VANOC continues testing at final sport event counting down to 2010 Winter Games

    Tickets start at $10 to watch world's best female hockey players compete
    in Hockey Canada Cup in Vancouver

    VANCOUVER, Aug. 28 /CNW/ - The top-ranked female hockey players in the
world will face off this week in downtown Vancouver on the same ice where gold
will be decided at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games in less than six
months time. This is the first women's competition of the 2009-2010
International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) season and one of the last
competitions before the Games. For information on tickets, which start at $10,
visit Fans can also take advantage of a full-tournament
package for $120.
    Approximately 100 athletes representing four countries will compete in
the Hockey Canada Cup at GM Place, known at Games time as Canada Hockey Place,
from August 31 to September 6. The United States is currently atop the IIHF
women's world rankings with Canada in second. Rivals Finland and Sweden,
ranked third and fourth respectively, will also play in the 10-game Hockey
Canada Cup tournament. Twenty-six Canadian players are each vying for one of
the coveted 21 spots available on Team Canada's final Olympic roster for the
2010 Winter Games.
    The four teams will play games on August 31 and September 1 and 3, with
semifinals on Saturday, September 5 (Canada plays at 7:30 pm Pacific time) and
the gold medal game scheduled for Sunday, September 6 at 7:30 pm Pacific time.
The final will be televised live on TSN.

    Operational Readiness Testing

    During the Hockey Canada Cup, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the
2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) will test its operational
readiness at the venue in preparation for the Games. The venue will host men's
and women's ice hockey in 2010, including the women's semifinals and medal
games, while matches will also be held at the University of British Columbia's
Thunderbird Arena, also known as the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.
    "Hockey fans in Vancouver are already intensely familiar with this arena
but this will be the first time they'll catch a glimpse of what lies in store
for General Motors Place at Games time," said Denis Hainault, VANOC's general
manager for Canada Hockey Place. "This is a significant event for us as we
head into the home stretch and confirm our operational readiness for 2010."
    At this latest sport event, VANOC is focusing its operational testing on
the following areas: field of play, as well as simultaneous timing and results
systems with UBC Thunderbird Arena where a private ball hockey tournament will
be held in an effort to replicate the overlapping multigame format of the
Olympic Winter Games.
    This is the final 2010 competition venue to be tested by VANOC, as well
as the final Games sport test event to be held in Metro Vancouver and Whistler
before the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games start. It is
also the second sport event held with Hockey Canada and the IIHF in a Games
venue this year. In March, a Hockey Canada Cup for ice sledge hockey was held
at UBC Thunderbird Arena involving four countries.

    Field of Play Testing

    For the first time in Olympic history, all ice hockey games in 2010 at
Canada Hockey Place and UBC Thunderbird Arena will be played on North
American-sized ice rather than converting to the larger international size.
The IIHF made the decision in 2006. VANOC is testing the ice, ice maintenance
systems and adjustments to the dasher board system to expand the boxes for
players and officials, as well as the penalty boxes, in order to provide a
suitable field of play, according to IIHF rules and regulations.

    Venue Operations

    VANOC will work with the venue owner and staff to familiarize itself with
the venue in order to test general venue operations, including spectator
services, workforce and athlete flows, as well as overall spectator
accessibility. Crews will also construct a temporary wall on the P1 level of
the arena's underground parking garage to test how they will construct 35
rooms, measuring 1,980 square metres, needed for anti-doping, news conferences
and office space during the Games. These rooms will be constructed during
venue overlay when VANOC takes over the facility in January.
    The Organizing Committee has temporarily removed 2,000 seats to replace
the old seat bolting system with a newer system enabling faster change out
during the overlay process.


    A workforce of approximately 280 (including around 190 volunteers) will
work at the ice hockey sport event, as well as regular arena staff provided by
Canucks Sports & Entertainment.

    Press Operations

    VANOC's Press Operations team will run the Venue Media Centre, manage
photo positions, test media access control processes and operate the athlete
mixed zone where accredited media gather to interview athletes. The team will
also test the virtual LAN or VLAN system and hockey net cameras for media, as
well as WiFi capabilities at the arena for photography. The Olympic News
Service, which collects and distributes sport event news to the media, will
also use the Hockey Canada Cup as a training session for their volunteers.

    Timing, scoring and results

    Timing, scoring, results, as well as graphics for television will be
tested simultaneously at GM Place and UBC Thunderbird Arena. At GM Place, the
existing scoreboard will be tested in coordination with the Games-time Omega
system. VANOC will also print and distribute reports and test the commentator
information systems.


    Working in cooperation with the IIHF, the VANOC Anti-Doping team will
conduct in-competition urine tests. A total of 11 Games-time anti-doping
volunteers will participate in the event. The VANOC anti-doping athlete
outreach booth will also be located at the athlete hotel, providing World
Anti-Doping Agency resources and information regarding the Vancouver 2010
Anti-Doping Program.
    In keeping with previous sport events, VANOC will also test its medical
services and sport production functions.

    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 Contact: Bridget Cox, VANOC
Communications, (604) 403-4502, E-mail:

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