Celebrations reign as 2010 Winter Olympics just two years away

rafe arnott/metro vancouver


Nathalie Lambert, 2010 Chef de Mission for Canada, frames the Olympic Clock at the Vancouver Art Gallery as part of the two-year countdown celebrations to the 2010 Games yesterday.

Two years from today the Olympic torch will make its final stop at Vancouver’s G.M. Place, after having travelled across Canada from Greece.

The two-year countdown to the start of the 2010 Winter Games is being celebrated in events across the Lower Mainland this week, including a performance tonight with Feist at the Orpheum Theatre.

Yesterday Premier Gordon Campbell was the guest speaker at the fifth annual Spirit of Vancouver Countdown to 2010 luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Roughly 1,000 people attended the event, which was part pep rally, part celebration of Canada’s athletes.

“The Olympic Games is about spirit and community. But it’s also about our athletes,” said Campbell, who earlier that morning honoured 99 young athletes in 56 sports across B.C. at the Premier’s Athletic Awards.

“Imagine the work that young athletes have to go through, what they have to give up to be as successful as they are.”

Three-time Olympic speed skater medalist Nathalie Lambert, Canada’s Chef de Mission, said Canada’s athletes in 2010 will face extra pressure and distraction because they’ll be competing at home.

“(We’ll be) working with psychologists, recreating the kind of noise they’re going to hear in the Olympics and also working with them to really fine-tune their plan on how they’re going to deal with media,” she said.

“We know it’s going to be a challenge but we have two years to prepare them.”

2010 Winter Olympics timeline

  • March 12, 2008: two-year countdown to the 2010 Paralympics.

  • Fall, 2008: Winter Games tickets go on sale.

  • 2008: Accreditation for around 10,000 media members.

  • Fall, 2009: 2010 Olympic Flame Relay begins.

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