VANCOUVER – “Vancouver is ready for 2010,” said the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Coordination Commission for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games through its Chairman, René Fasel, who is also President of the International Ice Hockey Federation.
For its ninth and final visit (25-26 August) to the next Olympic and Paralympic Host City, the Commission was joined by representatives of the Olympic Winter International Federations, who were able to bring their expertise to bear in the discussions with the Vancouver Organising Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) relating to the sporting elements of the Games, as well as by observers from the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee.
Speaking at the close of the meetings, Fasel said, “The organizers of the Games in Vancouver and Whistler are ready for 2010. We’ve heard from VANOC and its partners about all the steps that they are undertaking to ensure that the athletes and other Games visitors have a fantastic Olympic and Paralympic experience. We are extremely happy with what we have seen and heard, and are confident that they will deliver.”
He continued, “The Commission members and I have seen this project grow from plans on paper into almost a reality, and we would like to commend the work of the team led by Jack Poole and John Furlong. The venues are spectacular and the plans for next February are very good. The great venues, the outstanding natural setting and hugely knowledgeable and enthusiastic fans will guarantee that these Olympic and Paralympic Games will be an unparalleled success.”
With the Olympic Torch Relay getting underway in only 57 days, VANOC and its partners are becoming increasingly operational and are reaching a very precise level of detail in their planning. This is normal at this stage of the Games preparations and requires great focus from the organisers to ensure that the Games reach Olympic level.
Chairman Fasel commented, “With the Olympic flame getting ready to travel across the great nation of Canada, VANOC and its partners are starting to reach an extremely fine level of detail in their preparations. This often brings with it some last-minute challenges and the need to find solutions. This is not unexpected with a project of this size and complexity, and our Canadian friends are well prepared to deal with them. As we enter the home stretch, people around the globe are watching and waiting for you to deliver a great Games not just for Canada but the world.”
“It is with mixed feelings that we close this final Coordination Commission session as we have gained so much from these sessions with our IOC friends and the international sport federations – they have been invaluable to our planning,” said John Furlong. “At the same time, their final advice, their confidence and their full support for our plans gained during this visit is just what we need as we head into the final several months. We thank each and every member of the Commission – and particularly, the leadership of Chairman René Fasel and IOC Executive Director Gilbert Felli - for their thoughtful insights and counsel throughout the past several years. The Coordination Commission’s engagement and oversight has unquestionably been key to staging a successful and unforgettable Games in Vancouver and Whistler in 2010.”
During its meeting, the Commission heard reports from VANOC on areas such as the Olympic Torch Relay, spectator services, sport, marketing, media operations, National Olympic Committee services, technology and the Paralympic Games. The visit also provided the opportunity for some Commission members to tour venues including the Vancouver Olympic Village, UBC Thunderbird Arena, Richmond Oval, Hillcrest Curling Centre and the Main Press and Broadcasting Centres.