VANOC begins select operational and field-of-play testing at short track speed skating Sport Event



    First of 17 Sport Events in 2008-09 to help get Games ready

    VANCOUVER, Oct. 21 /CNW/ - The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the
2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) will begin testing its
operational readiness in a number of areas at the official Sport Event for
short track speed skating, taking place at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver,
BC from October 24 to 26. More than 180 of the world's best short track speed
skating athletes, along with approximately 90 coaches and support staff from
25 countries, will begin training on October 21. Competition begins on
October 24 with the ladies' and men's 500 metre, 1,000 metre, 1,500 metre and
relay heats.
    Sport Events are international competitions, such as World Cups or World
Championships, being held at 2010 Winter Games competition venues in Vancouver
and Whistler in 2008 and early 2009. These events provide VANOC with the
opportunity to test Games-time operations, train potential Games-time
volunteers and offer the Canadian public a chance to experience the sports
that will be showcased at the 2010 Winter Games.
    "Sport Events are an important resource for us as they provide us with
the valuable opportunity to test a number of our Games-time operations," said
Tim Gayda, VANOC's vice president, sport. "For the short track Sport Event, we
will test numerous areas of venue operations and the field of play, while also
working with the International Skating Union (ISU), Speed Skating Canada (SSC)
and the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) in delivering a world class event."
    "Competing in front of a Canadian crowd in Vancouver before the 2010
Winter Games is a great opportunity for our whole team," said Canada's
François-Louis Tremblay, three-time short track speed skating Olympic
medallist and five-time medallist during the 2007-08 World Cup season. "We are
all working extremely hard on our road to 2010, and we welcome every chance
possible to get accustomed to the competition venue while sharing our sport
with the people of Vancouver."
    "The PNE is very excited to have the short track speed skating World Cup
here at the Pacific Coliseum," said Michael McDaniel, president and CEO of the
Pacific National Exhibition. "We welcome all 25 teams to the venue and look
very forward to showcasing this calibre of competition to Vancouverites."
    VANOC's testing will focus primarily on two areas: the field of play and
overall venue operations.

    Field of Play:

    Ice and surrounding areas:
    The field of play for the short track Sport Event involves the ice and
surrounding support areas. As the short track venue will use
international-sized ice, modifications to the Pacific Coliseum's seating
facilities and the removal of rink boards is required.

    Transition:
    Also being examined will be the Games-time transition between short track
speed skating and figure skating, as both events will take place at the same
venue, on alternating days, during the 2010 Winter Games. This transition
necessitates numerous change-overs involving the pads (boards) required for
each respective sport, the timing platform and judge's deck, venue
infrastructure and ice temperature adjustments.

    Padding:
    The short track Sport Event will also include a "boardless" padding
system to enclose the ice space. A similar padding system was used during the
Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games and offers increased safety for the athletes
as it is more flexible to impact than a stand-alone board system. The
logistics involving the padding change-over will be tested by the operations
team. Also being replicated will be the on/off ice procedures for skaters to
ensure efficient mix zone practices, ice entry/exit and travel to and from the
dressing rooms.

    Timing and scoring:
    Results Systems staff will be running a shadow system to test the timing
and results platform. One system will record results used to determine
athletes' times for the event, while the other will be used solely in a mock
Games-time scenario, analyzing the data post-event.

    Medical services:
    The Medical Services team will be replicating the on-site athlete medical
service levels at Games-time, with the exception of athlete village service
levels which will not be in place until the 2010 Winter Games. Anti-Doping
teams will be present at the event to educate and provide outreach to the
athletes on VANOC's overall mission to promote the values of doping-free
sport.

    Venue Operations

    Communications:
    The Venue Communications Centre will be fully operational allowing the
Venue Operations team the opportunity to test how the venue will communicate
through a central communications control hub. Testing will include radio
frequencies, issues logging and incident tracking.

    Workforce:
    Approximately 250 volunteers will be lending their time to make the event
a success. Testing of volunteer operations will include training processes for
volunteers and paid staff, volunteer check-in and meal distribution.

    Deliveries:
    Prior to athlete training, processes around venue delivery will be tested
through an analysis of the delivery schedule for food and beverage as well as
waste disposal pickup.

    Press Operations:
    VANOC's Press Operations function will run the Venue Media Centre, manage
the athlete mix zone, and test media accreditation and access control
processes.

    For more information on the Samsung ISU World Cup Short Track 2008/2009
at the Pacific Coliseum, including how to purchase tickets, visit
www.vancouvershorttrack2008.com.

    About VANOC:

    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: John Gibson, VANOC Communications, (778)
328-3085, john_gibson@vancouver2010.com

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VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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