Wood from communities across B.C. will support the world’s athletes as they mount the podium to receive their medals, VANOC said yesterday as it drew back the curtain on its plans for the medal ceremonies.
The podiums, along with medal trays, bouquets and the costumes for the medal presenters and athlete escorts, were unveiled during a pair of ceremonies in Downtown Vancouver.
Each of the podiums is made of more than 200 slabs of wood, arranged vertically like the grill of a truck.
From above, the podium is supposed to resemble Vancouver Island.
The pieces were donated from 23 community forests, First Nations and businesses across the province — yellow cedar from Campbell River, birch from Clearwater, spruce from Merritt.
“In giving their wood to VANOC, they’re saying, ‘We’re part of these Games,’” said Premier Gordon Campbell. “‘We’re showing the world who we are as British Columbians.’”
The podiums serve as the focal point of the victory and nightly ceremonies. RCMP in red serge will flank the podiums while volunteers carry the athletes’ bouquets and medals on wood trays that are done in the same aesthetic as the podiums.
Following the presentation, the flags will rise while the national anthem of the gold medallist is played.
Aritzia designer Yumi Eto, who created the costumes for the medal presenters and the athlete escorts, said they are reflective of a “West Coast sensibility and style.”