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VANOC Board of Directors reviews final five month home stretch of activities and operations before start of Games

by NationTalk on September 21, 2009509 Views

Sep 18, 2009

Vancouver, BC — The board of directors for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) met today in Vancouver to discuss an exceptionally busy fall schedule full of operational activities and major announcements leading up to the opening of the Games, as well as updates on standing agenda items such as ongoing financial management, Games-time planning and the Olympic Torch Relay.The members of the board, as well as VANOC Chief Executive Officer John Furlong and executives, spoke largely via teleconference today. This change in format may be replicated at the handful of remaining board meetings because it provides more flexibility for the board and management in the final months before the Games.

“The Organizing Committee is now in the midst of an exciting and extraordinarily busy time before the Games begin in just 147 days,” said Rusty Goepel, acting chairman for the meeting. “Huge milestone projects that have been worked on for years are now just days and weeks away and the VANOC board of directors is confident the management team has preparations well in hand to ensure the delivery of great Games in 2010.”

Already, VANOC’s overlay teams have started the complex process of making Games venues ready for the world’s top winter athletes. The work, which involves installing temporary items such as additional seating, lighting, banners, and cables, will continue into 2010.

John Furlong also provided the board with a rundown of major announcements and events the Organizing Committee will make in the next six weeks, which include: the start of the 106-day Olympic Torch Relay; the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce program; the international unveiling of the Games’ medals; the second phase of transportation plans; and the largest announcement to date of projects added to the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.

“We’ve been running at full steam for the last year but this fall we’ve kicked our activities into an even higher gear as we put the finishing touches on our plans to host the world at Canada’s Games,” said Furlong, who will present Vancouver 2010’s final pre-Games report at the 121st International Olympic Committee Session in Copenhagen, Denmark early next month.

“For our team, the Games really start on October 22 when the Olympic Flame is lit in Greece and begins its journey to Victoria, BC, for the start of the Olympic Torch Relay on October 30. The 105 days after that will no doubt pass in a blur of activity and feelings of pride as we witness the excitement Canadians feel when they see the Olympic Flame in person.”

The board also received the following updates:

•Finance: The Organizing Committee is continuing to proceed with procurement and is in final contractual negotiations for numerous goods and services for accommodation in the Sea to Sky region, snow management and food services. Information will be posted at www.vancouver2010.com once contracts are finalized.

•Venue Construction: The City of Vancouver provided an update to the Finance Committee on the positive progress being made on construction of the Olympic and Paralympic Village Vancouver. Both athlete villages, located in Vancouver and Whistler, are on schedule to be handed over to VANOC this fall. The Trout Lake and Killarney training venues are complete and will open to the public next week.

•Torch Relays: With 42 days left before the Olympic Flame arrives on Canadian soil, the Organizing Committee is locking down final details for the torch relay’s 106-day journey across Canada, including: confirming celebration community plans and torchbearer data. More than 2,000 journalists, photographers and videographers from across Canada and internationally have registered to cover the relay. The Olympic Flame will be officially handed over to VANOC officials on October 29 in Greece before flying to Canada for the start of the relay in Victoria, BC, 24 hours later. Meanwhile, planning for the Paralympic Torch Relay continues; further details on the route will be announced later this fall.

•Cultural Olympiad: On Monday, September 21, VANOC will reveal more than 70 new projects added to Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad’s lineup of music, theatre, visual arts, dance, and digital programming. The announcement is the largest unveiling of 2010 projects to date.

•Olympic Truce: VANOC will announce details shortly on the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce program, which includes an innovative project to involve Canadians of all ages, especially young people, in promoting peace in everyday life.

•Accommodation: The Homestay Volunteer Program, launched by VANOC in February 2009, has seen excellent results to date. The program will provide more than 650 beds during the Olympic Winter Games from 550 host families. More than 220 beds secured through the program will also house volunteers during the Paralympic Games. Applications will continue to be accepted from additional host families until Games time. Those who apply before September 30 will qualify for event tickets as an added incentive.

•Transportation: The second and final phase of the integrated transportation plan for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games by the Olympic and Paralympic Transportation Team (OPTT) will be released in mid-October.

•Sport: Approximately 28,000 spectators attended the women’s Hockey Canada Cup from August 31 to September 6 at GM Place. The sport event, featuring the top four ranked countries in women’s ice hockey, was the last of 18 sport events in the 2008-2009 season where VANOC conducted operational testing in preparation for the Games. Each event has resulted in key learnings and refinements to VANOC’s plans for the Games and valuable feedback from international sport federations.

The next scheduled VANOC board meeting will be held on November 17, 2009.

VANOC Board of Directors Background
The VANOC board of directors is made up of 20 members nominated by: the Canadian Olympic Committee (seven); the Government of Canada (three); the Province of British Columbia (three); the City of Vancouver (two); the Resort Municipality of Whistler (two); the Canadian Paralympic Committee (one); a joint appointment by the Band Councils of the Lil’wat and Squamish Nations (one); and one member nominated by the other 19 members.

The board is scheduled to meet six times per year, and more often at the call of the chair as required. The meetings are generally held at the VANOC offices in Vancouver, although they are occasionally hosted by our Games partners in other locations. The board’s responsibility is to oversee the conduct of the business of VANOC as it works toward achieving its Mission: to touch the soul of the nation and inspire the world by creating and delivering an extraordinary Olympic and Paralympic experience with lasting legacies.

As part of its commitment to public transparency and accountability, the VANOC board of directors has made today’s agenda, discussion topics and decisions available to the public on www.vancouver2010.com, subject to conditions of confidentiality related to personal information and/or competitively sensitive or privileged information. VANOC is also committed to hosting media briefings following each board meeting with the board chairman, the CEO and other director(s) or members of the VANOC senior management team to elaborate further on matters.

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 www.vancouver2010.com.

Press Contact
If you are a member of the media, please contact mediarelations@vancouver2010.com

For all other inquiries, please contact info@vancouver2010.com

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