The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games yesterday revealed its official poster in Ottawa.

VANOC CEO John Furlong and Canadian Olympic Committee president Michael Chambers joined Vancouver 2010 chef de mission Nathalie Lambert, a three-time Olympic speed-skating medalist, and Jean Labonte, Paralympic gold medallist in ice sledge hockey, to unveil the poster at the Capital Infocentre.

The Olympic and Paralympic sides of the poster each feature half a maple leaf. When they are placed side by side, the two halves form the shape of a whole leaf.

“One of Canada’s most cherished symbols is the maple leaf,” Lambert said. “We put it on our flag, our uniforms and even our backpacks as we travel around the world. It sums up who we are — our shared history, values and beliefs as a country.”

Lambert said that whether as assistant chef de mission in Athens, a journalist in Nagano or a competitor in Albertville, Lillehammer and Calgary, the posters of past games have always made a strong impression on her.

“These posters have special meanings for us because of the unique signature and identity of the Games. I can still recognize every single one of them,” she said.

The official poster was created by hand with paint and mixed media prior to digital composition, under the direction of Vancouver designer Ben Hulse.

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