Vancouver 2010: In good shape with positive progress on media accommodation

IOC Press Release - 09 March 2007

The IOC’s Coordination Commission for the XXI Olympic Winter Games, led by its Chairman, René Fasel, today concluded three days of meetings with VANOC - the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver in 2010 - and its partners. The meetings, which were held at VANOC’s offices in the City of Vancouver, allowed the Commission to review the progress made by VANOC and its partners since the Commission’s last visit in June 2006. With a little less than three years left until the Games open in Vancouver, the Commission was pleased to see that the preparations for the Games, which include areas such as venue construction, marketing, operational planning, city activities, transport and technology, were in good shape and that, in particular, there was positive progress being made in the area of media accommodation, specifically in the mountain areas.

Commenting on the three days of in-depth discussions and presentations, Commission Chairman René Fasel said, “Whenever the Commission comes to Vancouver, we are always delighted to see the professionalism and knowledge of the VANOC staff. In our discussions, using the vast experience of the Commission members, we are able to look at the project in great detail, as we oversee and advise the organisers, while they progress towards hosting the pre-Games test events and the Games.” He continued, “As we move towards the Games, in a spirit of partnership with VANOC, we must regularly find solutions to different issues that arise along the way. One of the items that has recently been in the press was accommodation for the media. We were happy to hear from VANOC during their presentations that in Whistler, positive progress has been made since our last visit, and that the issue is largely resolved, with no need to use alternative forms of accommodation for the media in the Sea-to-Sky corridor, such as the cruise ship in Squamish. We will continue to work with VANOC to finalise the parameters of the overall programme and maximise the accommodation availability in the mountains.”

Another area of good news for the 2010 Games was the confirmation by VANOC of their acceptance of ski cross on the programme for the 2010 Games - ski cross was added last year by the IOC’s Executive Board to the Olympic Winter Programme. Commenting on this news, Coordination Commission member and International Ski Federation (FIS) President Gian-Franco Kasper said, “It’s great news that VANOC has accepted the addition of ski cross to the programme for 2010, as it is an event that will undoubtedly appeal to many members of the public, due to its fast and exciting format.”

“This was the most productive IOC Coordination Commission meeting to date,” said VANOC CEO John Furlong. “We are always stronger at the end of these sessions than we were at the beginning and we appreciate the IOC’s confidence in the many areas of our project, including the significant progress we are making on our venue construction program.”

During the meetings, the Commission examined a number of different areas of Games preparations, particularly, those concerning the athletes and the sports facilities. From a client perspective, the Commission looked at, in addition to the athletes, service levels for groups including the International Federations, the National Olympic Committees, the Olympic Family, sponsors and the media. This came over and above presentations on specific areas such as planning, legacy and sustainability – where VANOC and its partners have been working on some very high quality initiatives -, marketing, media services, the Paralympic Games, communications, medical services, technology, VANOC’s education programme and its promising programme of city activities, which will bring the Games out of the stadiums to people all across the region and Canada.

Finally, the Commission received a full update on the progress being made in venue construction and visited selected Games sites, which saw them take in the current state of construction of the Vancouver Olympic Village and the Main Media Centre, as well as the Vancouver 2010 Omega Countdown Clock. Indeed, the future Vancouver Olympic Village site particularly impressed the Commission members with its goal of LEED®¹ Gold design for the village buildings and of LEED® Platinum for the community centre building, in addition to the other environmental and social legacies that it will leave to the local community. The Commission was happy with the current state of work and the current construction deadlines for the Olympic venues that were presented to them.

¹ LEED® is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is the North American standard for measuring green building performance.