The Commission meeting also overlapped with the 8th IOC-UNEP Sport and the Environment Conference, which was held in Vancouver from 29 to 31 March. This Conference once again underlined the Olympic Movement’s commitment to the environment and sustainability.
Speaking at the end of the Commission meeting, Chairman René Fasel said, “After six years of planning, we have finally seen athletes on the field of play, with the successful completion of the recent sports events and we congratulate VANOC and its hugely supportive partners on this achievement.
While some of the spectators have had the opportunity to learn about new sports, it has also been the occasion for VANOC to learn and understand how its planning assumptions will operate in reality.
There have been some important lessons learned, and VANOC’s team has taken them on board. We are confident that they will translate them into a great Olympic experience for the athletes, spectators and everyone else who will attend the Games or watch them on TV.”
He continued, “We had a lot of positive feedback about the sports events but the Games are a much larger and more complex affair, so VANOC cannot afford to rest on its laurels.
As we enter these final stages of preparations, they must now focus on finalising a number of key points, such as transportation planning, workforce accommodation, cleaning & waste operations, and catering agreements, as well as their exciting ticket redistribution programme, which has our full support.
VANOC will also need to remain vigilant to any risks that may present themselves over the coming year, while continuing to enhance its overall operations. The finish line is in sight and it will be the quality of our work between now and February 2010 that will decide if we finish on the podium or not.”
“As always when we meet with the IOC, our project is stronger as a result of the discussions, feedback and decisions taken,” said John Furlong, VANOC CEO. “The past two days produced strong, collaborative discussions with the IOC and our partners on all areas of Games preparations, and particularly against the backdrop of the current challenging economy. We remain focused and committed to delivering great Games in all of the core areas, and in the most creative, efficient and cost effective way we can.”
“We also had encouraging discussions about our upcoming Olympic ticket sales strategies,” continued Furlong. “Feedback was positive on our plans for a June 6th launch of Phase 2 of ticket sales and plans for our authorized ticket redistribution program which we will launch this summer.”
“Finally, this latest visit by the IOC reminded us and our valued partners just how soon the 2010 Winter Games will be here and the importance of each day as we head into the final 10 months of preparations,” he concluded.
In parallel to the Commission meeting, the 8th IOC-UNEP Sport and the Environment Conference also took place in Vancouver this week. The Conference is a bi-annual forum for bringing together the world of sport to talk about the environment and sustainability.
The Games have sustainability right at their core from the bid stage, and no where has this been taken more to heart than in Vancouver. Commenting on VANOC’s work, Fasel said, “We often speak about the legacy of the Games for a community. One of the great legacies of the Vancouver Games will surely be VANOC and its partners’ work in the area of sustainability.
From brand new venues that were built with the environment in mind to initiatives like their carbon offset plan, the Vancouver Games will leave a positive sustainable legacy to future generations. As Chairman of the Coordination Commission, it’s one of the things that makes me very proud about the work that we have accomplished thus far with VANOC.”
The Commission meeting, which ran from 31 March till 1 April, saw the Commission hear updates from VANOC in a number of areas including sport, spectator services, media services, marketing and technology. The Commission will return for its final visit in August 2009.
The Olympic Council of Ireland’s Stephen Martin met with competition managers of the sports that Ireland are pursuing qualification in: Bobsleigh, Cross Country Skiing and Skeleton and the Whistler Village Manager as Irish athletes and performance staff will reside in Whistler.