With 317 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission has finished its penultimate visit to the next Olympic Host City by congratulating the Vancouver Organisers (VANOC) for the high quality of the recently completed sports events. The Commission meeting also overlapped with the 8th IOC-UNEP Sport and the Environment Conference, which was held in Vancouver from 29 to 31 March. This Conference once again underlined the Olympic Movement’s commitment to the environment and sustainability.
A Great Olympic Experience
Speaking at the end of the Commission meeting, Chairman René Fasel said, “After six years of planning, we have finally seen athletes on the field of play, with the successful completion of the recent sports events and we congratulate VANOC and its hugely supportive partners on this achievement. While some of the spectators have had the opportunity to learn about new sports, it has also been the occasion for VANOC to learn and understand how its planning assumptions will operate in reality. There have been some important lessons learned, and VANOC’s team has taken them on board. We are confident that they will translate them into a great Olympic experience for the athletes, spectators and everyone else who will attend the Games or watch them on TV.”
A Positive Sustainable Legacy
In parallel to the Commission meeting, the 8th IOC-UNEP Sport and the Environment Conference also took place in Vancouver this week. The Conference is a bi-annual forum for bringing together the world of sport to talk about the environment and sustainability. The Games have sustainability right at their core from the bid stage, and no where has this been taken more to heart than in Vancouver. Commenting on VANOC’s work, Fasel said, “We often speak about the legacy of the Games for a community. One of the great legacies of the Vancouver Games will surely be VANOC and its partners’ work in the area of sustainability. From brand new venues that were built with the environment in mind to initiatives like their carbon offset plan, the Vancouver Games will leave a positive sustainable legacy to future generations. As Chairman of the Coordination Commission, it’s one of the things that makes me very proud about the work that we have accomplished thus far with VANOC.”
Vancouver and Whistler will host the XXI Olympic Winter Games from 12 to 28 February 2010 and the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games from 12 to 21 March 2010. The seven Winter Olympic sports that will be on show in Vancouver are Luge, Skiing, Skating, Ice Hockey, Biathlon, Bobsleigh and Curling.