VANOC continues operational testing with ice sledge hockey sport event

    Tickets available at $10 for a single game or $50 for a complete 10-game

    VANCOUVER, Feb. 23 /CNW/ - The first international event to take place at
UBC Thunderbird Arena will showcase high-performance athletes in a sport few
British Columbians have witnessed - ice sledge hockey. Athletes body-check
with full force, shoot pucks at 70 miles per hour and fly down the ice
propelled by razor-sharp picks on the ends of their two sticks - and the sport
is coming to Vancouver!
    As approximately 60 athletes from Canada, Germany, Japan and the USA take
to the ice, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) will test the arena's operational readiness
for ice sledge hockey in advance of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter
    One of the fastest and most popular events at the Paralympic Winter
Games, the ice sledge hockey sport event will offer the public a unique
opportunity to learn more about this spectacular sport and the world-class
athletes who will be competing. Single-game tickets are available for $10
each, while full-tournament packages - including tickets to all 10 games - are
available at $50. (All ticket packages are subject to applicable service
fees.) Visit for more information.
    "It's exciting to showcase the demanding sport of sledge hockey while we
test our operational readiness at UBC's Thunderbird Arena," said Tim Gayda,
VANOC's vice president, sport. "Sledge hockey is an incredible sport whose
popularity and recognition in Canada continues to grow on the strength of
three medals (one gold, one silver, one bronze) by the Canadian team in the
past four Paralympic Games. As we host the world's best sledge hockey players
this week, we hope spectators will be wowed by this incredible sport, and that
the athletes will enjoy the world-class facility they're set to compete in."
    VANOC will focus its operational testing on the following areas: ice
maintenance and quality, board system, and accessibility.

    Field of Play

    VANOC's testing of the field of play (athletes' competition areas) will
focus primarily on the ice and board system. Ice maintenance and quality will
be examined, as well as the dasher board system (board system containing the
ice), the Olympia ice resurfacing machine operation and the conversion of the
board system from ice hockey to Paralympic field of play standards.
    Ice sledge hockey players are seated only a few centimetres off the ice;
to view the play from within the bench a clear Plexiglas system will be
installed in front of the players' and penalty boxes. Additionally, rather
than using the standard rubber matting in the bench areas, VANOC will test the
building of ice in the players' and penalty boxes for easier mobility.
    VANOC will test the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC)
system and the capacity for this new venue to adjust the temperature, relative
humidity and air flow to react to external weather conditions in order to
maintain the best quality of ice for the athletes.
    The Father David Bauer Ice Rink, attached directly to the venue, will be
the ice sledge hockey training facility at Games time. During the ice sledge
hockey sport event, the rink will also be used for training and to test
elevator access and flow of athletes between both rinks.

    Venue Operations

    VANOC will test general venue operations including spectator services,
workforce and athlete flows, and media work areas as well as overall spectator
accessibility. Accessible team buses will be used to test the athlete
transportation system, while the athlete entrance will mirror Paralympic
Games-time standards to test flow and equipment transport.

    Approximately 450 workforce (300 volunteers, 75 contractors and 75 staff)
will participate at the ice sledge hockey sport event. The majority are
technical sport volunteers and event services personnel (approximately 150)
with other groups including food and beverage services, sport production (such
as announcers and DJs), transport and parking staff. Processes such as
volunteer check-in, training and scheduling are being tested. VANOC will also
be integrating the existing UBC venue staff with VANOC workforce to create one
    In keeping with previous sport events, VANOC will also test its Press
Operations, Timing, Scoring and Results, Medical Services and Sport Production

    Background on Ice Sledge Hockey

    Ice sledge hockey follows all the International Ice Hockey Federation
(IIHF) rules, with a few small modifications.
    Instead of standing on skates, players sit on aluminum or steel sledges
fitted with two blades. They grip two double-ended sticks, one in each hand.
One end of the stick has a sharp pick that the players use to propel the
sledge, the other has a curved blade to pass and shoot the puck.
    A team must not have more than six players on the ice while play is in
progress. The object is for one team to get the puck (a hard, black rubber
disc) past the other team's goaltender and into the goal. A regular game
consists of three 15-minute periods.
    For more information on ice sledge hockey, visit or
    This summer, along with Canada Hockey Place, UBC Thunderbird Arena will
host the women's hockey sport event from August 31 to September 6, 2009.
    For more information on the remaining sport events taking place from
February to September 2009, including how to purchase tickets, please visit
    Remaining sport events taking place from February to September 2009

    WCF World Wheelchair Curling Championship
    Date: February 21-28, 2009
    Location: Vancouver Paralympic Centre, Vancouver

    Hockey Canada Cup - Sledge Hockey
    Date: February 24 to 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, Vancouver

    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 to 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

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: John Gibson, VANOC
Communications, (604) 403-1585,; Geraldine
Serreqi, VANOC Communications, (604) 403-2279,

Organization Profile


More on this organization


More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890