Vancouver 2010 Winter Games surplus medical/dental supplies/equipment bound
for Haiti as part of Olympic Truce legacy

VANCOUVER, March 26 /CNW/ - Over 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) of surplus athlete medical and dental supplies and equipment from the 2010 Winter Games are being provided to Canadian medical teams in Haiti as part of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce program and as a legacy of the Games, with the first major shipment en route this weekend.

The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) has partnered together with the Canadian Forces to donate and deliver the much needed medical supplies in two stages - the first taking place this weekend and the second gradually over the coming weeks and months.

A first shipment of approximately 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms) of supplies departs on Saturday for Port au Prince on a Canadian Forces CC-177 Globemaster from 8 Wing Trenton. The supplies and equipment include a wide assortment of soft goods and surgical instruments ranging from bandages and suture kits to orthotic knee braces. The medical supplies will be provided to Canadian Medical Assistance Teams (CMAT) who have been providing on the ground medical support in Haiti since the devastating earthquake there on January 12. The remaining inventory of supplies will be collected and stored in Vancouver and shipped as required with CMAT doctors and volunteers as future teams are deployed to Haiti.

"With the conclusion of the Games, our legacy is in the things we continue to do that reflect the unity and friendship celebrated in the name of sport and the Olympic Truce," said John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer for VANOC. "We're grateful to the Canadian Forces for their invaluable partnership in delivering surplus Games medical goods, so that through CMAT we can support the people of Haiti as they continue to heal and rebuild."

"Our medical team had access to top quality medical and dental equipment and supplies in support of athletes at the 2010 Games," said Dr. Jack Taunton, Chief Medical Officer for VANOC. "Our work is done and as medical professionals our first thoughts are always to whom else needs help, so we are pleased to support our medical colleagues working so hard in Haiti."

"The Canadian Forces' association with the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games has been mutually beneficial," said Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "Now, we are able to do something together to benefit others. We are pleased to be able to transport these medical supplies on behalf of the Vancouver Organizing Committee, continuing our support to the relief effort in Haiti."

This donation represents an approximately $125,000 CAD in value for medical and dental supplies to the region. Earlier this month, VANOC with its partners announced a $300,000 CAD donation to UNICEF to support relief efforts in Haiti.

NOTE TO PHOTO/VIDEO EDITORS: For security reasons, access is not possible at CFB Trenton to shoot photos/video of the VANOC medical supplies being loaded on to the Canadian Forces CC-177 Globemaster aircraft on March 27, however high resolution colour photos will be taken and posted with cutlines to Canada News Wire as soon as possible after the loading is completed.

About the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce

The philosophy of the Olympic Truce is simple: sport can inspire peace. In 2010, athletes set aside their political, religious and social differences and competed on a level playing field in the pursuit of excellence. Their sportsmanship and behaviour are examples of how countries and individuals can find constructive ways to uphold the values of respect and friendship.

The 2010 Winter Games mark the first time Canada has been responsible for leading Olympic Truce efforts since the ancient tradition, dating back to 776 BC in Greece, was revitalized in 1992. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, is patron of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce. For more information, visit www.olympictruce.org.

About VANOC

VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games were staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler hosted the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.

About Canadian Forces

Canadian Forces (CF) members are proud to serve Canada by defending its values, interests and sovereignty at home and abroad. The mandate of Canadian Forces is three-fold: protecting Canada and defending our sovereignty; working with Canada's closest ally, the United States, to defend North America; and contributing to international peace and security through operations around the world, most often in partnership with allies from other countries.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: VANOC Communications, Tel: (604) 403-1611, E-mail: mediarelations@vancouver2010.com; Department Of National Defence, Media Liaison Office, Tel: 1-866-377-0811, (613) 996-2353, Internet: http://www.forces.gc.ca

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VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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