Sport is an agent of change: IOC’s Rogge
rafe arnott/metro vancouver
International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge and Vancouver Board of Trade chair Henry Lee exchange comments following Rogge’s address to about 500 attendees at a board luncheon held at the Vancouver Convention Centre yesterday afternoon.
Of the bevy of environmental, social and economic legacies of the 2010 Olympics, none are more important than the pride the Games will instill in Vancouver’s citizens, said the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
"The most important legacy, is a new frame of mind," said IOC president Jacques Rogge, speaking yesterday at a luncheon hosted by the Vancouver Board of Trade.
"A new way of looking at your city, a new way of looking at your region, a new way of looking at your province."
As an example, Rogge points to Calgary where he said civic pride and volunteerism remain high, almost 20 years after it hosted the Games.
Rogge, who arrived in Vancouver Tuesday, is in town for a three-day review and working session with Vanoc and the IOC’s co-ordination commission.
The Olympics, Rogge said, uses sport as an agent of change.
He said the environmental legacy of the 2008 Beijing Games will benefit millions of Chinese because of work underway to improve air and water quality in China’s capital city.
In Beijing, he said, millions of trees are being planted, factories are switching from coal to gas power and more than a million cars will be taken off the road for the Games.
"The Games have had a profound impact on a lot of places," said Vanoc CEO John Furlong after Rogge’s remarks. "In some places the hill is higher to climb, but we think that this is an example of a community that can do a lot."
- A small protest, with police vastly outnumbering demonstrators, was held outside the Olympic event yesterday.