Heads of state keep VANOC in suspense

U.S. President Barack Obama is not expected at the opening ceremoniesfor the 2010 Winter Olympics, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t coming atall.

U.S. President Barack Obama is not expected at the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t coming at all.

An official announcement from the White House may come as early as next week regarding the American delegation to the Games.

Obama, for example, could still come to watch a high-profile American athlete compete, like Lindsay Vonn, who is dominating the World Cup ski circuit.

It’s expected that Vice-President Joe Biden will be named as the U.S. government’s official face at the lavish Feb. 12 event.

Taleeb Noormohamed, vice-president of national and international partnerships for VANOC, said somewhere between 25 and 35 heads of state, kings, queens and high-level government representatives are expected at the opening ceremonies. Most have not RSVP’d yet.

Canada’s official presence will come from Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean, who will open the Games in her capacity as the Queen’s representative in Canada.

Her presence means that the Queen of England will not attend, but Prince Charles or his sons William and Harry may still come to Vancouver. So far, Canadian Heritage is staying mum on their possible visit.