Schoolchildren to be the first to meet the Vancouver 2010 mascots



    Children's launch celebration planned for November 27 in Surrey,
    British Columbia

    VANCOUVER, Nov. 6 /CNW/ - Who are the mascots for the Vancouver 2010
Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games? More than 800 schoolchildren will be the
first to find out at a fun-filled event to be held in Surrey, BC, at the Bell
Performing Arts Centre, on November 27. The rest of Canada and the world will
also meet the mascots the same day through an interactive online mascot
program launch at vancouver2010.com as well as /EDU, the site's educational
portal (vancouver2010.com/edu).
    "The mascot launch is a much-anticipated celebration leading up to the
Games. The mascots will become cherished icons - especially for children - and
symbols of our Games, our country and our moment on the world stage," said
John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer of the Vancouver Organizing Committee
for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). "They are a playful
way to engage a young audience and increase their understanding of the Olympic
and Paralympic Games, and we hope they will spark excitement, laughter and
cheers from children and adults alike."
    Attending this special event will be more than 800 children from grades
three to five, representing eight schools in the 2010 Winter Games host
region. Participating schools were selected with assistance from regional
school trustees.
    The introduction of the mascots is a major milestone on the road to the
2010 Winter Games. The mascots are a key component of any Games identity,
always highly sought after for photos by children and Games enthusiasts. As
ambassadors of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the mascots will make
appearances across Canada immediately following their introduction, bringing
fun and goodwill to events leading up to the start of the Games. At Games
time, these captivating characters will offer a warm welcome to Olympians,
Paralympians and visitors from around the world as they arrive in Vancouver
and Whistler.
    "The city of Surrey is proud to host the first-ever meeting with the
Vancouver 2010 mascots," said Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts. "We want to extend a
warm welcome to everyone who will be here for this historic event. Surrey is
pleased to support the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and
we are delighted to share in this moment."
    While children are meeting the mascots in person for the first time, the
mascots will be simultaneously introduced to the rest of Canada and the world
via an online mascot program at vancouver2010.com. The program is projected to
reach millions of children and adults before the 2010 Winter Games begin -
both in Canada and around the world. vancouver2010.com will engage visitors
through interactive web features including games, video, and stories about the
mascot characters that will draw children of all ages into the excitement of
the Games experience.
    vancouver2010.com/edu, a portal dedicated to connecting teachers,
students and schools across Canada while celebrating the spirit of the 2010
Winter Games, will also feature the mascots in its December e-magazine issue.
    Since the first official mascot debuted at the Munich 1972 Summer Games,
mascots have become popular and memorable symbols of the Olympic and
Paralympic Games. They help to educate by telling the unique story of the
Games and are often a reflection of the history, land and culture of the host
region and country. They also embody the ideals of the Olympic and Paralympic
Movements, bringing to life the spirit of friendship, fair play and
participation. Previous Games mascots can be viewed in the photo gallery at
vancouver2010.com/mascot, where additional information about the search for
the mascot artist can also be found.
    Media will be invited to attend the launch of the mascots and a media
advisory will be issued in the near future.

    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; Margaret Nevin, Vancouver 2010, (778) 328-6475

Organization Profile

VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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VANOC

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