VANCOUVER, British Columbia—July 2, 2003–Athletes and spectators from around the world will gather in Vancouver and the alpine resort of Whistler in 2010 to celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The International Olympic Committee selected Vancouver as the Host City of the XXI Winter Games at its 115th session in Prague, Czech Republic today.

“We wholeheartedly thank the members of the International Olympic Committee for their confidence in Canada’s 2010 Winter Games Bid,” said Jack Poole, chairman and chief executive officer of the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation. “We accept this tremendous honour to serve as the world’s stage of sport, peace and friendship.”

“Vancouver 2010 extends its sincerest appreciation to Government, Canadian Olympic Committee and First Nations partners, corporate supporters and volunteers who all contributed to today’s gold medal victory in Prague,” added Poole. “With their continued support, expertise and enthusiasm, Our Sea to Sky Games will be great for sport, athletes, spectators and for the Olympic Movement.”

“This was a team effort but we recognize we have more to do,” said Prime Minister Jean Chretien. “During the next seven years, our team will work side by side with other Member Partners and the Organizing Committee to deliver a spectacular Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2010.”

“The 2010 Games will provide enormous benefits for our entire province, and I want to thank all British Columbians who contributed to making our bid a winner,” BC Premier Gordon Campbell said. “The Games will bring out the best in B.C. They will focus us all on something that will benefit our children and our province.”

“I want to congratulate all the Applicant and Candidate Cities who participated in the 2010 Bid process,” said John Furlong, president and chief operating officer of Vancouver 2010. “We have all shared in the Olympic dream, and that alone has made us better. Vancouver will now carry the torch, a beacon to every person in every corner of the globe, as we join the family of Olympic Host Cities. We believe the organizational effort should be built around a strong partnership between our team and the International Olympic Committee. We’re looking forward to getting started on that partnership tomorrow.”

“We are ecstatic that the Olympic Winter Games will be returning to Canada in 2010 thanks to the tremendous efforts of the Vancouver 2010 Bid team,” said Chris Rudge, chief executive officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee. “Canada has a proud history of participation in the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement and we look forward to welcoming the world to beautiful Vancouver and Whistler in 2010.”

“We had an outstanding bid and tremendous support right across Canada. The challenge ahead of us is to make sure the 2010 Games reflect the Olympic values in every respect, to offer the athletes the best possible experience and to open our city to the world for an unforgettable Winter Games,” said Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell. “On behalf of the citizens of Vancouver, I want to thank all of those volunteers and staff who worked so hard to make our bid the success it was.”

“Whistler was conceived by an Olympic dream almost 40 years ago,” said Whistler Mayor Hugh O’Reilly. “Today, we’re on the way to realizing it. The next seven years are going to be very exciting for Whistler, as we anticipate and prepare to host the world. It’s a proud moment, and we share our pride with our neighbors, our province and our country.”

Member partners of the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation are the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, the Resort Municipality of Whistler and the Canadian Olympic Committee. The Bid Corporation’s board of directors is drawn from a variety of community interests, including all levels of government, First Nations, and the business and sport communities. It is supported by more than 275 companies, corporations and oorganizations.

The 2010 Sea to Sky Games – Quick Facts:

Dates:

Olympic Winter Games: February 12-28, 2010

Paralympic Winter Games: March 12-21, 2010

Number of athletes and officials expected: 5,000

Number of Games events tickets available: 1.8 million

Sports: Vancouver: Freestyle, Snowboarding and all the Ice sports: hockey, figure skating, curling, speed skating, short track speed skating

Whistler: Alpine Skiing, Nordic Sports (Cross Country Skiing, Ski Jumping and Biathlon), Sliding Sports (Bobsleigh, Luge and Skeleton) and Paralympic Sports