Testing successfully completed at figure skating sport event; International Skating Union gives high praise to event organizers

    VANCOUVER, Feb. 7 /CNW/ - Local figure skating enthusiasts and media from
around the world were treated to four days of elite competition this past week
at Pacific Coliseum during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating
Championships. The sport event, which ran from February 2 to 7, provided the
Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games (VANOC) an opportunity to successfully conclude its operational testing
in key function areas.
    "The success of this week's ISU Four Continents Figure Skating
Championships heralds a thrilling Olympic event in this venue just twelve
months from now," said David Dore, ISU vice president. "This was a week of top
competition with exceptional skating, crowd enthusiasm and impeccable
organization. We are also pleased with the level of preparations for the Games
which are well advanced and appear to be on schedule."
    The singles, pairs and ice dance competitions were part of the
International Skating Union's (ISU)
    2008-09 season and featured numerous Vancouver 2010 Olympic medal
hopefuls. Over 100 athletes from 15 countries such as Australia, Uzbekistan,
China, Mexico, South Africa, the United States and Canada competed in the
    "Skating here the past few days has been great. It's one last chance to
compete here with the international skaters, use the same change rooms, just
get familiar with the venue," said Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette,
"I'm glad to be here and have this experience before next year."
    Men's gold medalist Patrick Chan echoed those statements.
    "I took the time to walk around the whole building," said Chan. "The
change rooms are comfortable and I know where everything is. I'll be prepared
when the Olympics hit next year."
    "This facility is perfect for an Olympics," said U.S. figure skater Evan
Lysacek. "The ice has been great, the volunteers have been more than
accommodating and I'm looking forward to coming back next year for 2010."
    VANOC's testing at the figure skating sport event focused primarily on
two key function areas: field of play and overall venue operations. Details on
results of the testing in these areas follow:

    Field of Play

    The event was held on non-international-sized ice, also called NHL-sized
ice, as approved by the ISU. International-sized ice will be used at Games
time; however, ice conditions can be accurately tested on both configurations.
The ice meister was again given the opportunity to test ice conditions that
will be shared by both figure skating and short track speed skating in 2010.
This was also the second time Olympia ice resurface machines were used by the
ice-making team.
    "This competition was a realistic opportunity for the world's best to
skate on the exact ice that will be replicated at Games time," said Kameron
Kiland, ice meister for figure skating and short track speed skating. "This
ice was specific to this venue and can be altered from figure skating to short
track with great results. We are ready for 2010."

    Ice and Judges' Platform
    The athlete on-ice area, field-of-play access points and kiss-and-cry
location were tested to ensure a smooth flow of traffic that will include
athletes, coaches, team officials and broadcasters at Games time.
    The judging platform was in its Games-time layout and nine judges sat on
the platform, along with five individuals on the technical panel. The short
track speed skating starter's platform was used for the flower retrievers to
duplicate the set-up and one of the change-over items at Games time.

    Panasonic Sound System
    The Panasonic sound system was tested to replicate Games-time levels. One
of the most important requirements of the system design was to deliver to
athletes a clear sound evenly distributed over the ice surface. The precise
high-frequency dispersion control of the Panasonic LA3 line array system
allowed for effective separation between the field of play and spectator

    Timing and Scoring
    Timing and Scoring successfully tested several Olympic results systems,
including printed results distribution and scoreboards in a live setting for
the first time. Many Games-time volunteers were also trained on the correct
usage of Olympic results technology.

    Venue Operations

    Approximately 448 volunteers and workforce (340 volunteers, 108 paid
staff) participated at the sport event. Additionally, 606 contractors (ice
meisters, lighting and technology workers, food and beverage, existing venue
staff) were employed, along with 62 participants such as flower retrievers and
ice patchers.
    A number of workforce and volunteer systems were tested at the event
including recruitment process, assigning volunteers into roles and scheduling.
    "This has been an amazing opportunity for me, both personally and
professionally," said volunteer Karin Basaraba, who assisted athletes in the
media mix zone. "As a former figure skater, it's been incredible to be able to
watch some of the best skaters in the world compete here in Vancouver."

    Working in conjunction with Skate Canada, and under the approval of the
ISU, accreditation for the sport event was conducted at a Games-time level.
The participant data was captured and processed, and the accreditation cards
were issued using the accreditation systems for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games. Approximately 2,200 people were accredited for the

    Press Operations
    Press Operations ran five media areas and serviced more than 220 members
of the written, broadcast and photographic press. The Venue Media Centre
included space for 124 journalists and photographers, and a press conference
room that accommodated 100. Inside the arena bowl were two press tribunes
accommodating 100 media members and 105 photographer positions, including 45
at ice level. Nightly press conferences featuring top finishers were also held
drawing on language support from interpreters.

    Olympic News Service (ONS)
    ONS operated in a similar manner to a wire service and tested a range of
staffing positions among a venue-based, combined editorial, reporting and
translation team. A specialist writer was employed to ensure accredited media
received event previews and reviews, media communications, flash quotes and
press conference highlights. All materials were produced in both official
languages. Fourteen volunteers were also introduced to, and trained in, news
service operations.

    Due to overwhelming ticket sales for Friday's ladies' free skating
finals, the event team was able to quickly adjust and open sections of the
upper bowl seating area. Attendance for Friday night's program was the largest
of the competition with close to 10,000 spectators. In total, over 24,000
people attended the sport event.

    Medical Services
    The Medical Services team was comprised of two venue medical officers, 12
therapists and six physicians. Athletes, team officials, sport officials and
accredited workforce were supported with field-of-play emergency
response/mobile and athlete medical station services at the Pacific Coliseum
and Burnaby 8 Rinks facilities, which served as the training venue for the
    The electronic medical encounter system - a database application of
athlete medical records - was also successfully tested.

    Working in cooperation with the ISU, the VANOC Anti-Doping team
successfully completed 20 in-competition urine tests during the Four
Continents Figure Skating Championships. Male and female athletes in all
disciplines were selected for doping control based on ISU selection criteria
in accordance with the ISU anti-doping rules. A total of 31 Games-time
anti-doping volunteers participated in the event as a mandatory training
component of their volunteer journey towards 2010.
    The VANOC anti-doping athlete outreach booth was featured at the
athlete's hotel, providing World Anti-Doping Agency and ISU anti-doping
educational resources and information regarding the Vancouver 2010 Anti-Doping
    The Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit was also on-site testing
vehicle screening (flow rates, size of space needed, internal layout of the
area needed) as well as pedestrian screening (space needed, flow rates, and
magnetometer and X-ray placement at Games time). Participation from spectators
was voluntary.
    For more information on the remaining sport events taking place from
February to September 2009, including how to purchase tickets, visit
www.vancouver2010.com. Remaining sport events include:

    FIS Snowboard World Cup
    Date: February 12-15, 2009
    Location: Cypress Mountain, West Vancouver

    FIL Luge World Cup
    Date: February 16-21, 2009
    Location: The Whistler Sliding Centre, Whistler

    WCF World Wheelchair Curling Championship
    Date: February 21-28, 2009
    Location: Vancouver Paralympic Centre (Hillcrest/Nat Bailey Stadium
    Park), Vancouver

    Hockey Canada Cup - Sledge Hockey
    Date: February 24-March 1, 2009
    Location: UBC Thunderbird Arena, Vancouver

    IPC Cross-Country Skiing and Biathlon World Cup Final
    Date: March 4-7, 2009
    Location: Whistler Paralympic Park, Whistler

    World Junior Curling Championships
    Date: March 5-15, 2009
    Location: Vancouver Olympic Centre (Hillcrest/Nat Bailey Stadium Park),

    IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals
    Date: March 9-14, 2009
    Location: Whistler Creekside, Whistler

    IBU Biathlon World Cup
    Date: March 11-15, 2009
    Location: Whistler Olympic Park

    ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships
    Date: March 12-15, 2009
    Location: Richmond Olympic Oval, Richmond

    Hockey Canada Cup - Women's Hockey
    Date: August 31-September 6, 2009
    Location: UBC Thunderbird Arena and Canada Hockey Place, Vancouver

    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: Media Contacts: Greg Alexis, VANOC
Communications, Tel: (604) 403-1627, E-mail: greg_alexis@vancouver2010.com;
John Gibson, VANOC Communications, Tel: (604) 403-1585, E-mail:

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