New report details legacies of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games; final report in series on Lasting Legacies of Olympic and Paral

VANCOUVER, Canada and SOCHI, Russia, June 8 /CNW/ - From investments in tangible infrastructure and venues to the intangible benefits of great memories and inspiring stories, there are many positive legacies of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games, according to a new report released today by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).

The Legacies of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games report, prepared by an independent researcher, documents the planned legacies of the Games and provides glimpses of other positive legacies that may not have been planned, but appear to be emerging. The report was released at the Vancouver 2010 Debrief in Sochi, Russia (Host City for the 2014 Winter Games) where a VANOC team is sharing key learnings with the International Olympic Committee and future Games organizers and bid cities. It can be found on the website of 2010 Legacies Now at www.2010legaciesnow.com

The report is the fourth and final volume of a series commissioned by VANOC on the lasting legacies of Olympic Winter Games in North America: the 1980 Lake Placid, 1988 Calgary, and 2002 Salt Lake Winter Games. All three hosts became national hubs for recreational and competitive sport and regular sites of major international sporting events.

Released in 2007, the first three reports and their executive summary are available at http://www.vancouver2010.com/more-2010-information/about-vanoc/organizing-committee/public-communications/

The report series was limited to North America to provide a context that was consistent for the US and Canada, where there is a growing base of high performance sport that is starting to provide a critical mass of facilities and programs that are close enough geographically to complement each other.

"Our sense is that people who experienced the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games instinctively know they will have a lasting and positive impact," said VANOC's Chief Executive Officer John Furlong. "This report, however, documents the many hard and soft legacies of the Games, and it's quite stunning to see them all gathered in one place. It's a great testament to all of the work put into the Games and a source of pride for the many people and organizations who contributed to their success. We hope it will also serve the Sochi 2014 Winter Games organizers -- and all future Games organizers -- as a valuable reference that demonstrates the many kinds of legacies that can come from staging the Games."

The hard legacies documented in the report include the many new winter sports facilities as well as the investments in technology and systems that support athletic achievement. The soft, or intangible, legacies include such factors as a new sense of national pride, fresh international awareness, and a sense of belonging shared by Canadians of every background as a result of their communal experience as hosts, and as cheerleaders for Team Canada.
The legacies of the Vancouver 2010 Games include:

- 2010 venues and villages that constitute the largest group of simultaneously constructed single-project, low-environmental-impact facilities in North America. These facilities will serve several million recreational and high performance athletes every year in Richmond, Whistler and Vancouver;

- Numerous recreational and high performance sports programs for thousands of children and youth, through the not-for-profit organization 2010 Legacies Now, which has worked with more than 2,000 organizations in the province on programs in the areas of healthy living, literacy, arts, volunteerism and accessibility. Recognised as a significant legacy of the 2010 Games, the 2010 Legacies Now model will no doubt inspire future Organisers with their social inclusion and sustainability legacies.

- Precedent-setting Aboriginal participation, with Aboriginal people partners in the planning and implementation of every aspect of the Games, from the initial bid to hosting the events on their traditional land. More than $200 million in contracts, sales and gifts of land went to Aboriginal peoples as a result of the Games. Some 100 Aboriginal businesses profited from the Games, and 4,000 Aboriginal people were employed. Aboriginal people from 90 First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities contributed 140 pieces of art that decorated the 15 Olympic venues, of which 30 will remain as permanent legacies;

- Job training and job opportunities for more than 150 inner-city residents, many of them marginalized, who worked on projects associated with the Southeast False Creek Community; trained as entry-level carpenters at the RONA Fabrication Workshop; and became florists, building bouquets for the athletes;

- $61 million for permanent affordable housing legacies, including 1,000 bed units in Whistler and 125 housing units in Southeast False Creek, as well as 156 housing units in other BC communities;

- National Paralympic Week, initiated to build awareness pre-2010, is now an annual event in schools across Canada;

- Accessible playgrounds in Whistler, Richmond and Vancouver, allowing children of every age and ability to play together;

- A safer, more efficient Sea to Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler, thanks to a $600 million upgrade;

- The Metro Vancouver Commerce (MVC) 2010 Business Program exceeded its projections with $60 million in cross-sector business deals for Lower Mainland companies that MVC said "are a direct result of the Games-time initiative;"

- $250 million in equivalent ad value exposure brought to Canada by the Games, reflecting long-term strategies and ongoing teamwork between Canadian tourism organizations, Aboriginal groups, the Canadian Tourism Commission and the provincial and federal governments.

About VANOC

VANOC was 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 were staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler hosted the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010.

About the Lasting Legacies Report and Author VANOC commissioned the research and writing of The Legacies of North American Olympic Winter Games report. The report has been reviewed by VANOC however not edited in order maintain an objective perspective. The researcher and author, Kate Zimmerman, has been a journalist in Canada for 30 years, writing for numerous newspapers and magazines. She lives in North Vancouver, BC.

For further information: Media Contacts: VANOC Communications, Sochi: (778) 227-2220; Vancouver: (604) 403-1161