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Katie Green, Vancouver 2010,
(778) 328-6473; Andrew Riley, Vancouver 2010, (778) 328-6721

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VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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