Vancouver 2010 takes valuable first-hand observations on Games experience and planning from Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

    VANOC congratulates Beijing 2008 organizers for unforgettable Games

    BEIJING, China, Aug. 22 /CNW/ - As the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games move
into the final three days, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010
Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) today provided a summary of its
team's key observations and learnings from the Games and a look ahead to the
major Vancouver 2010 milestones in the coming months.
    "Sport was the big winner here in Beijing and our lasting impressions of
the Olympic Games will be of precision, spectacular fields of play and arenas
that allowed athletes to perform at their very best. Additionally, we will
never forget the immense pride of Chinese citizens in opening up their country
with warmth and hosting the world. In its bid, Beijing committed to inspiring
a nation of 400 million children - and they've clearly done so given the
spectacular performance of their Olympic team," said John Furlong, VANOC Chief
Executive Officer. "Congratulations to the International Olympic Committee,
the Beijing 2008 Games Organizing Committee and the people of China on an
unprecedented show of sport and culture."
    Furlong added, "Congratulations also to our amazing Canadian athletes,
and to our friends at the national sport organizations and the Canadian
Olympic Committee, who have demonstrated again how the power of sport can
inspire a nation, connecting each province and territory together in the
spirit of the Games."
    "Beijing 2008 has been a highly valuable learning experience for our
team, especially in the areas of ticketing and the spectator experience.
Members of VANOC's team have been observing and working in areas such as press
operations, broadcast, villages, sponsor hospitality and showcasing,
ticketing, medical services and volunteers. Everyone will come home with an
enhanced perspective on how to make the 2010 Winter Games the best possible
experience," concluded Furlong.
    Furlong also reported that the Beijing 2008 Games have fostered
additional interest in Vancouver 2010. During the Beijing Games period, visits
to have increased fivefold, while daily applications from
volunteers eager to be part of the 2010 experience have tripled.
    The following is a summary of observations/learnings in key areas:

    1)  Ticketing: All tickets may be sold, but ensuring the venues are full
        during many competitions remains a challenge for Games Organizers.
        Confirmation: VANOC recognizes this challenge and is therefore
        continuing to work on programs intended to make sure that the maximum
        amount of tickets are in the hands of people who can use them. This
        includes an authorized resale and exchange system for tickets close
        to event times. It will also include: the strategic allocation of
        high-demand tickets within the Olympic Family allotment to ensure
        they will be used; ensuring the maximum number of tickets are sold to
        the general public, where usage rates are highest; and minimizing the
        number of multiple-session tickets. VANOC is also making a concerted
        effort to raise public awareness about the risk of buying tickets
        from any channels other than and Jet Set Sports,
        the official sources for Vancouver 2010 tickets.

    2)  Spectator experience: Creating a consistently positive spectator
        experience at all venues results in lifelong memories for fans and an
        optimum atmosphere for athletes. Confirmation: VANOC will continue to
        develop plans to offer spectators a smooth and efficient entry and
        exit from all venues, and a consistently rich spectator experience
        that includes sport education, video, music, mascots, food and
        beverages, souvenirs and elements that are unique to the history and
        culture of each sport.

    3)  Volunteers: Volunteers are the face and personality of an Organizing
        Committee, and, by extension, the Host Region and Host Country.
        Confirmation: VANOC will continue to implement a comprehensive
        volunteer recruitment and training program, including plans to have a
        senior volunteer at each major touch point to troubleshoot and ensure
        extraordinary circumstances are dealt with quickly and efficiently.

    4)  Ceremonies: The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony was a
        spectacular showcase of culture and sport that inspired intense
        national pride while employing the latest in special event
        technology. Confirmation: Canada will have an equally compelling
        opportunity to tell its Opening Ceremony story to the world and will
        also use the best practices in major event staging to ensure well-
        orchestrated and emotionally charged Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
        VANOC will offer nightly Victory Ceremonies at BC Place which will
        include a celebration of the medal-winning athletes for the day and a
        concert by world-class musical artists.

    5)  Athlete Villages: The Athletes' Village in Beijing was well-equipped
        to meet the needs of athletes and team officials, including internet
        connectivity; food service; team space requirements; and a
        comfortable, secure environment to train, prepare, rest, relax and
        meet fellow athletes. Even the small details were a priority, for
        example, original welcome posters, crafted by children, in each room.
        Confirmation: The success of Beijing's Village confirmed VANOC's
        plans for its own Athletes' Villages in Vancouver and Whistler, which
        will include world-class amenities that will allow athletes to feel
        "at home" in the time they're away from competition venues. Vancouver
        2010 villages are located close to Games venues and will have optimum
        internet connectivity, adequate space, recreational facilities and
        healthy and varied food choices.

    6)  Media facilities: The Main Press Center (MPC) and International
        Broadcast Center (IBC) in Beijing offered an excellent setup to meet
        the needs of accredited media, including seamless security screening
        systems. Confirmation: The Main Media Centre in Vancouver will
        provide the added convenience of being conveniently located close to
        major downtown hotels, sport venues and the spectacular Pacific Ocean
        waterfront. VANOC will also review the successful security screening
        system employed by the Beijing Organizing Committee between the
        media's accommodation and key venues to see if it can be adapted for
        Vancouver 2010.

    7)  Weather: Rain caused delays and postponements at a number of events.
        The Beijing Organizing Committee was able to reschedule and stage
        these events within the planned Games schedule. Confirmation: VANOC
        recently released its Games schedule by time, which was specifically
        designed to account for the possibility of winter weather delays or
        postponements and to accommodate this within the Games period.

    8)  Sponsor profile and showcasing: The Beijing Games offered an
        exceptional opportunity for major sponsors to use imaginative ways to
        profile their support, including pavilions at the Olympic Green and
        partnership in hospitality centres hosted by National Olympic
        Committees (NOCs). Although early attendance was low, the Beijing
        Organizing Committee quickly made adjustments to ensure the sponsor
        showcase area at the Olympic Green became a popular destination.
        Confirmation: VANOC's sponsor showcase area will be open to the
        general public; will be offered free of charge without the
        requirement of a ticket; and will be conveniently located close to
        major venues and live sites.

    9)  Knowledge/experience transfer: A number of key staff from VANOC and
        its partners were seconded by the Beijing Organizing Committee and
        Jet Set Sports to work for the Games and be embedded in the Games
        environment. They are gaining expertise and learning about the Games
        first hand. Front-of-the-line expertise is being gathered in areas
        such as press operations, protocol, corporate hospitality, broadcast,
        villages, sponsor hospitality and showcasing, ticketing, medical
        services and volunteers. Confirmation: Knowledge transfer and
        practical work experience opportunities between Organizing Committees
        at a Games is extremely valuable. VANOC will look to implement
        similar initiatives to engage personnel from Organizing Committees
        for future Games.

    10) Look of the Games: The Beijing Organizing Committee executed a
        spectacular Look-of-the-Games program with banners, flags and
        lighting in addition to successfully creating a colourful and
        impressive city-wide atmosphere of celebration. Competition venues
        were particularly well-decorated with the Look of the Games offering
        a real sense of Olympic celebration. Confirmation: VANOC will release
        its Look of the Games designs, including sport pictograms, on
        September 10, and is currently confirming with its partners how Look
        elements can most effectively create the spirit of celebration in

    Furlong concluded with a general update on Games planning, highlighting
key milestones scheduled through the one-year countdown period to Vancouver
2010, including:

    -   Look of the Games and sport pictograms launch (September 2008)
    -   Launch of completely re-designed website which
        includes new content. is the Official Website of
        the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (September
    -   Launch of thematic advertising campaign to introduce the Vancouver
        2010 Games-time motto (September 2008)
    -   Olympic tickets on sale and launch of ticketing advertising campaign
        (October 3, 2008)
    -   Staging of 18 Sport Events, beginning with Short Track Speed Skating
        (October 24-26, 2008)
           -  Calendar:
    -   Hosting the World Press Briefing (November 18-21, 2008)
    -   Torch Relay National Route Announcement (fall/winter 2008)
    -   Torchbearer programs launched by Coca-Cola and RBC (late 2008)
    -   Official opening of the Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre (venue
        for curling and wheelchair curling) (fall/winter 2008)
    -   Official opening of the Richmond Oval (speed skating venue)
        (December 2008)
    -   Details of transportation plans (early 2009)
    -   Unveiling of Olympic Torch design and uniform (early 2009)
    -   One-Year Olympic Countdown (February 2009)
    -   Launch of Phase 2 ticket sales (February 2009)
    -   One-Year Paralympic Countdown (March 2009)

    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

For further information:

For further information: Sebastien Théberge, VANOC Communications, Tel.:
(778) 835-2072 (in Beijing), E-mail:;
Chris Brumwell, VANOC Communications, Tel.: (778) 835-2058 (in Beijing),

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