VANCOUVER 2010 – Countdown to 2010

The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge, has officially invited the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of the world to attend the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The ceremony, which took place in front of a live audience at the brand new Richmond Olympic Oval, was broadcast across Canada on television and saw winter sporting great Cindy Klassen add her voice to Rogge’s invitation to the youth of the world.

Rogge Quote
Inviting the athletes of the world to Vancouver, Rogge said, “The Olympic Games engender dreams and inspiration in the hearts of young people everywhere. For athletes around the world the chance to compete next year in Vancouver will be their goal, the culmination of a lifetime’s ambition. I wish them all good luck, and on behalf of the International Olympic Committee, I invite them to participate in the 21st Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver one year from now.”

NOC Invitations
A number of NOCs were invited to Vancouver to receive their invitations directly from President Rogge. The NOCs that were represented by their Presidents in Richmond were Great Britain, Russia, the United States and Canada – the NOCs of the next Games hosts and of the country that neighbours Canada. The other NOCs will receive their invitations by post and they were sent directly from the IOC’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Sport and Culture
The hour-long spectacular, which culminated in a mass celebration at 6 p.m. Vancouver time – the time at which the Opening Ceremony is exactly 365 days away – saw a number of different cultural elements, including a welcome by the children of the Four Host First Nations, a choir and vocalist singing O Canada, a fun mascot number and a huge finale. There were also elements of sport, with Klassen and some younger athletes all involved in the event.

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.