IOC invites athletes to take part in the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games in one year's time

    VANCOUVER, Feb. 12 /CNW/ - The International Olympic Committee (IOC)
today officially invited the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of the world
to attend the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
    During a traditional ceremony in front of a live audience at the brand
new Richmond Olympic Oval, IOC President Jacques Rogge called upon the world's
athletes to come and compete in Vancouver in one year's time.
    He symbolically presented an invitation to the Canadian Olympic
Committee, the British Olympic Association, and the Russian Olympic Committee
- the NOCs of the next Games host cities, as well as the United States Olympic
Committee - the country that neighbours Canada. The other NOCs will receive
their invitations by post directly from the IOC's headquarters in Lausanne,
    Inviting the athletes to Vancouver, Rogge said, "The Olympic Games
engender dreams and inspiration in the hearts of young people everywhere. For
athletes around the world the chance to compete next year in Vancouver will be
their goal, the culmination of a lifetime's ambition. I wish them all good
luck, and on behalf of the IOC, I invite them to participate in the XXI
Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, one year from now."
    At the same time, people across Canada were taking part in a series of
celebrations to mark exactly one year until the start of the Vancouver Games.
    "We're rounding the corner of our final lap as we head into this last
year and Canada will be ready to welcome the world in 2010," said John
Furlong, VANOC Chief Executive Officer. "We are delighted to have IOC
President Rogge with us to mark this special milestone and his invitation to
the National Olympic Committees of the world makes it all very real for our
team. Athletes are already training and competing on the spectacular Olympic
venues in Vancouver and Whistler and you can feel the excitement building. On
behalf of all Canadians, we look forward to sharing the uniquely Canadian 2010
story with the world in just one year."
    Earlier today, the Vancouver Organising Committee (VANOC) launched the
Olympic Torch and the uniforms for the torchbearers at a ceremony in Whistler,
the site of the sliding events and many of the ski disciplines in 2010. This
was another key milestone on the way to this year's torch-lighting ceremony in
Olympia, Greece.
    Vancouver and Whistler will host the XXI Olympic Winter Games from 12 to
28 February 2010. A total of 85 NOCs took part in the Olympic Winter Games in
Turin in 2006. Vancouver is expected to see a record number of countries
participating in the competitions next year.

For further information:

For further information: please contact the IOC Communications
Department, Tel: +41 21 621 60 00, email:, or visit
our website at

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