VANOC congratulates Beijing 2008 organizers for unforgettable Games
BEIJING, China, Aug. 22 /CNW/ - As the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games move
into the final three days, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010
Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) today provided a summary of its
team's key observations and learnings from the Games and a look ahead to the
major Vancouver 2010 milestones in the coming months.
"Sport was the big winner here in Beijing and our lasting impressions of
the Olympic Games will be of precision, spectacular fields of play and arenas
that allowed athletes to perform at their very best. Additionally, we will
never forget the immense pride of Chinese citizens in opening up their country
with warmth and hosting the world. In its bid, Beijing committed to inspiring
a nation of 400 million children - and they've clearly done so given the
spectacular performance of their Olympic team," said John Furlong, VANOC Chief
Executive Officer. "Congratulations to the International Olympic Committee,
the Beijing 2008 Games Organizing Committee and the people of China on an
unprecedented show of sport and culture."
Furlong added, "Congratulations also to our amazing Canadian athletes,
and to our friends at the national sport organizations and the Canadian
Olympic Committee, who have demonstrated again how the power of sport can
inspire a nation, connecting each province and territory together in the
spirit of the Games."
"Beijing 2008 has been a highly valuable learning experience for our
team, especially in the areas of ticketing and the spectator experience.
Members of VANOC's team have been observing and working in areas such as press
operations, broadcast, villages, sponsor hospitality and showcasing,
ticketing, medical services and volunteers. Everyone will come home with an
enhanced perspective on how to make the 2010 Winter Games the best possible
experience," concluded Furlong.
Furlong also reported that the Beijing 2008 Games have fostered
additional interest in Vancouver 2010. During the Beijing Games period, visits
to vancouver2010.com have increased fivefold, while daily applications from
volunteers eager to be part of the 2010 experience have tripled.
The following is a summary of observations/learnings in key areas:
1) Ticketing: All tickets may be sold, but ensuring the venues are full
during many competitions remains a challenge for Games Organizers.
Confirmation: VANOC recognizes this challenge and is therefore
continuing to work on programs intended to make sure that the maximum
amount of tickets are in the hands of people who can use them. This
includes an authorized resale and exchange system for tickets close
to event times. It will also include: the strategic allocation of
high-demand tickets within the Olympic Family allotment to ensure
they will be used; ensuring the maximum number of tickets are sold to
the general public, where usage rates are highest; and minimizing the
number of multiple-session tickets. VANOC is also making a concerted
effort to raise public awareness about the risk of buying tickets
from any channels other than vancouver2010.com and Jet Set Sports,
the official sources for Vancouver 2010 tickets.
2) Spectator experience: Creating a consistently positive spectator
experience at all venues results in lifelong memories for fans and an
optimum atmosphere for athletes. Confirmation: VANOC will continue to
develop plans to offer spectators a smooth and efficient entry and
exit from all venues, and a consistently rich spectator experience
that includes sport education, video, music, mascots, food and
beverages, souvenirs and elements that are unique to the history and
culture of each sport.
3) Volunteers: Volunteers are the face and personality of an Organizing
Committee, and, by extension, the Host Region and Host Country.
Confirmation: VANOC will continue to implement a comprehensive
volunteer recruitment and training program, including plans to have a
senior volunteer at each major touch point to troubleshoot and ensure
extraordinary circumstances are dealt with quickly and efficiently.
4) Ceremonies: The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony was a
spectacular showcase of culture and sport that inspired intense
national pride while employing the latest in special event
technology. Confirmation: Canada will have an equally compelling
opportunity to tell its Opening Ceremony story to the world and will
also use the best practices in major event staging to ensure well-
orchestrated and emotionally charged Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
VANOC will offer nightly Victory Ceremonies at BC Place which will
include a celebration of the medal-winning athletes for the day and a
concert by world-class musical artists.
5) Athlete Villages: The Athletes' Village in Beijing was well-equipped
to meet the needs of athletes and team officials, including internet
connectivity; food service; team space requirements; and a
comfortable, secure environment to train, prepare, rest, relax and
meet fellow athletes. Even the small details were a priority, for
example, original welcome posters, crafted by children, in each room.
Confirmation: The success of Beijing's Village confirmed VANOC's
plans for its own Athletes' Villages in Vancouver and Whistler, which
will include world-class amenities that will allow athletes to feel
"at home" in the time they're away from competition venues. Vancouver
2010 villages are located close to Games venues and will have optimum
internet connectivity, adequate space, recreational facilities and
healthy and varied food choices.
6) Media facilities: The Main Press Center (MPC) and International
Broadcast Center (IBC) in Beijing offered an excellent setup to meet
the needs of accredited media, including seamless security screening
systems. Confirmation: The Main Media Centre in Vancouver will
provide the added convenience of being conveniently located close to
major downtown hotels, sport venues and the spectacular Pacific Ocean
waterfront. VANOC will also review the successful security screening
system employed by the Beijing Organizing Committee between the
media's accommodation and key venues to see if it can be adapted for
7) Weather: Rain caused delays and postponements at a number of events.
The Beijing Organizing Committee was able to reschedule and stage
these events within the planned Games schedule. Confirmation: VANOC
recently released its Games schedule by time, which was specifically
designed to account for the possibility of winter weather delays or
postponements and to accommodate this within the Games period.
8) Sponsor profile and showcasing: The Beijing Games offered an
exceptional opportunity for major sponsors to use imaginative ways to
profile their support, including pavilions at the Olympic Green and
partnership in hospitality centres hosted by National Olympic
Committees (NOCs). Although early attendance was low, the Beijing
Organizing Committee quickly made adjustments to ensure the sponsor
showcase area at the Olympic Green became a popular destination.
Confirmation: VANOC's sponsor showcase area will be open to the
general public; will be offered free of charge without the
requirement of a ticket; and will be conveniently located close to
major venues and live sites.
9) Knowledge/experience transfer: A number of key staff from VANOC and
its partners were seconded by the Beijing Organizing Committee and
Jet Set Sports to work for the Games and be embedded in the Games
environment. They are gaining expertise and learning about the Games
first hand. Front-of-the-line expertise is being gathered in areas
such as press operations, protocol, corporate hospitality, broadcast,
villages, sponsor hospitality and showcasing, ticketing, medical
services and volunteers. Confirmation: Knowledge transfer and
practical work experience opportunities between Organizing Committees
at a Games is extremely valuable. VANOC will look to implement
similar initiatives to engage personnel from Organizing Committees
for future Games.
10) Look of the Games: The Beijing Organizing Committee executed a
spectacular Look-of-the-Games program with banners, flags and
lighting in addition to successfully creating a colourful and
impressive city-wide atmosphere of celebration. Competition venues
were particularly well-decorated with the Look of the Games offering
a real sense of Olympic celebration. Confirmation: VANOC will release
its Look of the Games designs, including sport pictograms, on
September 10, and is currently confirming with its partners how Look
elements can most effectively create the spirit of celebration in
Furlong concluded with a general update on Games planning, highlighting
key milestones scheduled through the one-year countdown period to Vancouver
- Look of the Games and sport pictograms launch (September 2008)
- Launch of completely re-designed vancouver2010.com website which
includes new content. vancouver2010.com is the Official Website of
the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (September
- Launch of thematic advertising campaign to introduce the Vancouver
2010 Games-time motto (September 2008)
- Olympic tickets on sale and launch of ticketing advertising campaign
(October 3, 2008)
- Staging of 18 Sport Events, beginning with Short Track Speed Skating
(October 24-26, 2008)
- Hosting the World Press Briefing (November 18-21, 2008)
- Torch Relay National Route Announcement (fall/winter 2008)
- Torchbearer programs launched by Coca-Cola and RBC (late 2008)
- Official opening of the Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre (venue
for curling and wheelchair curling) (fall/winter 2008)
- Official opening of the Richmond Oval (speed skating venue)
- Details of transportation plans (early 2009)
- Unveiling of Olympic Torch design and uniform (early 2009)
- One-Year Olympic Countdown (February 2009)
- Launch of Phase 2 ticket sales (February 2009)
- One-Year Paralympic Countdown (March 2009)
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 2010 Paralympic
Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.
For further information:
For further information: Sebastien Théberge, VANOC Communications, Tel.:
(778) 835-2072 (in Beijing), E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Chris Brumwell, VANOC Communications, Tel.: (778) 835-2058 (in Beijing),