Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a "Third Intifada"?

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

  • Deadly strike hits Gaza market despite four-hour 'truce'

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • Argentina fails to reach deal with holdout creditors

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Fourth female suicide bomber targets Nigerian city

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

Americas

Vancouver celebrates one year countdown to Olympics

Latest update : 2009-02-13

On Thursday, celebrations and fireworks across Canada marked the one year countdown to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. The Games are returning to Canada 22 years after Calgary and 34 years after Montreal.

AFP - Canada launched the one year countdown to the 2010 Winter Olympics on Thursday with celebrations, fireworks and cultural displays across the country.

"We are in the last lap, the final bell toll today," said John Furlong, chief executive of the Vancouver Organizing Committee. "It is also a reminder of the road ahead and all the work we need to do to get completed."

In the ski resort of Whistler, organizers held an outdoor ceremony where they unveiled the torch that will be used to carry the Olympic flame in the torch relay and the design of the uniforms the torch bearers will wear.

In Toronto there was outdoor skating and an ice dance demonstration by national figure skaters Andrew Poge and Kaitlyn Weaver. The pair finished fifth at the Four Continents Championships last week at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver.

"It gave us chills to know that we were competing in the exact spot the Olympics will take place." Poge said on Friday."

And in the nation's capital of Ottawa, Canada's Governor General Michaelle Jean unveiled the torch at a breakfast function before hosting hundreds of Canadian children for a party at her official residence Rideau Hall.

"We are celebrating the one year countdown now as hosts of the Games," Jean said. "We hoped to have a snow day for the kids but even with the rain we are going to be outside snowshoeing.

"The Olympics will show the talent in this country. This is an opportunity to strengthen the sports system in Canada."

Canada's native Indians also took part in the festivities Thursday as the Haida Gwaii band in the province of British Columbia held a fireworks display.

The torch uniforms and design were officially unveiled in the outdoor main square in the ski resort town of Whistler. About 300 people watched under a light snowfall as torch bearer Caleb Taylor carried the sleek-designed torch up onto the main stage in Whistler which will be the site of the alpine, sliding and ski jumping events.

"The torch represents a lot of things that are good about sports," Taylor said. "It brings the community together and will bring Canadians together."

Taylor said he would be carrying the torch on January 9 in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Taylor is one of 12,000 Canadians who will carry the torch 45,000 kilometres over 100 days, making it the longest torch relay within the host country.

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge was on hand for the Whistler torch ceremony before travelling to Vancouver, where he met with a dozen Canadian sports federations.

Rogge also visited the recently completed Olympic speed skating oval to issue a formal invitation to the more than 80 countries and their athletes who will compete in Vancouver beginning February 12 next year.

"For the athletes around the world, the chance to compete next year will be their goal," Rogge said. "On behalf of the International Olympic Committee I would like to invite them to compete in Vancouver one year from now."

"The Olympic Games are returning to Canada 22 years after Calgary and 34 years after Montreal."

Speaking to about 1,200 invited guests at the 178 million Canadian dollar speed skating facility, Rogge was joined on stage by Furlong and Canadian Olympic speed skater Cindy Klassen, who won five medals the Turin Winter Games.

"The Vancouver Olympics are just one year away and what a dream it will be to compete at home," Klassen said.
 

Date created : 2009-02-13

COMMENT(S)