IOC gives high mark to Vancouver's Games preparations

    VANCOUVER, Feb. 28 /CNW/ - On his second visit to Vancouver since the
city was awarded the 2010 Olympic Winter Games five years ago, the President
of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge, praised the
progress that the Organising Committee (VANOC) is making. The President was in
town at the same time as the Coordination Commission, the group of IOC members
and experts monitoring preparations and guiding VANOC throughout the
challenging journey leading to the staging of the Olympic Winter Games in
    "The work that is being done here by the VANOC team and its partners is
of a very high standard and I would like to thank everyone involved in Games
preparations for their professionalism and dedication", said the IOC President
during the press conference wrapping up the three days of meetings.
    "I am glad to see that athletes are already enjoying brand new sports
facilities and are speaking highly about them. Sporting venues will be one of
the many legacies that the Games will leave behind and we know that VANOC is
doing its best to deliver a strong heritage to local communities," he added.
    "The next two years will be busy but I have no doubt that our friends in
Vancouver will keep up the good work to achieve their goal, drawing from the
advice and knowledge that the IOC and its very experienced Coordination
Commission are putting at their disposal," Rogge concluded.
    The IOC President was able to see the Richmond speed skating oval and the
UBC Winter Sports Centre during his visit. He also discovered the Vancouver
Olympic Village, where the athletes will live during the Games. The Village
will truly be a home away from home for the athletes, creating a true sense of
community for all who stay there at Games time. The Village will also be a
model for sustainable development with environmental, social and economic
principles being taken into consideration across the entire project, becoming
a great legacy to the city of Vancouver once the Games are over.
    Meetings with local leaders also took place. Rogge met the Premier of
British Columbia, Gordon Campbell, and with the mayors of Vancouver, Whistler,
and Richmond. He also received strong support from the Chiefs of the Four Host
First Nations who symbolically gave him the name of "Spall", which means Raven
- one who is wise, clever and carries messages.
    "With under two years to go to the 2010 Winter Games, this visit by the
IOC Coordination Commission and President Rogge, are invaluable opportunities
to take a pulse check and to make sure we are on track," said John Furlong,
VANOC Chief Executive Officer. "We are honoured to have had the opportunity to
host President Rogge and, in particular, to showcase our progress on
sustainability and Aboriginal participation.
    "It has been a highly productive three days and we are buoyed by the
IOC's feedback as we move into the heavy lifting ahead: testing venues,
building up our team, raising the remaining required revenue and exercising
discipline in our expenditures. We will be out in the community more than ever
before in the coming months, inviting participation and truly engaging
Canadians and the world in the project and the endorsement of the IOC of our
work to date is a welcome boost."


    IOC Coordination Commission
    The IOC, as the guardian of the Olympic Games, assists and monitors the
work of Organising Committee for the Olympic Games through the work of the
Coordination Commission. The Commission visits the host city once a year until
four years from the Games, when the visits become twice yearly until the Games
are held. The Commission's full meetings are supplemented by the regular
visits of smaller IOC teams involving the Commission Chairman, selected
members of the Commission and members of the IOC administration. The next
visit of the Coordination Commission to Vancouver is expected to be in October
2008. A full list of the Vancouver Commission's members can be found here: .

    VANCOUVER 2010
    Vancouver and Whistler will host the XXI Olympic Winter Games from 12 to
28 February 2010 and the X Paralympic Winter Games from 12 to 21 March 2010.

    PHOTO EDITORS (Service provided by VANOC)
    Photos, along with video B-roll, are available in high resolution format
at .
    The username is MediaVenueDay and the password is thesc00p.
    See folder 'MediaVenueDay',
    then '20080226-28_IOC_Rogge_CoordinationCommission'.

For further information:

For further information: please contact the IOC Communications
Department, Tel: +41 21 621 60 00, e-mail:

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