Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games daily competition schedule and the sport calendar for 2008-09, now available. Athletes, spectators can begin planning for Games-time events and pre-Games Sport Events
Vancouver, BC – With the release of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games Daily Competition Schedule, athletes and spectators across the country and around the world can now start actively planning their 2010 Olympic Winter Games experience. Approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Daily Competition Schedule gives a day-by-day account of sporting activities over the 17 days of Olympic competition. The schedule represents several years of planning and coordination by Games organizers. Also today, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) released the calendar of 2008-09 Sport Events, which will test VANOC departments at various degrees of operational readiness. Both the 2010 Olympic Winter Games Sports Schedule and the 2008/-09 sport event calendar are available at www.vancouver2010.com.
2010 Daily Competition Schedule
“Completion of the Olympic Games Daily Competition Schedule is a major milestone on the way to 2010. It’s an extremely complex puzzle that, now solved, drives the entire Olympic experience,” said Cathy Priestner Allinger, executive vice president, Sport, Paralympics and Venue Management. “Now that the schedule is in place, people can begin to make their plans to be in Vancouver in 2010. At the same time, our team can start finalizing all critical systems to ensure an optimal experience for all. And the world’s greatest winter athletes can begin developing their game-plan, as they prepare to perform on the world’s largest stage in 2010.”
With nine competition venues, three training venues, 12 stadia, seven sports, 15 disciplines and 86 events to consider, producing the Daily Competition Schedule is an extremely complex project that has already been five years in the making. Drawing on the expertise of seven departments from across the Organizing Committee, including Sport, Venue Management, Event Services, Transportation, Broadcast, Technology and Ticketing, the schedule has already undergone six major revisions and more than 50 drafts, each requiring continuous collaboration with international sport federations and broadcast rights holders from around the world.
“We have worked extremely hard with our partners in sport and broadcast to develop a balanced Games schedule that satisfies the demands of television audiences around the world, as well as spectators who will attend the Games, while ensuring athletes are provided with a winning environment to achieve world-class performances,” said Priestner Allinger. “The heavy lifting on the schedule is now done. The next step will be to determine the specific timing of events on each day. We expect that a final schedule, with specific event times, will be released this summer.”
On a venue-by-venue basis, numerous factors determine the final schedule. For example, Whistler Olympic Park (formerly known as the Whistler Nordic Venue) requires the consideration of two international sport federations – the International Ski Federation and the International Biathlon Union – representing four disciplines and 28 events. Additional factors include contingency planning for weather; event sequencing, to allow recovery time for athletes who are competing in more than one event; venue operational considerations; and complex broadcast logistics, including balancing worldwide live coverage of events taking place simultaneously at different venues.
As with all Winter Games, weather plays a significant role in schedule planning. Since the Vancouver 2010 Bid Phase, VANOC has partnered with Environment Canada, placing weather stations at every outdoor competition venue to track weather patterns. VANOC determined the ideal timing for events by comparing the findings compiled at these stations over the past five years, and historical data previously generated about the region. For example, it was determined the aerials competition at the Cypress Mountain venue should take place in the evening, when visibility improves and winds settle; it was also determined that ski jumping, at Whistler Olympic Park, should be scheduled for the morning so as to take advantage of typically calmer winds. These extensive studies also allowed VANOC to build into the schedule the necessary contingencies for postponements or delays as a result of weather conditions.
Whistler Creekside – The alpine skiing schedule follows the traditional Olympic calendar of speed events such as downhill, Super G and super combined in the first week to allow for weather contingencies. The second week will include technical events such as slalom and giant slalom.
Whistler Olympic Park – Nordic and biathlon events run all 17 days and proved to be the most challenging with scheduling to accommodate two International Sport Federations and four sport disciplines.
The Whistler Sliding Centre – Luge, skeleton and bobsleigh will run through the Games period in this order respectively (lightest to heaviest sled) to maintain optimum sliding conditions on the track.
Cypress Mountain – Freestyle and snowboard events run 16 of the 17 days and include the new ski cross event.
Pacific Coliseum – Short track speed skating and figure skating run 16 of the 17 days and include the figure skating exhibition on the final Saturday night.
Richmond Oval – Speed skating events run from the first to the last day of the Olympic calendar.
General Motors Place and UBC Sport Centre – The women’s ice hockey tournament opens on the first day of the 2010 Winter Games with the finals on Thursday, February 25. The men’s competition starts on Tuesday, February 16. The men’s gold medal game is the final event on Sunday, February 28.
Hillcrest/Nat Bailey Stadium Park – Both men’s and women’s curling tournaments start on Tuesday, February 16. The women’s finals are on Friday, February 26 and the men’s finals are on Saturday, February 27.
2008-09 Sport Events
In addition to approving the 2010 Olympic Winter Games Competition Schedule, IOC signoff was also provided on the 2008-09 Sport Events calendar. Prior to every Games, the IOC requires Organizing Committees to test their operational readiness at a full series of sport events in order to test facilities, personnel and operations. This includes both competition and non-competition events. Sport events will provide VANOC the opportunity to test various functions and collaborate with the winter International Sport Federations, while offering the Canadian public a chance to learn more about the 15 winter sport disciplines that will be showcased at the 2010 Games and the athletes who will likely compete in 2010.
“Sport events are critical, both to ensuring VANOC’s operational readiness at Games-time, and raising awareness for winter sport,” said Priestner Allinger. “Spectators will have the chance to experience, first-hand, the excitement of international sport events, and to see the spectacular 2010 Games venues. They’ll also get to know the top winter sport competitors in the world –including Canadian teams – who dream about playing out their quest for gold at the 2010 Winter Games.”
The 2008-09 Sport Event schedule released today includes two components: competition sport events and non-competition sport events. Competition sport events are major national or international sporting events that exist either on the international circuit, or are created by VANOC. These events are executed under similar conditions to those at Games time and normally include a live broadcast component. Non-competition sport events are major events organized by VANOC and may be staged in conjunction with Competition Sport events. They provide an opportunity to test elements of Games-time operations, such as arrivals and departures, simultaneous interpretation and protocol operations.
The 2008-09 calendar lists a total of 21 sport events, and the first official sport event, where VANOC will be performing operational testing, will be the 2008 Alpine World Cup, taking place this February in Whistler.
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.
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