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March 27 2010

07:17

Vancouver 2010 Winter Games surplus medical/dental supplies/equipment bound for Haiti as part of Olympic Truce legacy - News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Vancouver, BC — Over 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) of surplus athlete medical and dental supplies and equipment from the 2010 Winter Games are being provided to Canadian medical teams in Haiti as part of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce program and as a legacy of the Games, with the first major shipment en route this weekend. 

The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) has partnered together with the Canadian Forces to donate and deliver the much needed medical supplies in two stages – the first taking place this weekend and the second gradually over the coming weeks and months.

A first shipment of approximately 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms) of supplies departs on Saturday for Port au Prince on a Canadian Forces CC-177 Globemaster from 8 Wing Trenton.  The supplies and equipment include a wide assortment of soft goods and surgical instruments ranging from bandages and suture kits to orthotic knee braces.  The medical supplies will be provided to Canadian Medical Assistance Teams (CMAT) who have been providing on the ground medical support in Haiti since the devastating earthquake there on January 12.  The remaining inventory of supplies will be collected and stored in Vancouver and shipped as required with CMAT doctors and volunteers as future teams are deployed to Haiti. 

 “With the conclusion of the Games, our legacy is in the things we continue to do that reflect the unity and friendship celebrated in the name of sport and the Olympic Truce,” said John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer for VANOC. “We’re grateful to the Canadian Forces for their invaluable partnership in delivering surplus Games medical goods, so that through CMAT we can support the people of Haiti as they continue to heal and rebuild.”

 “Our medical team had access to top quality medical and dental equipment and supplies in support of athletes at the 2010 Games,” said Dr. Jack Taunton, Chief Medical Officer for VANOC. “Our work is done and as medical professionals our first thoughts are always to whom else needs help, so we are pleased to support our medical colleagues working so hard in Haiti."

“The Canadian Forces' association with the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games has been mutually beneficial,” said Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “Now, we are able to do something together to benefit others. We are pleased to be able to transport these medical supplies on behalf of the Vancouver Organizing Committee, continuing our support to the relief effort in Haiti.”

This donation represents an approximately $125,000 CAD in value for medical and dental supplies to the region. Earlier this month, VANOC with its partners announced a $300,000 CAD donation to UNICEF to support relief efforts in Haiti.

NOTE TO PHOTO/VIDEO EDITORS:  For security reasons, access is not possible at CFB Trenton to shoot photos/video of the VANOC medical supplies being loaded on to the Canadian Forces CC-177 Globemaster aircraft on March 27, however high resolution colour photos will be taken and posted with cutlines to Canada News Wire as soon as possible after the loading is completed.

About the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce
The philosophy of the Olympic Truce is simple: sport can inspire peace. In 2010, athletes set aside their political, religious and social differences and competed on a level playing field in the pursuit of excellence. Their sportsmanship and behaviour are examples of how countries and individuals can find constructive ways to uphold the values of respect and friendship.

The 2010 Winter Games mark the first time Canada has been responsible for leading Olympic Truce efforts since the ancient tradition, dating back to 776 BC in Greece, was revitalized in 1992. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, is patron of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce. For more information, visit www.olympictruce.org.

About VANOC

VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games were staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler hosted the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.

About Canadian Forces

Canadian Forces (CF) members are proud to serve Canada by defending its values, interests and sovereignty at home and abroad. The mandate of Canadian Forces is three-fold: protecting Canada and defending our sovereignty; working with Canada’s closest ally, the United States, to defend North America; and contributing to international peace and security through operations around the world, most often in partnership with allies from other countries.

March 16 2010

19:27

Historic 2010 Olympic Games gold medal winning puck donated by IIHF/VANOC to Hockey Hall of Fame - News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Overtime pucks added to gold medal game pucks on sale at www.vancouver2010.com/auction

Vancouver, BC – The permanent home of perhaps the most famous six ounces of hard rubber in hockey history – the puck with which Canada’s Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal on Team USA during the overtime period of the Olympic gold medal game – will go to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and four pucks used in the same overtime period are now available for purchase at www.vancouver2010.com/auction

International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) President René Fasel and Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) CEO John Furlong jointly made the announcement of the donation of the gold medal winning puck to the Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF). The famous puck has been delivered by the IIHF to the HHOF, where it will be put onto public display as soon as possible. 

VANOC also confirmed that four pucks used in the overtime period and collected for VANOC by on-ice officials have been added to the selection of sport memorabilia now available through public auction at vancouver2010.com/auction.

All of the pucks feature the Olympic rings in white and Vancouver 2010’s distinctive blue and green Look of the Games.

Gold medal game winning puck:

The game winning puck was retrieved through joint efforts by the IIHF, VANOC and the HHOF to locate it following the game. In the celebrations and tumult of media attention and post-game activities, various officials who had possession of the puck could not immediately identify the appropriate person to hand it off to and so safeguarded it until it could be handed over directly to the IIHF last week.  Photos of the gold medal game winning puck are available with this news release and at http://www.vancouver2010.com/more-2010-information/media-centre/image-gallery/event-photos/event-photos_144050sl.html

“I am happy to see that the puck is going to the hockey hall of fame,” said Sidney Crosby. “I feel very lucky to have been part of that team and that game as well and I am glad hockey fans will get the chance to share the moment by seeing things like the overtime winning puck up close.”

“What an incredible hockey tournament in Vancouver capped off with a gold medal game that will never be forgotten,” said René Fasel. “The IIHF is proud to help ensure that this valuable piece of hockey history will hold an honoured place for all to see it and to remember where they were and what they felt at the exact moment the goal was scored.”

“The moment of the winning goal from the men’s gold medal game at the Vancouver 2010 Games is burned into the memory of Canadians – and all hockey fans – forever,” said John Furlong.  “This puck and the teams that fought hard to score with it in overtime represent some of the most exciting moments of the 2010 Games and we’re delighted to donate it to the Hockey Hall of Fame so that everyone can enjoy it for years to come.”

“The gold medal winning puck is a treasure that will attract so many hockey fans to the Hall and we’re extremely happy that it’s on its way here,” said Phil Pritchard,” Curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame. “Thanks to the IIHF and to VANOC for making this happen and we look forward to getting the puck and making arrangements for it to take its rightful place with the other memorabilia that represent great moments in hockey history.”

Gold medal game warm up, regulation time and overtime pucks at www.vancouver2010.com/auction:

VANOC put into place a process whereby at any stoppage of play in the gold medal hockey game linesmen swapped out the puck in play for a new one and the game pucks were collected and marked for the period in which they were played. Pucks collected in the game warm up and first three periods of the gold medal game have already sold at auction for between $3500 - $5900 CDN, with warm up pucks selling for up to $700 CDN. The four pucks used during the overtime period of the gold medal game have been added to the online auction at vancouver2010.com/auctions and are accompanied by a certificate of authenticity

“There’s been great interest to date in the official sport memorabilia auction such as hockey pucks, jerseys and podia. The bidding for gold medal game overtime pucks – and another chance to own a piece of Olympic history -- is likely to be fierce,” said Dennis Kim, VANOC’s Director of Licensing and Merchandising.  The Vancouver 2010 auction is the only source for official 2010 Winter Games memorabilia and for the first time in the history of the Games, some of the most coveted items used during competition including medal podia, medal trays, pucks, ski gates, game-worn jerseys and more are available for purchase.

About the IIHF:

The IIHF, the governing body of international ice hockey and inline hockey, features 68 member associations, each of which is the national governing body of the sport in its nation. Besides controlling the international rulebook, processing international player transfers, and dictating officiating guidelines, the IIHF runs numerous development programs designed to bring hockey to a broader population. The IIHF also presides over ice hockey in the Olympic Games and over the IIHF World Championships at all levels, men, women, juniors under-20, juniors under-18 and women under-18. Each season, the IIHF in collaboration with its local organizing committees, runs around 25 different World Championships in the five different categories. Visit www.iihf.com

About the HHOF

The Hockey Hall of Fame was founded in 1943 to establish a memorial to those who have developed Canada's great winter sport -- ice hockey. Incorporated in 1983, Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum ("HHFM") exists in order to honour and preserve the history of the game of ice hockey, and in particular, those who have made outstanding contributions and achievements in the development of the game. The HHFM collects, preserves, researches, exhibits and promotes all objects, images and histories which are determined to be significant to the story of ice hockey in Canada, and throughout the world. Visit www.hhof.com

About VANOC:

VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games were staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler are hosting the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com

March 15 2010

02:37

Cross-Country Skiing: Swiss coach making major sacrifices - AFP News : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Vancouver (AFP) - As with many of the participants at the Vancouver Paralympic Winter Games, Swiss Nordic team coach Walter Sporri became involved in disabled sport through the needs of others.

With his wife confined to crutches after childhood polio, Sporri, an avid cross-country skier, became a cross-country technician before moving on to biathlon where he participated in national championships.

He has been the coach of the Swiss Nordic Paralympians since the 2006 Games in Torino.

"Cross-country is my life. It's a joy. Alpine gives me no joy," said the gregarious Swiss.

Such joy, however, comes at a personal price as Sporri and his two-person team used their personal vacation to come to Canada, mostly at their own expense.

The team received some funding from Swiss Olympic, an organization representing the country's sports federations, but nothing from the government.

"It's hard. We are not professional. I do not get a salary (for coaching)," he laments, adding it's difficult to attract young people to the sport.

In nine Paralympic appearances, cross-country skiers have accounted for 49 of Switzerland's 141 medals; Alpine skiers the rest.

"We have a little sponsorship, same for (Paralympic) Alpine. There is a lot of money for able-bodied Alpine in Switzerland but we are not so interesting in the media.

"Disabled sport is secondary, but it is a sport like any other. The people are like any other. It's just disabled sport."

str/dj10

March 05 2010

18:49

Vancouver 2010 and partners donate $300,000 to UNICEF to help rebuild Haiti as part of Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce - News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Vancouver, BC — To help children and teenagers in Haiti rebuild after the devastating earthquake there on January 12, a $300,000 CAD donation has been made to UNICEF to commemorate the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce and to serve as a lasting legacy of Canada’s Games.

The donation, announced today, will provide an opportunity for the children of Haiti to once again play in good health and freedom. The donation is made possible by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), as well as explore.org and the Annenberg Foundation, l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) and Teck Resources, an Official Supporter of the 2010 Winter Games and the metals supplier for the Vancouver 2010 medals.

“When a tragic situation occurs, such as the earthquake in Haiti, it is incumbent on all of us to come together as global citizens to assist,” said VANOC CEO John Furlong. “Sport has the power to unite and heal, especially among children, which is why we’re working with our partners through UNICEF. We encourage everyone in the world who watched the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games to continue to support Haiti as it works to rebuild.”

Under the auspices of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce, the $300,000.00 donation has been sent to UNICEF, the lead international organization responsible for relief and assistance to youth in Haiti. Over the past few weeks, various organizations have collectively pooled their funding to create a greater overall contribution, including: the Annenberg Foundation ($50,000) through the multimedia organization explore.org; Teck Resources and its employees ($156,000); l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) ($45,000); and VANOC (approximately $54,000).

VANOC’s contribution was raised in part by workforce members and the public at events such as the Olympic Torch Relay celebration in Vancouver and the opening night of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad, as well as from the corporate Vancouver2010 Olympic truce budget. Other sponsors have also made separate, considerable donations towards relief efforts in Haiti.

“In the spirit of the Olympic Games, which embraces camaraderie and teamwork, Teck Resources is pleased to be able to provide assistance to the people of Haiti so that they may rebuild their country and create a better tomorrow,” said Don Lindsay, CEO of Teck Resources.

Charles Annenberg Weingarten, explore.org founder and vice president and director of the Annenberg Foundation, added: “In line with explore.org’s philanthropic mission to provide grant funding to exceptional organizations, a $50,000 grant was pledged to UNICEF in support of the Olympic Truce and Haitian relief efforts. Explore.org shares the values of inclusion, tolerance and respect, using film and photography from around the world to highlight and inspire the selfless acts of others.”

“The OIF would like to demonstrate a solidarity with Haïti and its youth,” said Audrey Delacroix, spokesperson for the OIF. “In addition to this financial contribution, the OIF will be also be at the disposal of the Haïtian authorities should they wish to use our expertise in any way.”

The OIF was represented in Vancouver during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games by Pascal Couchepin, Grand Témoin de la Francophonie. Couchepin was tasked in 2009 by Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), with supporting VANOC’s efforts to ensure bilingual Games in Vancouver and Whistler.

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce legacy donation is in addition to a commitment made by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge on the eve of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games that the Olympic Movement would be supporting reconstruction of sport facilities for Haitian youth.

About the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce
The philosophy of the Olympic Truce is simple: sport can inspire peace. In 2010, athletes will set aside their political, religious and social differences and compete on a level playing field in the pursuit of excellence. Their sportsmanship and behaviour are examples of how countries and individuals can find constructive ways to uphold the values of respect and friendship.

The 2010 Winter Games mark the first time Canada has been responsible for leading Olympic Truce efforts since the ancient tradition, dating back to 776 BC in Greece, was revitalized in 1992. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, is patron of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce. For more information, visit www.olympictruce.org.

About Teck Resources Limited
Teck is a diversified resource company committed to responsible mining and mineral development with major business units focused on copper, metallurgical coal, zinc and energy. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, its shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols TCK.A and TCK.B and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TCK. Further information about Teck can be found at www.teck.com/vancouver2010.

About explore.org
Explore.org is a multimedia organization that documents leaders around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary causes. Both educational and inspirational, explore.org creates a portal into the soul of humanity by championing the selfless acts of others. Founded on the principles of the film style cinema vérité, explore.org anchors its content in unbiased realism. www.explore.org  

About l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF)
L’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, created in 1970, represents one of the biggest linguistic zones in the world. Its members share more than just a common language. They also share the humanist values promoted by the French language. The French language and its humanist values represent the two cornerstones on which l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie is based. Its mission is to embody the active solidarity between its 70 member states and governments. For more information, visit www.francophonie.org.

About VANOC
VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games were staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.

 

Media Contacts:

VANOC Communications
Tel: 604.403.1611
E-mail: mediarelations@vancouver2010.com

explore.org
Liz Marks
liz@explore.org
310.209.4577

Teck
Kate Best
Tel: 604.862.2280
E-mail: kbest@national.ca

Organisation internationale de la Francophonie
Anissa Barrak, head of communications
anissa.barrak@francophonie.org
Nathalie Heneman, officer in charge of media relations
Tel. (+33) 1 44 37 32 52 nathalie.heneman@francophonie.org

 

18:49

Vancouver 2010 official commemorative books: the perfect Games keepsakes - News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Vancouver, BC – With the 2010 Olympic Winter Games over and the Paralympic Games set to start on March 12,  fans and enthusiasts  can now experience the Games through a number of official licensed books offered by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).  These books are already available for purchase or pre-order at vancouver2010.com or on their local bookstore shelves.

The latest book to hit store shelves this week is A Path of Northern Lights: The Story of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. This beautiful, full-colour book tells the story of the Olympic Torch Relay and its 106-day, 45,000-kilometre journey from coast to coast to coast across Canada.  Filled with emotional stories, behind-the-scenes details and stunning imagery and a complete list of all 12,000 torchbearers,
this is a book that both Games and torch relay aficionados alike will want to have in their collection.

Also part of the family of Games-related books is O Siyam: Aboriginal Art Inspired by the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. This unique coffee-table art book, a first in Games history, showcases the stunning artwork by First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists showcased at Vancouver 2010 venues. The range of art covered by the book is extensive, and includes sculpture, painting, beadwork, tapestry, carving, and masks by more than 100 Aboriginal artists. Published in November 2009, O Siyam not only offers  imagery of the art, but  also captures the artists at work during the creative process and includes an introductory piece by feature essayist Gerald McMaster, an artist, author, educator and curator of Canadian art at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

The final book to hit store shelves following the Paralympic Games ― and undoubtedly the jewel in any Games enthusiast’s collection ― is With Glowing Hearts/Des plus brilliants exploits: The Official Commemorative Book of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games. To be published in late May, but currently available for pre-order through vancouver2010.com, With Glowing Hearts/des plus brilliants exploits is the only official book commemorating the spirit, passion and beauty of the 2010 Winter Games. It will feature hundreds of pages of  original imagery capturing the grace and skill of the athletes, the spectacular Opening, Closing and Victory Ceremonies and a unique, behind-the-scene insider’s view of the journey to 2010. 

John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd. Is the publisher of all three licensed books.

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

About John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd.
Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has been a valued source of information and understanding for 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Since 1968, Wiley Canada has been providing must-have content and services to Canadian customers including professionals, students, and consumers. Its core businesses include professional and consumer books on personal finance, business, health, sports, and current affairs, as well as educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students. The company's web site can be accessed at www.wiley.com. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb.

Contact
VANOC Communications
E-mail: mediarelations@vancouver2010.com

18:49

VANOC thanks Canadians, fans, for wearing hearts on their hands - News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Over 3.5 million pairs of Red Mittens purchased in support of Canadian winter athletes

Vancouver, BC ― The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) today thanked Canadians and all fans who showed their support for the Canadian athletes and the 2010 Games by purchasing a pair of Red Mittens. Over 3.5 million pairs of mittens were sold during the five-month campaign and the mittens quickly became one of the most enduring and popular items of the pre-Games and Games-time period. The full inventory of Red Mittens has now been sold.

To everyone who bought a pair of Red Mittens, who waved at a torchbearer in their community, who showed their spirit every day, or who wore them while cheering their team at the venues or while watching on television, we send a heartfelt 'thank you'," said John Furlong, VANOC's Chief Executive Officer. "Red Mittens were more than a souvenir, they became the "it" item to show support for the Games and we're grateful to everyone who literally wore their hearts on their hands. We also thank our partners, and particularly the Hudson's Bay Company and CTV, Canada's Olympic Network, for their strong support of the Red Mittens campaign.”

Since VANOC launched Red Mittens last fall to raise funds to support Canadian athletes at the 2010 Games, Red Mittens have been seen on the hands of a prince, a premier, a prime minister the IOC President and millions of proud Canadians and worldwide visitors. Numerous statues, including the Drumheller dinosaur, the Harry Jerome runner in Stanley Park, the Lion’s Gate Bridge lions and sported Red Mittens. A hit from the beginning, by December 2009, the mittens had reached VANOC’s established goal: one million pairs sold. By the time the Olympic Winter Games ended, on February 28, 2010, more than 3.5 million pairs had been sold. The mittens were made available on www.vancouver2010.com and through Hudson’s Bay Company stores, including Zellers, the Bay and Home Outfitters locations.

Red Mittens were conceived as an affordable, fun and unique way for Canadians and all Games fans to connect with Vancouver 2010 and support Canadian athletes. Demand grew as soon as the Olympic Torch Relay and Olympic torchbearers started, on October 30, to wind their way across the country wearing Red Mittens. As the Christmas holiday season approached, their popularity ― both as a gift item and as practical, fun winter apparel ― grew rapidly. In January/February 2010, demand for Red Mittens peaked as Canadians and international visitors sought out the fun and distinctly Canadian Red Mittens.  

Net proceeds from every pair of Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens sold help complete the funding of the five-year Own the Podium 2010 initiative, which provided Canadian athletes with top Games-related equipment and training. Any additional funds raised through the Red Mittens campaign support a variety of 2010 Winter Games athlete- and sport-based initiatives.

 

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 Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Please visit www.vancouver2010.com for more information.

For more information:
VANOC Communications
Tel: 604.403.1611
E-mail: mediarelations@vancouver2010.com

00:09

VANOC commends Government of Canada for Own the Podium contribution in federal budget - News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Vancouver, BC ― The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) today commended the Government of Canada for committing an additional $17 million annually in funding in support of the Own the Podium program: $11 million for winter athletes and $ 6 million for summer athletes. The funding announcement came as part of the Government of Canada’s release of the federal budget.

"The Prime Minister and Government of Canada have today confirmed that sport counts in Canada – that sport is an important and vibrant part of the fabric of life in our country,” said John Furlong, VANOC’s Chief Executive Officer. “Canadian winter athletes, through their stellar performance at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and at the upcoming Paralympic Games, are making a significant impact on the country, inspiring national pride and a showing what can be done when confidence is raised to the highest level through strong support. Our summer athletes have tremendous potential as they prepare for the London 2012 Games,” he said.

“As the Own the Podium 2010 program showed, ultimately, it’s about partnership, and corporate Canada played an important and meaningful role, demonstrating that a private /public partnership can not only work, but can win.  We encourage corporate Canada to continue to support these programs and, together with the Government of Canada, to build on the success of Vancouver 2010,” he concluded. 

The Own the Podium 2010 program played a critical role in developing the strongest Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams ever, as demonstrated by the outstanding performance of Canada’s athletes at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and what promises to be a best ever performance at the 2010 Paralympic Games.  Canada set a new all-time team high at the 2010 Olympic Games with 26 medals, including 14 gold medals ― the highest number of gold medals Canada has ever won at any Games, and the most gold medals ever won by any nation at an Olympic Winter Games. The program is a partnership of Canada’s 13 winter national sport organizations, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, Sport Canada and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) .

Approximately half of the funding originated from the Government of Canada, through Sport Canada. VANOC raised the other half through corporate, provincial, territorial, and public support. Bell Canada is the founding corporate partner and other corporate partners include General Motors of Canada, Hudson’s Bay Company, McDonald’s Canada, Petro-Canada, RBC Financial Group and RONA. Provincial and territorial support is provided by the governments of Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and the Yukon.


About VANOC
VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the 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 Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.

Media Contact:
VANOC Communications
Tel: 604.403.1611
E-mail: mediarelations@vancouver2010.com

 

March 03 2010

20:09

First-ever Canadian Paralympic Torch Relay signals the start of Vancouver/Whistler Games - News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Unique flame ceremonies to see ashes from all 13 celebration sites united in final flame at Opening Ceremony March 12

Ottawa, ON ― As Canada gets ready to host the world’s best Paralympic winter athletes starting on March 12, the inspirational 10-day journey of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay is officially underway with the first group of Paralympic Torchbearers – one from each province and territory – gathering in the nation’s capital to create stories that will inspire the nation. More than 600 torchbearers will proudly carry the flame as the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay, presented by Coca-Cola and RBC and supported by the Government of Canada and the Province of BC, visits 11 communities over the next 10 days, culminating in the lighting of the Paralympic Cauldron at BC Place in downtown Vancouver on March 12, 2010. Tickets for the Opening Ceremony are still available (see ticketing information below).

The Paralympic Flame, which has no ancestral home, was ignited and blessed this morning by Aboriginal firekeepers of the Pikwakanagan and Kitigan Zibi Algonquin bands on Victoria Island during a special ceremony. It was then placed in a lantern and brought to the Parliament Buildings where it was passed to three youth representatives from the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Métis National Council.

They in turn brought the trio of flames to the stage located on the Hill’s historic front lawn where Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed and Squamish Nation Chief Gibby Jacob, on behalf of the Four Host First Nations, reunited the flames in the Paralympic Cauldron.

Arnold Boldt, celebrated multi-sport Paralympian with many world records to his credit, officially sparked the start of the flame’s journey when he dipped his torch into the Paralympic community cauldron in front of a crowd including the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada; the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages; the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of State (Sport); the Honourable Mary McNeil, Minister of State for the Olympics and ActNow BC, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed; and John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).

“To carry the Paralympic Flame is truly an honour,” said Boldt, who triumphed on home soil at the Toronto 1976 Paralympic Games in the long jump and set a world record of 1.86 metres in the high jump. “I hope it sparks inspiration and dreams in people of all abilities across Canada and the world as it travels to Vancouver for the start of the Games. Dreams will come true here in 2010.”

Boldt handed off the flame to 15 other torchbearers at the ceremony in Ottawa ― one to represent each province and territory. The torchbearers were:

  • Founding president of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Dr. Robert Steadward (Alberta);
  • comedian Rick Mercer (British Columbia);
  • daughter of seven-time Paralympian Clayton Gerein, Jasmine Gerein (Saskatchewan);
  • swimmer Chelsea Gotell (Nova Scotia);
  • swimmer Erica Noonan (Newfoundland and Labrador);
  • golfer Simon Koomak (Nunavut);
  • medal-winning Paralympian Jared Funk (Manitoba);
  • advocate for the rights of people with disabilities Rick Goodfellow (Yukon);
  • ice sledge hockey player Colin MacLeod (Prince Edward Island);
  • singer-songwriter Justin Hines (Ontario);
  • Paralympic wheelchair racer Dean Bergeron (Quebec);
  • para-swimmer Katherine Elkin (Northwest Territories);
  • four-time Paralympian and wheelchair basketball player Sabrina Pettinicchi Durepos (New Brunswick).

Aboriginal dance champion, volunteer, athlete and coach, Justine Belair was selected as a representative of Canada’s Aboriginal communities and the final torchbearer during the Ottawa celebration was marathon runner Rick Ball, selected by VANOC, a three-time world record holder and 2012 Paralympic Summer Games hopeful. 

“The Paralympic Torch Relay is designed to illuminate the extraordinary achievements of Paralympians and celebrate the endless possibilities of the human spirit,” said John Furlong. “We encourage Canadians to come out and experience the energy and wonder of the Paralympic Flame throughout its 10-day journey.” 

"The Paralympic Torch Relay ignites the flame in each one of us, as we witness this exciting lead-in to the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. It will be a magnificent journey for the world to see, with each Aboriginal custom representing not only their own origins, but the Paralympic spirit and values," said Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee.

The Paralympic Flame, carried in a curved steel blue torch designed and manufactured by Bombardier, will visit community celebration sites as follows:

  • Ottawa (March 3)
  • Quebec City (March 4)
  • Toronto (March 5)
  • Victoria and Esquimalt (March 6)
  • Squamish (March 7)
  • Whistler (March 8)
  • Lytton and Hope (March 9)
  • Maple Ridge (March 10)
  • Vancouver (March 10, 11 and 12)

All the torchbearers will receive as their own official keepsake, the matching blue torchbearer uniform, produced by the Hudson’s Bay Company.

“This flame highlights the courage and determination of the Paralympic athletes who have been training long and hard and are ready to shine at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Winter Games,” said the Prime Minister. “The people of Canada are proud that for the first time in our history, we are hosting the Paralympic Winter Games."

To start each day of the relay, a new Paralympic Flame will be created by members of the local Aboriginal community, in accordance with their customs, wherever the daily torch relay celebration is taking place.  Ashes from each flame creation ceremony will be collected and united in the final fire on March 11 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and then carried to the official opening of the Games

“The Government of Canada is extremely proud to support the Paralympic Torch relay, which will allow us to show Canadian excellence to the entire world,” said James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. “Canada is getting ready to host the Paralympic Winter Games for the first time. It will be great to celebrate this important moment in our history with Canadians from all over the country.”

“Collecting and uniting ashes from each ceremony will truly bring the entire country together as the Paralympic Winter Games approach in the Host Province of British Columbia,” said Mary McNeil, Minister of State for the Olympics and ActNow BC.  “We have seen the ability of a tiny flame to inspire this country. We want the Paralympic Flame to create a flicker in British Columbians, Canadians and citizens of the world — a flicker of inspiration, moments of pride and a renewed belief that anything is possible.”

On March 11, 2010, the relay will turn into a 24-hour event through Vancouver’s downtown core surrounding Robson Square as part of a day-long celebration of culture and sport counting down the final moments until the magical Opening Ceremony of the Games in front of tens of thousands at BC Place. 

“The world’s best winter Paralympians are powerful reminders that if you keep pursuing your dreams, no matter the obstacles, you can achieve great things,” said Mayor Robertson. “We look forward to welcoming these inspirational athletes to our city and cheering on all the amazing people who will carry the flame on its journey to Vancouver for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.”

“This relay is all about celebrating everyday heroes who embody the Paralympic values of courage, determination, inspiration, and equality in their everyday life — much like the Paralympians who will inspire us with their performances in Whistler at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Olympic Games, starting in just 10 days,” said Mayor Melamed.

For more information on the 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay, visit www.vancouver2010.com/torchrelay.

About the 2010 Paralympic Games/ Ticket information

Approximately 1,000 athletes and officials from more than 40 countries will take part in five sports (alpine and cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey, wheelchair curling and biathlon) at the Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler. The international sporting event comes just 12 days after the region hosts the Olympic Winter Games.

Tickets for all Paralympic events are available at www.vancouver2010.com. Tickets for the Opening Ceremony at BC Place on March 12 range in price from $30 to $175. Individual ticket prices to sport events start at $15. Group ticket prices — available for most sport events for groups of 20 or more people — are just $10. More than 70 per cent per cent of all individual tickets are priced at $20 or less.

Customers may also purchase tickets at Main Ticket Centre locations in Vancouver and Whistler operated by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), or by phone at 1.800.TICKETS (1.800.842.5387). A TDD/TTY service is available for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing at 604.629.7140.

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 Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Please visit www.vancouver2010.com for more information.

About the Government of Canada

The Government of Canada is proud to make 2010 a celebration for all Canadians. Through strategic investments in programming and funding, the spirit and excitement will be felt far and wide and leave lasting legacies for future generations. Through the Olympic Torch Relay and Paralympic Torch Relay, the Government of Canada is supporting citizen and community participation, as well as the inclusion of Aboriginal, ethnocultural and official language communities.  For more information on the Government of Canada’s contribution to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, visit www.Canada2010.gc.ca.

About Coca-Cola and the Olympic and Paralympic Movements

The Coca-Cola Company has been associated with the Olympic Games since 1928 and is the longest continuous corporate supporter of the Olympic Movement. Through the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Coca-Cola encourages people to create their own path of “positivity” in everyday life by believing that anything is possible. The Coca-Cola Company is the exclusive non-alcoholic beverage provider to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. For more information about Coca-Cola Canada, please visit our website at www.cocacola.ca or our parent company’s website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.

About RBC

As part of our commitment to help create a better Canada, RBC sponsors amateur sport, from grassroots programs in local communities to national sport associations that support the development of amateur athletes who compete at home and abroad. As a long standing supporter of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Teams, RBC continues its sponsorship through the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and is proud to help showcase Olympic and Paralympic sport as presenting partner of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays.  RBC is also a premier sponsor of Hockey Canada, the Canadian Snowboard Team, the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team, Athletics Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee. Visit www.rbc.com/sponsorship.

About the Government of British Columbia
The Government of British Columbia is the proud Host Province for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The Paralympic Torch Relay represents a significant opportunity to create understanding and awareness about people with disabilities and the Paralympic Movement. Through the Paralympic Torch Relay, the Government of British Columbia is promoting healthy communities, healthy lifestyles and individual excellence. For more information on British Columbia’s contribution to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, visit www.gov.bc.ca/themes/2010olympics.

20:09

2010 Olympic Transportation plan a success - News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Citizens urged to keep travelling smart as changes to the road network remain for Paralympic Winter Games

Vancouver, BC – The Olympic and Paralympic Transportation Team (OPTT) today thanked the people of Metro Vancouver and the Sea to Sky regions for making the 2010 integrated Olympic transportation plan a success, while urging people to keep traveling smart in view of changes to the transportation network for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.

Transportation planners – charged with one of the most complex and critical elements of the Games – set the lofty goal of achieving at least a 30 per cent reduction in vehicle use during the Olympic Games, in order to ensure athletes, officials and others could get to their events on time and local residents could move efficiently.

Throughout the Games, Metro Vancouver and the Sea to Sky corridor saw record numbers of people walking, cycling and taking transit, and an overall reduction in vehicle use.  In particular, vehicle use was reduced by an average of more than 35 per cent each day. In addition, TransLink, the public transit operator in Metro Vancouver, moved an average of 1.5 million people per day during the Games, an increase from 730,000 trips per day, while BC Transit, the public transportation provider in the Sea to Sky corridor, saw five times the ridership on the public transit system over normal winter levels.

Paralympic transportation plans

Venues

Building on this success, the OPTT is reminding the public to continue to ‘travel smart’ during the Paralympic Winter Games. While most road networks have been returned to normal, some closures and parking restrictions remain around Paralympic venues during the transition to and throughout the Paralympic Games. These areas include UBC Thunderbird Arena, the Vancouver Paralympic Centre, Paralympic Village Vancouver and BC Place (for March 12 Opening Ceremony). In Whistler, these areas include Whistler Creekside and Paralympic Village Whistler. The public is asked to continue to use sustainable modes of transportation throughout the month of March 2010 and beyond. Details of the 2010 integrated Paralympic transportation plan are outlined in the attached fact sheet. 

“We were very happy with the transportation choices that everyone made during the Olympic Winter Games,,” Penny Ballem, city manager of the City of Vancouver said on behalf of the OPTT. “With fewer changes to the road network during the Paralympic Winter Games, we encourage residents, commuters and visitors to continue to leave their vehicles behind and walk, cycle or take transit to get around during this period.”

“It’s important we ensure our Paralympic athletes and other guests have a smooth, positive experience here during the Games,” added Terry Wright, VANOC executive vice president, services and Games operations. “With road closures, parking restrictions and increased volumes around Paralympic Games venues, traveling smart is still the way to go and everyone should know before they go.”

Paralympic Torch relay and Opening Ceremony March 11 and 12

The public is also reminded the Paralympic torch relay will be underway in downtown Vancouver from 2 pm on March 11 to 2 pm on March 12. The current proposed route is a loop that will involve areas along Robson, Granville and Smithe Streets. Traffic will continue to flow on most major streets, however, there will be road closures and restrictions to vehicle traffic along a few blocks of Robson, Smithe, Granville and Bute. Other cross streets will remain open with rolling intermittent road closures as the torch runs past. Commuters are advised to find alternate routes and modes of transportation around the Robson Square area for March 11 and 12.

In addition, temporary road closures and pedestrian corridors will be in place in downtown Vancouver on March 12 to support the Paralympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony at BC Place. Cambie Bridge, as well as portions of Beatty Street and Robson Street will be closed for most of the day on March 12, so driving will be challenging. Up to date information will be made available on the Host City website through travelsmart2010.ca,so that everyone can plan ahead.

Other transportation highlights

  • Public transportation service will reflect the anticipated number of transit riders during the Paralympic Games, with event level service planned to serve Paralympic venues in Vancouver, and the Games Express service continuing in Whistler.
  • Paralympic Games event tickets include access to public transit for the day of the event.
  • Olympic lanes removed in Vancouver as of March 2, though a temporary Paralympic lane will remain on Highway 99 in Whistler from Function Junction to the Village.
  • Sea to Sky traffic checkpoint removed as of March 1; no permits required to travel north of Squamish.
  • Lane demarcations on Highway 99 will be removed between March 1 and 5.

For the most up-to-date transportation information, visit www.travelsmart2010.ca.

About the OPTT

Members of the Olympic and Paralympic Transportation Team (OPTT) are VANOC, the City of Vancouver, Resort Municipality of Whistler, TransLink, BC Transit, the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit. Planning is also supported by other partners, including Transport Canada and the municipalities of Richmond and West Vancouver.

07:39

Whistler Medals Plaza to host world’s best Paralympians and world-class talent at 2010 Paralympic Winter Games - News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Whistler, BC ― The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) today unveiled the lineup of Canadian talent that will pay tribute to the medal-winning athletes of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games with nightly headline performances at Whistler Medals Plaza.

The six concerts from March 13 to March 18, as well as the Paralympic Winter Games Closing Ceremony on March 21, will take place at the world-class outdoor amphitheatre, which also played host to the nightly Victory Ceremonies for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

The headline musical artists are: singer/songwriter Kathleen Edwards (March 13); award-winning indie rock band The Weakerthans (March 14); francophone composer/performer Antoine Gratton (March 15); rockers The Trews (March 16); singer/songwriter Justin Hines (March 17); and Juno winner Serena Ryder (March 18). Local Whistler artist and fan favourite Chili Tom will act as the nightly pre-show DJ.

“We are honoured to celebrate the athletic achievements of the competitors at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games with a lineup of talent worthy of both our medal winners and the world,” said Christy Nicolay, VANOC’s vice president of sport production and Victory Ceremonies.

Spectator access is free to the Victory Ceremonies at Whistler Medals Plaza and via an at-venue queue, located in Village Stroll directly outside the plaza. Spectator access is limited to 5,000 people nightly. Gates open at 5:30 pm.

Medals will be awarded in the Paralympic sports of alpine skiing, biathlon and cross-country skiing at Whistler Medals Plaza. Ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling medals will be awarded in-venue in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia (also known as the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre) and the Vancouver Paralympic Centre. From March 19 to 21, Whistler event medals will also be awarded in-venue so the plaza can prepare for the Closing Ceremony.

In just 10 days, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, will officially open the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games on March 12 at BC Place in downtown Vancouver.

The Opening Ceremony will be a wonderful, affordable celebration with spectacular performance components that showcase dance, highlight unique abilities and celebrate the athletes. More than 4,000 volunteer performers including dancers, singers, acrobats, athletes, and musicians will celebrate the compelling achievements of the 1,000 athletes and officials from more than 40 countries around the world at the Games. The ceremony’s grand finale will be the lighting of the Paralympic Cauldron, signalling the official start of the Games and the end of the 10-day Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay, which starts on Wednesday, March 3 in Ottawa, ON.

Tickets to the Opening Ceremony range in price from $30 to $175 and are available now to Canadian residents on a first-come, first-served basis at www.vancouver2010.com. The Paralympic Closing Ceremony on March 21 at Whistler Medals Plaza is already soldout.

Tickets for all Paralympic events are available at www.vancouver2010.com. Individual ticket prices to sport events start at $15. Group ticket prices — available for most sport events for groups of 20 or more people — are just $10. More than 70 per cent per cent of all individual tickets are priced at $20 or less.

Customers may also purchase tickets at Main Ticket Centre locations in Vancouver and Whistler operated by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), or by phone at 1.800.TICKETS (1.800.842.5387). A TDD/TTY service is available for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing at 604.629.7140.

For more information, visit www.vancouver2010.com.

For more information on the headline artists visit:
Kathleen Edwards          www.kathleenedwards.com
The Weakerthans           www.theweakerthans.org
Antoine Gratton             www.antoinegratton.mu
The Trews                     www.thetrewsmusic.com
Justin Hines                   www.justinhines.com
Serena Ryder                www.serenaryder.com
DJ Chili Thom                 www.chilithom.com

About VANOC
VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the 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 Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.

Media Contact:
VANOC Communications
Tel: 604.403.1611
E-mail: mediarelations@vancouver2010.com

March 01 2010

23:59

Closing Ceremony: Canada says congratulations and goodbye to world’s top winter athletes - News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

After 17 wonderful days of top athletic competition, Canada says congratulations and goodbye to world’s top winter athletes during light-hearted Closing Ceremony of 2010 Olympic Winter Games

Ceremony pokes fun, celebrates three of Canada’s greatest exports:
talent, innovation and humour with homegrown comedic talents, musical superstars

See the Closing Ceremony photo gallery

Vancouver, BC ― Canada bid adieu to the world’s best winter athletes tonight, ending 17 days of thrilling athletic achievements and rousing displays of patriotism with a spectacular ceremony full of pomp and circumstance and a tongue-in-cheek homage to Canadiana for the official closing of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Relaxed and joyous in spirit to reflect the celebratory atmosphere of the athletes, the ceremony started with a dramatic countdown by more than one thousand young British Columbians chanting “Vancouver” and slamming down their snowboards like dominoes to form the countdown numbers and the iconic words “strong and free” from O Canada.

The more than 2,600 Olympians who competed at Canada’s Games entered the indoor stadium no longer grouped by nation but altogether as “one nation of athletes.” They appeared as Nikki Yanofsky, Derek Miller and Eva Avila belted out the upbeat debut of the song Let’s Have a Party written expressly for the night.

“Athletes of the world, at your hands and through your determination and tenacity we have felt every imaginable emotion,” said John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). “We have lived the agony and the ecstasy with you as if we ourselves were competing. Boys and girls you will never meet now know that it is possible to achieve greatness through the power of a dream.

“I believe we Canadians tonight are stronger, more united, more in love with our country, and more connected with each other than ever before. These Olympic Games have lifted us up. That quiet, humble national pride we were sometimes reluctant to acknowledge seemed to take to the streets as the most beautiful kind of patriotism broke out all across our country.

“And finally to those who have watched us all over the globe we hope you enjoyed these Games and the telling of our humble Canadian story. The young men and women you sent here are coming home ― you can be very proud of them.”

During the ceremony, Vancouver 2010 volunteers Ingman Bysse, Julien Capraro, Julia Li, and Bet Tuason were recognized with bouquets of flowers as a tribute to the tireless 18,500 volunteers who have worked hard ― some for years ― to help welcome the world and make Canada’s Games a success.

The night also featured the official handover of the Olympic flag by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson to Anatoly Pakhomov, mayor of Sochi — Host City of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014 showcasing the best of Russian culture and sport, including Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova as a magical fairy, a live orchestral performance from Red Square led by maestro Valery Gergiev in Vancouver, members of the Bolshoi and Kirov ballets, and opera singer Mariya Gulegina performing atop a stylized troika, or three-horse Russian sleigh, encased in a glowing white “zorb.”

“We have shared the joy of dreams fulfilled. We have been moved by tears of elation and tears of disappointment. We have witnessed extraordinary acts of courage and exceptional determination by athletes who refused to give up. Thank you to the people of Canada, for your generous hospitality, your warmth, and this unique and joyous celebration of Olympism,” said International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge.

“And now, in accordance with tradition, I declare the XXI Olympic Winter Games closed, and I call upon the youth of the world to assemble four years from now in Sochi, to celebrate the XXII Olympic Winter Games.”

The most emotional moment of the night came as the tens of thousands of spectators watched as the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Cauldron flickered and then was extinguished by falling snow in BC Place as Canadian rock legend Neil Young sang Long May You Run in tribute to the athletes. Olympic fans gathered outside at the legacy cauldron, located along the Vancouver waterfront, as it was simultaneously extinguished around 6:30 pm Pacific Time.

The later part of the evening was devoted to a cheeky audiovisual and musical extravaganza of Canada’s three greatest exports: talent, innovation and humour. Three of Canada’s most famous actors (didn’t know they were Canadian, eh?!) — Star Trek’s William Shatner, SCTV alumnus and Hollywood comedic talent Catherine O’Hara, as well as Family Ties and Back to the Future star Michael J. Fox — kicked off the segment. Shatner gave a bravo performance on the glories of the Great White North’s landscape called We Dream Big, while O’Hara poked fun at the Canadian reputation for politeness in We’re Sorry. In his routine We Will Claim You, Fox warmly declared all the world’s athletes Canadian as they prepare to depart for home.

David Atkins, executive producer and artistic director, and Ignatius Jones, artistic director, created and produced the ceremony with a Canadian and international artistic team including director of design Doug Paraschuk, director of music Dave Pierce and director of choreography Jean Grand-Maître.

“We would like to thank that country for giving us the opportunity to work with them, those fabulous, warm, chronically polite and frankly, crazy Canucks. They’ve battled so hard to create these ceremonies, and laughed and smiled and pushed on when we asked them to do yet another impossible thing,” said Atkins, and Jones.

“We’d like to thank our truly magnificent crew, many of whom have travelled from every corner of the globe to work with the Canadian team and who’ve done an unbelievable job. And of course, we’d like to thank Vancouver, for pulling out all the stops to show the world what it can do. So party hard, Canada, BC, Vancouver and Whistler. Tonight the applause is yours, and you’ve earned it all.”

The fun continued with an elaborate ― and deliberately over-the-top ― musical routine in the style of Hollywood master Busby Berkeley playing off some of Canada’s most iconic and lampooned cultural imagery. As crooner Michael Bublé gave a swinging, jazzy rendition of the Canadian standard The Maple Leaf Forever he was joined by singing and dancing performers dressed in the red serge uniforms of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), tabletop hockey players, voyageurs, lumberjacks, dancing canoes, flying maple leaves, giant inflatable beavers and moose, as well as a motorized Stetson hat in homage to this staple of the traditional RCMP uniform.

As the athletes flooded back onto the main stage, one of Canada’s most famous rock bands Nickelback launched into rockin’ renditions of their hits How You Remind Me and Burn It to the Ground, followed by songstresses Avril Lavigne and Alanis Morissette, Montreal-based punk-pop outfits Simple Plan and Hedley, and French-Canadian pop-rock idol Marie-Mai and the rollicking kitchen party folk and world beat rhythms of La Bottine Souriante.

Toronto-born award-winning rapper k-os ended the evening on a joyous note with a wicked Eye Know Something as hundreds of hip-hop dancers from XXS (Xtreme Soul Style), NON (Now or Never) and Hip Hop Youth of Vancouver took over the aisles and stage with Scrap Arts Music and Beat Nation Drummers playing along.

About VANOC
VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the 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 Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.

See John Furlong's speech from the Closing Ceremony and the Ceremony's photo gallery

01:45

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games: By the numbers - News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Vancouver, BC ― After 17 days of thrilling athletic competitions, amazing displays of sportsmanship and magical moments when lifelong dreams were finally realized on the podium, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games will draw to their official close tonight.

In looking back and celebrating the impact of Canada’s Games and the future of the Olympic Winter Games, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) would like to share some of the initial statistics available.

By the numbers: The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games

February 12 to 28, 2010

  • 17 days of thrilling competition and athletic accomplishments
  • 15 sport disciplines
  • 9 competition venues
  • 3 Olympic training facilities
  • 86 medal competitions
  • 86 Victory Ceremonies (16 in-venue medal presentations, 25 at BC Place and 45 at Whistler Medals Plaza)
  • 615 medals awarded
  • 1,055 athlete bouquets presented
  • 82 participating National Olympic Committees (NOCs)
  • 6,500 athletes and team officials in total
  • 2,632 registered athletes
  • 50,000 workforce members for the Games, including paid, contractor and volunteers
  • Of that total, 18,500 were volunteers; 6,500 volunteers will also work during the Paralympic Winter Games
  • 25,000 workforce uniforms distributed
  • 96,409 people accredited for the Games
  • 10,800 media representatives: 7,000 rights holding broadcasters, 2,800 press reporters and photographers and non-rights holding broadcasters, as well as 1,000 host Olympic Broadcast Service (OBSV) personnel
  • 3.5 billion worldwide television viewers are estimated to have tuned into the Games
  • Olympic rights holding broadcasters have offered Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games coverage on more than 300 TV stations and on more than 100 websites worldwide
  • 47 per cent more global television coverage of the Games than for the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games
  • This represents approximately 24,000 hours of coverage
  • 50,000 hours of total broadcast hours of the Games across all media platforms around the world
  • 6,000 hours of coverage worldwide on mobile platforms
  • As of Day 15, 33.1 million Canadians (99 per cent) have watched coverage
  • 27.7 million cumulative audience or CUME (meaning 82.7 per cent of Canadians) experienced the Games on February 27 through the platforms of Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium.
  • 1,500 appearances by the Vancouver 2010 mascots: Quatchi, Miga and Sumi by the end of the Games
  • 20,567 deliveries made to Olympic venues
  • 1.6 million tickets available for the 2010 Winter Games
  • More than 3.3 million pairs of Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens sold
  • $500-million target for gross retail sales of Vancouver 2010 branded merchandise met by end of Games
  • 2.2 million people engaged to date by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Oympiad, which will continue for three more weeks
  • More than 4,000 artists at 600 events, over 60 days in 60 venues are taking part in the Cultural Olympiad
  • More than 12,500 volunteer hours clocked for Olympic Closing Ceremony. The thousands of volunteer performers range in age from 10 to 68
  • More than 450 racks of costumes, 3,600 metres of elastic, 4,100 pairs of shoes, 18 kilograms of glitter, 10,000 green sequins, 200 giant spheres and balloons, as well as 20 zygote balls were used in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies
  • 275 million visitors in total to www.vancouver2010.com, shattering the previous record of 105 million set during the Beijing 2008 Games
  • 78 million total unique visitors to the site
  • A record of 9,185,306 unique visits in a single day ― set on February 24. The previous record set during the 2008 Summer Games was 8,797,614 on August 11, 2008
  • Vancouver2010.com was visited 85 million times this month from within Canada and reached more than 70 per cent of Canadians with Internet access and over 50 per cent of the total Canadian population
  • 19.1 per cent of North Americans with Internet access visited the website this month
  • 4.6 per cent of people worldwide with Internet access visited the site this month
  • 14,000 followers on Twitter.com/2010Tweets
  • More than 1.25 million downloads recorded for the official mobile spectator guide, which for 10 days of the Games was the No. 1 free app in Canada
  • 1.1 million Facebook fans, nearly four times the total amount for Beijing at the conclusion of the 2008 Games
00:23

Canada: We own the podium, say Canadians - AFP News : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Vancouver (AFP) - Ecstatic Canadian team chiefs Sunday said their 'Own the Podium' programme had been justified, and Jacques Rogge agreed, as the country ended with the most gold medals ever won at an Olympic Winter Games.

The host nation captured their 14th gold when their men's ice hockey team beat the United States 3-2 in overtime in the Games' last event.

It put Canada one clear of the previous best golden haul of 13 held by Russia and Norway.

Before the Games, Canada vowed to win the most medals in the controversial, and hugely expensive, programme but later were forced to back down when it became clear the task was beyond them.

The programme sparked debate across the country and beyond, with some saying it was arrogant while others felt it promoted national pride.

But team chiefs on Sunday praised the performance of their athletes who finished third in the total medal count.

"As I said in the opening press conference, we were going to own the podium and we did -- the very top of the podium. Our very own Canadian team has reached a new level of excellence," said Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) president-elect Marcel Aubut

"The Games have produced heroes from all corners of their country. What a tremendous accomplishment."

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge agreed that the programme had worked.

"It is paramount for the home team to win to create the sort of atmosphere we have seen," he said.

"I believe 'Own the Podium' is a success. There has been criticism but you can legitimately ask whether there would have been any gold without 'Own the Podium'."

COC president Michael Chambers said the Games had been an "unprecedented success," defending the "Own the Podium" programme as bold and well thought-out.

"Canada's athletes came to these Games not with a swagger but with a confidence that they could do what they were setting out to do. They believed in themselves.

"I truly believe that what they have done over the course of these past two weeks, they've inspired an entire nation to believe in themselves."

"Canadian athletes have won more medals at this Olympic Winter Games than any Canadian Olympic Winter team has ever won," he added.

"It is a greater number of gold medals at either a Summer or Winter Games than an Olympic team has ever brought back to Canada or in this case kept in Canada."

He praised organising committee VANOC for "inspiring a nation" and thanked the national sporting federations for their part in the success.

Canadian chef-de-mission Nathalie Lambert thanked the Canadian team for the "17 best days of my life" and for providing moments that would stay with her forever.

Team chiefs, meanwhile, announced that Joannie Rochette, who won a bronze in figure skating just days after her mother died suddenly, would carry the flag in Sunday's closing ceremony.

jw-mp/dj10

00:23

Ice hockey: Crosby show as Canada beat USA in gold thriller - AFP News : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Vancouver (AFP) - Sidney Crosby scored the winner in overtime as Canada won the Olympic title Sunday, beating the United States 3-2 to become the first host nation to capture men's hockey gold in 30 years.

Crosby got the winning goal 7:40 into the overtime period, taking a pass from Jarome Iginla and sliding a shot under the pads of US goaltender Ryan Miller.

"It doesn't even feel real. It feels like a dream," said Crosby as Canada clinched a record eighth Olympic men's hockey gold.

"Our team worked really hard in regulation time and they got that one by us in the end. But we came out in overtime and this is just an unbelievable feeling."

Canadian forward Patrick Marleau added: "It is unbelievable. I have never felt something like this before. As far as hockey goes it is the best moment I have ever had."

Crosby was held off the scoresheet for most of the tournament but he has a knack for scoring dramatic goals. Earlier in the tournament he scored the game winner in a shootout as Canada beat Switzerland 3-2 in the preliminary round.

Jonathan Toews and Corey Perry had earlier given Canada a 2-0 lead before the US fought back, equalising with just 24 seconds left in regulation time.

Roberto Luongo was superb in goal, making 34 stops for Canada who became the first host to win an Olympic final since the US triumphed at Lake Placid in 1980.

Ryan Kesler and Zac Parise scored for the US who suffered their first loss of the tournament after five straight wins.

"It is devastating," said US defenceman Jack Johnson. "We were one goal shy of a gold medal. It is the biggest game any of us have ever played in. Nothing we did before compares to this. You lose the silver you don't win it."

Canada had a 2-1 lead in the third and looked headed for victory but the US clawed back with Parise scoring his dramatic late leveller to send the final into sudden-death overtime.

Over 10 million Canadians were expected to watch the game on TV while, inside the arena, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was joined by Hollywood actors Vince Vaughn, Michael J. Fox and William Shatner as well as singers Michael Buble and Neil Young.

Crowds began forming outside the Canada Hockey Place arena four hours before the highly-anticiplated showdown between the two best teams in the tournament.

The game lived up to its billing as the teams traded chances throughout, and both goalies Luongo and Miller had to be at the top of their games.

It was a battle between Canada's potent scoring attack and the American defence anchored by Miller.

Forward Toews opened the scoring with just over seven minutes left in the first period beating Miller after picking up a rebound.

Mike Richards stole the puck from defenceman Brian Rafalski at the side of the US goal and took the first shot but it bounced right to Toews. It was the first goal of the tournament for Toews to go with seven assists.

Forward Perry picked up a loose puck and wristed it past Miller in the second period to make it 2-0 for Canada.

Ryan Getzlaf started the play by carrying the puck into the US zone. He tried to backhand a pass to Patrick Marleau but it hit a skate and Perry picked it up and easily beat Miller.

Kessler scored on a tip in just over four minutes later to cut the Canadians lead to one goal. Luongo got a piece of it but not enough as it trickled in to make it 2-1, setting the stage for Parise's game tieing goal.

Finland beat Slovakia for the bronze on Saturday.

gph/mp

February 28 2010

23:13

Amazing work of Vancouver 2010 volunteers recognized by Jet Set Sports and CoSport - News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Companies to provide highly prized tickets to Closing Ceremony of 2010 Olympic Winter Games

Vancouver, BC ― Two hundred and fifty volunteers who worked tirelessly to help make the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games a success will be able to attend the spectacular Closing Ceremony tonight, thanks to a generous donation of tickets by Jet Set Sports and its affiliate company CoSport.

The companies, which are Official Supporters of the 2010 Winter Games, made the announcement this morning with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) at the Main Press Centre (MPC) in downtown Vancouver.

“We’re so pleased to help recognize the outstanding efforts of some of the more than 18,500 volunteers from across Canada and more than 50 countries at the Olympic Winter Games who have helped make this an international sporting event watched by millionsof spectators here and billions around the globe,” said Jet Set Sports company founder and CEO Sead Dizdarevic. “The volunteers have been great ambassadors for the city of Vancouver and all of Canada in helping to host these great Games.”

Jet Set Sports has donated more than 12,000 complimentary event tickets to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games for use by local school children, volunteers, security personnel, athlete families and numerous other non-profit organizations. In addition, Jet Set Sports stepped in at the last minute to provide complimentary hotel rooms to 11 Make-a-Wish families from around the world.

The 250 tickets were awarded to volunteers through a random draw. The lucky volunteers will be contacted by VANOC later this morning with details on when and where to collect their tickets for the ceremony, which will feature a special tribute to the volunteers of the Games.

“This is an amazing opportunity for these volunteers to participate in the Olympic Closing Ceremony and we are thrilled to reward them with this very generous gift from Jet Set and CoSport,” said VANOC CEO John Furlong. “Our volunteers have come in every day and given their all to make Canada’s Games something every resident from coast to coast to coast could stand up and be proud of. Without their support, these Games quite simply would not have been possible. They are our greatest ambassadors and helped make the athletes, the country and the Games shine with glowing hearts.”

About Jet Set Sports
Jet Set Sports and its sister company CoSport are leading providers of Olympic Games hospitality packages and Olympic Games event tickets to corporate clientele and the general public. Since 1984, Jet Set Sports has provided clients with unparalleled hospitality experiences at Olympic Games through its VIP Hospitality Programs and Hospitality Management Services. The company is an official sponsor of the Canadian Olympic Committee, the US Olympic Committee and various other National Olympic Committees throughout the world. Most recently, the company was an Official Sponsor of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece and the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, visit www.jetsetsports.com and www.cosport.com.

About VANOC

VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the 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 Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.

23:13

Don’t miss a minute of the action! What spectators need to know before going downtown to celebrate the final day of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. - News Releases : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Don’t miss a minute of the action! What spectators need to know before going downtown to celebrate the final day of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Whether you are sitting in a seat at Canada Hockey Place or watching from a one of the celebration sites, know before you go and travel smart:

  1. Plan ahead for extra travel time.

Today there will be very large numbers of pedestrians and crowds traveling into and out of Downtown for the Gold Medal Men’s Hockey Game and the Closing Ceremony, so vehicle travel will be challenging. Come Downtown to celebrate, but don't bring your car- take transit, walk or cycle, and plan ahead for extra travel time.

  1. Checkout Travelsmart2010.com for the latest news regarding road restrictions and transportation schedules.

Beatty Street (between Smithe and Dunsmuir) and Robson Street (between Cambie and Beatty) will temporarily close to vehicles and have limited access for pedestrians on February 28 from 8:00 am to midnight. Additionally, Olympic Lanes and temporary parking restrictions extend through to the morning of March 2 to support large volumes of traffic traveling to and from Downtown Vancouver, and to the Vancouver International Airport.

  1. Celebrate in the streets - responsibly.

Use dedicated pedestrian routes: Pedestrian corridors on streets such as Granville and Robson will continue to operate on February 28. At noon, some or all of the road space will become pedestrian only areas until midnight.  Watch out for bus traffic as approximately 600 to 700 motorcoaches and hundreds of transit buses will travel and/or park on many downtown streets between 8:00 am and midnight.

  1. Get in on the action.If you don’t have tickets for seats inside Canada Hockey Place or BC Place, make your way toRobson Square and LiveCity Yaletown for live broadcasts of the Gold Medal Men’s Hockey Game and Closing Ceremonies on large outdoor screens.
  2. Get in your seat. Gates to BC Place open at 1:30 pm for the Closing Ceremony. Those arriving early will be able to watch the end of the Gold Medal Men’s Hockey Game live on the giant indoor screens. The pre-show begins at 4:30 pm and includes special instructions for the audience participation elements that will make the Closing Ceremony unique. Those who arrive within the last 90 minute before an event starts typically experience the longest waits for transportation, to clear security, to pass through the ticket gates, and to use the concessions and washrooms – and risk missing the beginning of the show. For these reasons, we encourage ticket holders to arrive at BC Place between 1:30 and 3:30 pm on Sunday.
21:03

Cross-Country Skiing: Northug wins men's 50 km gold - AFP News : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Whistler (AFP) - Norway's Petter Northug won the men's 50km cross country gold on Sunday, beating Germany's Axel Teichmann in a two-up sprint.

Teichmann won the silver and Johan Olsson of Sweden took the bronze.

jd/dj10

10:22

Ice hockey: Finland battle back to capture bronze - AFP News : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Vancouver (AFP) - Finland came back from 3-1 down to defeat Slovakia 5-3 in the bronze medal game of the Olympic men's ice hockey tournament on Saturday, to capture their fourth medal since the 1994 Lillehammer Olympic Winter Games.

Olli Jokinen scored two third period goals, including the game winner, for Finland who are the only repeat medallist in the Vancouver hockey tournament.

The Finns won the silver four years ago at the 2006 Turin Games. Russia (bronze) and Sweden (gold) were eliminated in the quarter-finals in Vancouver.

The Slovaks made the Finns work for the win as they buzzed the Finnish goal in the final minutes trying to get the equalizer just like they did against Canada in the semi-finals.

Finnish goalie Miikka Kiprusoff kept the puck out his net but he also had help from the post and his defencemen on different scoring chances.

Jokinen got the winner with just over 11 minutes left in the final period as he took a pass and squeezed through a pair of Slovak defenders before backhanding the puck between the legs of goaltender Jaroslav Halak to make it 4-3.

Forward Valtteri Filppula got the insurance goal into an empty net to close out the scoring for Finland whose roster includes a number of aging stars who are likely playing in their last Olympics.

Finnish national team mainstays Teemu Selanne and Ville Peltonen are nearing the end of their international careers.

gph/dj10

03:52

Bobsleigh: Holcomb's USA 1 win's four-man gold - AFP News : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Whistler (AFP) - Steven Holcomb's USA 1 won the United States' first Olympic bobsleigh gold in 62 years on Saturday after their 'Night Train' sleigh bulleted past the field on the Whistler track.

"It's huge, it's great," said Holcomb, who last year became the first American in half a century to win a world title and who arrived at these Games just two years on from sight-saving surgery for a degenerative eye disorder.

He drove his quartet to victory in a combined four-heat time of 3min 24.46sec as Andre Lange's Germany 1 took silver in 3min 24.84sec for a comfortable American winning margin of 0.38sec.

Two-man champion Lange, missing a record third straight gold in the four-man, denied Lyndon Rush's bronze medallists Canada 1 by just 0.01sec.

"I made some mistakes in the two-man. I came back and corrected those and it paid off," said Holcomb, who placed sixth in the two-man, where Lange, whom he greatly admires, took the title.

"He's pushed my game to a better level - competition breeds excellence," said the burly, bearded American.

Lange brakeman Kevin Kuske insisted that all the talk of the track being too dangerous had to be put into perspective.

"Steven proved four times this track is really driveable," said the German after Holcomb drove his crew of Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curtis Tomasevicz to success.

Holcomb, 29, admitted that "it's a tricky track, the fastest in the world. Nowhere else can you train for 95 mph (140 kph) tight curves."

Saturday's drizzly conditions ensured the track was slower than Friday, which saw six crashes, adding to more than a dozen previously in the men's and women's events.

Four teams did not start while five had already withdrawn before the opening heats as the difficulty and sheer speed of the track took a heavy toll.

Holcomb's crew, leading the Canadians by 0.4sec overnight, added another 0.005sec in heat three, by which time the contest was effectively all over.

Lange at least had the satisfaction of the fastest final heat time of 51.36sec, but the margin held for the American quartet who celebrated at the finish, waving their helmets in the air and grabbing a huge Stars and Stripes flag.

The quartet then embraced and exchanged warm handshakes with their fellow podium finishers.

'Smokin' Francis Tyler won the last US bob medal in St. Moritz, Switzerland, in 1948.

But Holcomb has shown great consistency on the way to laying to rest those six-decade old ghosts with driving skills that Kuske on Saturday lauded as "super genius".

Many of the teams struggled with one crash on average for every four bobs on Friday on a track which witnessed the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili in pre-tournament training.

cw/dj10

03:52

Curling: Canada win men's title - and nation's 13th gold - AFP News : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Vancouver (AFP) - Canada won their 13th gold medal of the 2010 Games on Saturday when their undefeated men's curlers beat Norway 6-3 to seal their second consecutive Olympic crown.

The result left Canada untouchable in the gold medal count, an impressive achievement for a nation coming into these Games having failed to win a single title on home ground at the 1976 Summer Games and the 1988 Winter showpiece.

In a tight battle at the Vancouver Olympic Centre, Canada, urged on by a passionate capacity home crowd, kept an iron grip on the final early on and were never behind throughout.

Skip Kevin Martin, speaking about the win, said: "Finally, it took a long time. But the hard work was worth it."

"I can't explain it. It's an amazing feeling and I think it will get better and better as the day goes on."

Canada were 3-0 ahead at the break but the Norwegians, wearing their trademark diamond-patterned trousers, scored two points in the sixth end to pull back to within a point.

But the host nation re-established their three-point lead in the seventh and although Norway pulled a point back in the eighth, Canada again edged ahead, going into the tenth with a 6-3 lead, leaving them on the brink of the title.

In emotional scenes, the crowd burst into an impromptu rendition of the Canadian national anthem before the home team sealed victory by making it impossible for Norway to level the scores.

Norway skip Thomas Ulsrud said: "If you give me 10 minutes then I'll probably be happy with silver. We didn't put in a good game today and Kevin's team was great.

"We had a plan coming in, as long as we could keep it tight then we would have a chance. We tried to play defensively and it didn't work. He came right back at us every time."

The win is a major tonic for the host nation after their women's team agonisingly failed to close out victory over defending champions Sweden Friday, leaving skip Cheryl Bernard distraught.

Canada's men romped through qualifying, winning all nine games, including a narrow 7-6 win over the Norwegians, becoming the first team to stay undefeated in round robin in Olympic curling before beating Sweden in the semi-final.

Martin, silver medallist at the Salt Lake Games in 2002, led the same rink that took gold and silver at the 2008 and 2009 world championships, also featuring Benjamin Herbert, Marc Kennedy and John Morris.

Saturday's final was a repeat of the 2002 title match, in which Norway took gold.

Earlier, Switzerland gained revenge for their European championship defeat by defeating Sweden 5-4 to take bronze.

Switzerland had been men's champions at Nagano in 1998 and then collected a bronze in 2002.

"I said yesterday to my boys that I had the same experience eight years ago. I told the boys it feels as good as silver, because you leave the Olympics with a win," said skip Markus Eggler, a member of the 2002 team.

Swedish skip Niklas Edin said: "It's the worst feeling I've ever felt."

jw/dj10

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