VANOC commends Government of Canada for Own the Podium contribution in
federal budget

VANCOUVER, March 4 /CNW/ - The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) today commended the Government of Canada for committing an additional $17 million annually in funding in support of the Own the Podium program: $11 million for winter athletes and $6 million for summer athletes. The funding announcement came as part of the Government of Canada's release of the federal budget.

"The Prime Minister and Government of Canada have today confirmed that sport counts in Canada - that sport is an important and vibrant part of the fabric of life in our country," said John Furlong, VANOC's Chief Executive Officer. "Canadian winter athletes, through their stellar performance at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and at the upcoming Paralympic Games, are making a significant impact on the country, inspiring national pride and a showing what can be done when confidence is raised to the highest level through strong support. Our summer athletes have tremendous potential as they prepare for the London 2012 Games," he said.

"As the Own the Podium 2010 program showed, ultimately, it's about partnership, and corporate Canada played an important and meaningful role, demonstrating that a private/public partnership can not only work, but can win. We encourage corporate Canada to continue to support these programs and, together with the Government of Canada, to build on the success of Vancouver 2010," he concluded.

The Own the Podium 2010 program played a critical role in developing the strongest Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams ever, as demonstrated by the outstanding performance of Canada's athletes at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and what promises to be a best ever performance at the 2010 Paralympic Games. Canada set a new all-time team high at the 2010 Olympic Games with 26 medals, including 14 gold medals - the highest number of gold medals Canada has ever won at any Games, and the most gold medals ever won by any nation at an Olympic Winter Games. The program is a partnership of Canada's 13 winter national sport organizations, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, Sport Canada and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).

Approximately half of the funding originated from the Government of Canada, through Sport Canada. VANOC raised the other half through corporate, provincial, territorial, and public support. Bell Canada is the founding corporate partner and other corporate partners include General Motors of Canada, Hudson's Bay Company, McDonald's Canada, Petro-Canada, RBC Financial Group and RONA. Provincial and territorial support is provided by the governments of Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and the Yukon.

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 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. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.

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

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: VANOC Communications, Tel: (604) 403-1611, E-mail: mediarelations@vancouver2010.com

Organization Profile

VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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