POSTED: Thursday November 19th 2009

VANOC confirms board leadership and updates on progress and remaining challenges:

Vancouver 2010 still needs at least 750 volunteers.

  -  Over 750 Sea to Sky volunteers with accommodation in region still
  -  Public commuter challenge on Fridays coming in January
  -  Rusty Goepel named chairman; Jack Poole named founding chairman

VANCOUVER, Nov. 18 - The board of directors for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) received a comprehensive update on Games-time planning today, including the need for more volunteers with accommodation in the Sea to Sky region and expanded traffic management plans to encourage the public to leave vehicles at home and use alternative forms of transportation leading up to and during the Games.

With close to 12 weeks to go until the start of the Games, Vancouver 2010 still needs at least 750 people with accommodation in the Sea to Sky region to donate their time and abilities to hosting the world’s top winter athletes and spectators from around the globe. Volunteer positions at Whistler-area venues include: drivers, reservation assistants, technology positions for IT and helpdesk specialists, press and photo assistants, and photo runners. Applications can be made online at

“Some fantastic positions are still waiting to be filled. We’re simply looking for enthusiastic people open to sharing their country and province with the world,” said John Furlong, VANOC’s Chief Executive Officer. “We understand that for a great number of people in the Whistler area, Games time is their peak season for work, which is why we want to encourage anyone with a second residence in the Sea to Sky region or who can simply find a place to bunk with friends or relatives to consider applying today to volunteer.”

Starting in January, the Olympic and Paralympic Transportation Team (OPTT) is launching its 2010 TravelSmart Commuter Challenge. The goal is to encourage commuters travelling particularly into downtown Vancouver to leave their vehicles at home each Friday in January and practice their Games-time travel plan by taking public transit or other alternative forms of transportation in preparation for street and road restrictions leading up to and during the Games period. The Games-time integrated transportation plan requires reducing vehicle traffic by at least 30 per cent in key areas including downtown Vancouver, Burrard crossings, Sea to Sky Corridor, and Whistler.

With the challenge of moving up to 200,000 spectators and celebrants onto the downtown peninsula each day, it is essential that existing vehicle traffic be reduced to ensure that athletes, media and spectators are able to reach their destinations on a timely basis. Following each Friday in January, the OPTT team will report on how much traffic was reduced and how much more will need to be done to reach the target. The message is simple: TravelSmart and everyone wins in 2010; everyone must do their part to ensure a positive transportation experience. To find out how, visit

Today’s meeting also marked the first time the VANOC board of directors has gathered since the death of its chairman, Jack Poole, on October 23. In honour of his leadership and the role he played in bringing the Games to Canada and guiding the 2010 Bid Corporation and VANOC through the critical stages of organizing the Games, and the ongoing influence his leadership will play, the board honoured Poole by designating him founding chairman.

In addition, the board also appointed Rusty Goepel as chairman today. Goepel is a Province of British Columbia nominee to the board and was also a member of the board and executive committee of the 2010 Bid Corporation.

“I am honoured by the board’s support and will endeavour in the remaining months before the Games to carry on with the same vision and attention to excellence Jack Poole set for us since the beginning of our journey towards 2010,” said Goepel.

In addition to workforce and volunteer updates, the board also received updates on standing agenda items such as ongoing financial management, Games-time planning and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay.

“At this time, we are dealing with thousands of small details - across all aspects of operations,” Furlong said. “In these final months, we have but one goal: to start the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games ready in every way to welcome the world and with the energy and enthusiasm to sustain ourselves right to the end - to the finish line. The work that remains is both compelling and challenging; we appreciate every note, call and message of encouragement and support from Canadians and Olympic fans around the world.”

The board also received the following updates:

  -  Torch Relays: The Olympic Flame is currently on Day 20 of its 106-day
    journey across Canada and the remarkable public enthusiasm and huge
    community celebration crowds are building momentum across the nation.
    Already, more than 1,800 torchbearers have carried the flame over
    19,000 kilometres in 10 provinces and territories. Further details on
    the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay were released earlier this
    month. The relay will visit 11 communities over 10 days starting March
    3, 2010 in Ottawa, ON and is presented by Coca-Cola and RBC and
    supported by the Province of British Columbia and the Government of
    Canada. Further details, including the national torchbearer
    application program, will be announced later this month.
  -  Venue Overlay: VANOC’s overlay teams are continuing to work on the
    complex process of making Games venues ready for the world’s top
    winter athletes and spectators. The work involves installing thousands
    of metres of cable and fencing across the Olympic theater. Hundreds of
    tents are being raised for use as Media Centres, dining halls and
    warming areas. Thousands of seats in temporary grandstands are being

Overlay also involves installing the Look of The Games elements everywhere, including: venues, retail outlets, YVR, and on thousands of fleet vehicles.

  -  Finance: The Organizing Committee is continuing with procurement and
    is in final contractual negotiations for numerous goods and services.
    Procurement is more than 98 per cent complete and VANOC is on track to
    complete all its significant procurement activities by November 30.
    Information is posted at once contracts are
  -  Sponsorship: VANOC will announce a new Official Supplier joining the
    Vancouver 2010 domestic sponsorship family later this month. Earlier
    this year, the Organizing Committee exceeded its domestic sponsorship
  -  Ticketing: The Vancouver 2010 ticketing website hosted more than
    266,000 unique visitors on Saturday, November 14 and Sunday, November
    15 when the third and final phase of ticket sales to the Canadian
    public opened. Tickets are still available for 11 ice hockey games, 10
    curling matches and seven Vancouver Victory Ceremonies.
    Today, VANOC is opening its Main Ticket Centre in downtown Vancouver
    at Robson Square in the University of British Columbia bookstore.
    Customers can purchase sport and ceremonies’ tickets printed on
    thermal stock (not souvenir ticket designs) on-the-spot at this
    Customers who selected the “will call” option purchase tickets online
    during the third phase of ticket sales can also pick up their tickets
    at this location. For hours of operation, visit
    Purolator will start delivering Phase 1 and 2 tickets directly to
    spectators across Canada in early December.
  -  Commercial Rights Management: VANOC is pleased to announce its lawsuit
    with Roadtrips, initiated last spring, has been settled. The terms of
    the settlement are confidential. As part of the settlement, Roadtrips
    has agreed that, on a going forward basis, it will obtain all 2010
    Winter Games tickets required for its customers from Jet Set Sports,
    VANOC’s authorized ticket reseller in Canada.
  -  Venue Construction: The Olympic and Paralympic Village Whistler was
    officially handed over to VANOC by the Resort Municipality of Whistler
    (RMOW) on October 30, with the Olympic and Paralympic Village
    Vancouver officially handed over by the City of Vancouver on November
    4, marking 100 days to go until the Games. The city anticipates
    handing over the remainder of the building parcels and public spaces
    to VANOC by December 4.
  -  Cultural Olympiad: On November 19, VANOC will announce the addition of
    36 new projects to Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad’s lineup of music,
    theatre, visual arts, dance, and digital programming. This
    announcement will bring the total number of projects to close to 200
    taking place in Metro Vancouver and the Sea to Sky region, starting
    January 22, 2010.
  -  Licensing and Merchandise: Olympic merchandise continues to sell well
    as the Games draw closer and Red Mittens continue to be a hot item
    beyond expectations. More than 350,000 pairs have been sold since the
    launch earlier this fall.

The next scheduled VANOC board meeting will be held on January 20, 2010.

VANOC Board of Directors Background

The VANOC board of directors is made up of 19 members nominated by: the Canadian Olympic Committee (seven); the Government of Canada (three); the Province of British Columbia (three); the City of Vancouver (two); the Resort Municipality of Whistler (two); the Canadian Paralympic Committee (one); a joint appointment by the Band Councils of the Lil’wat and Squamish Nations (one).

The board is scheduled to meet six times per year, and more often at the call of the chair as required. The meetings are generally held at the VANOC offices in Vancouver, although they have been occasionally hosted by our Games partners in other locations. The board’s responsibility is to oversee the conduct of the business of VANOC as it works toward achieving its Mission: to touch the soul of the nation and inspire the world by creating and delivering an extraordinary Olympic and Paralympic experience with lasting legacies.

As part of its commitment to public transparency and accountability, the VANOC board of directors has made today’s agenda, discussion topics and decisions available to the public on, subject to conditions of confidentiality related to personal information and/or competitively sensitive or privileged information. VANOC is also committed to hosting media briefings following each board meeting with the board chairman, the CEO and other director(s) or members of the VANOC senior management team to elaborate further on matters.


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 2010 Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010.


For further information: Media Contacts: Chris Brumwell, VANOC Communications,
(604) 403-1869,

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Keywords · Vancouver 2010 · Olympics · John Furlong · Whistler

Name: Chris Brumwell
Organization: Vancouver 2010
Phone: +1.(604) 403-1869

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