Tag Archives: Olympics 2010

Olympic Echoes

Echoes of the 2010 Winter Olympics are all around. A mere 48 hours after Canada won the definitive hockey game in overtime, and the streets are filled with poignant echoes of these past two weeks of historical moments, indelible memories.

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

And how incredible those moments were, these memories are.

As people scrambled onto their trains, planes and buses this past day and a half, Vancouver has been left empty. Canada Hockey Place echoes with the glory of games won, victories lost; the Olympic Athletic Village is now bereft of its glorious inhabitants;  BC Place echoes with the emptiness of the silence left after the golden podium moments, the Neil YoungLong May You Run,” sung lyrics.

Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue

The echoes, the emptiness are a dramatic reminder that people, energy, living organisms and the essence of being alive are what animate our Earth.

And isn’t that what is at the heart of this whole discussion of the “greenest Olympic games in history.” An urban landscape, without people, people who are alive, energetic and dynamic, is simply a lonely concrete urban landscape.

Men’s Short Track Relay

To come together and celebrate the glory of a select few athletes who have trained hard to be at the pinnacle of human athletic excellence is the Olympics. It’s as much the Olympics as the competitions themselves.

To leave a lasting legacy, a healthy planet, for these young athletes and their progeny, and all of the rest of us who currently call planet Earth home, is what is at the heart of this whole carbon neutral conversation, this ongoing dialogue about Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Shaun White
St. Gelais

Whether the Vancouver 2010 Olympic games were the greenest in history is not what is the most important criteria by which to judge. What the most important criteria by which to judge is that there was significant attention placed on the importance of Greening the Olympics.  And the threads of green were evidenced throughout the games, like an intricate brocade of spun gold, in this case, spun green.

Julia Mancuso and Lindsey Vonn

Three billion people worldwide watched the Winter Olympics. Hundreds of thousands walked the streets of Vancouver where no matter where you looked you saw recyclable trash cans, alternative energy showcases, streamlined public transportation, carbon offset programs…and pedestrians. Visitors to the Olympics no doubt learned a lot about Vancouver, and also couldn’t avoid learning about environmental practices while they were there.

Jasey Jay Anderson

The power of sporting events to galvanize people, to galvanize nations was once again on display.

On the fuel-cell powered shuttle bus ride back from the NRC fuel cell research center, I was engaged in a friendly discussion with a fellow journalist from Reuters. “Are the games really the greenest?” she asked me.  My response to her, and now, is that it depends on where you focus and it depends on your mindset.  Sure, a Zamboni or two may have malfunctioned on the ice a couple of times, but where else has it been achieved to focus 3 billion people’s attention on the issue of environmentally friendlier ways of throwing sporting events where the whole world comes to celebrate?

Women’s Curling Team, Canada
Simon Ammann, Swiss, Photo by Dmitry Lovetsky, AssociatedPress

We will leave you with one last thought.  Bio Plastic Ski Boots.

Atomic Ski Boots Made From Bio Plastics

Hnh?  Yes, although plastics are simply, for the most part, solidified oil, DuPont has come up with a Bio Plastic called Hytrel® RS. It  contains 35% to 65% renewably sourced material. The plastic is made with carbon captured from coal-factory smokestacks, some plastics can be made from 55% captured carbon; the goal is 100%.

Atomic Ski Boots manufactures the ski boots. The newest boots in the line are the Renu 110 and Renu 90. They are billed as the first carbon negative planet positive product in the ski boot world. They use a style of plastic called Pebax Renew Bio Plastic. Atomic says all components of the boots are reusable and recyclable.

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Canada Owns The Podium

Jenn Heil, Vancouver 2010, Olympic Silver Medalist, On Right, Kristi Richards, Olympic Athlete; Photo Courtesy BCMC

“And while the pursuit of athletic excellence is the point, the Olympics are  a celebration of the fundamental aspects that unite people.” – P.M. Stephen Harper

Sustainability is a concept that has wide applications.  Presently you often hear it used in the context of environmental programs. However, “sustainability” can be applied to a wider band of disciplines, such as sports. Here in Canada, at the 2010 Olympics, the idea of sustainable podium performances is what defines their Own The Podium program.

Jenn Heil, the Canadian Team’s first claimer of Olympic metal, stated consistently that “Own The Podium really gives us the support to win the medal for Team Canada.”  Heil gleefully announced at a February 14th press conference that “Canada’s medal train has now left the station!” She will be awarded the Silver at this evening’s first 2010 Olympic Games medal ceremony for her mogul skiing performance at last night’s Cypress Hill competition. Follow the Canadian Team on Twitter: COT_ALL_UPDATES.

Own the Podium is an innovative and collaborative initiative without precedent in Canadian sport. It was created to bring together the key parties involved in leading and funding excellence in Canadian sport, with specific emphasis on achieving excellence at Summer and Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Jenn Heil, Vancouver 2010, Olympic Silver Medalist, Photo Courtesy BCMC

Kristi Richards, also an Olympic Contender, and the 2007 World Champion for women’s moguls, has put her momentum behind sustaining athletes by starting her own “Supporting The Dream Legacy Fund.”  She explained that her hometown of Summerland, B.C. stood so strongly behind her while she developed as an athlete that she decided to start a foundation which has the kids fundraising for themselves. “Through the Adopt An Athlete program, I actually turned it back around for the kids. I help them fundraise and then the funds go back to develop them as athletes.” Her program is known as the I Can Be Legacy Fund. She showed true Olympian sportsmanship, taking her competitive crash in stride and acknowledging that it allowed her “a second start. I got to get the crowd excited again.”  She’s also a supporter of the 1 Step Foundation, a sports oriented environmental foundation.

On this Valentine’s Day 2010, love is in the air. Love for team, love for country and love for the competitive spirit of athletes,… that spirit that pushes us, as the human race to achieve unprecedented excellence.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has invested a personal presence to these historic winter games. He has shown up at the Olympic Village to galvanize his team to win gold and bring home medals for Canada in 2010; he also “waited for about 10 minutes in the rain, with his daughter” to congratulate Jenn Heil on her win, she said, the heartfelt appreciation apparent on the athlete’s face.

Appreciation, recognition and support are all ingredients that form the alchemy of sustainability.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and wife Mrs. Laureen Harper, along with the Right Honorable Michaellle Jean, Governor General of Canada, whose official duty it was to open the Olympic Games of 2010 in Vancouver,  hosted heads of state at an Olympic Reception just prior to the opening ceremonies in downtown Vancouver Feb. 12th.

Faster, Better, Higher…than has ever been attained by human beings before… is what these assembled Olympians, from across the globe, are here to achieve, the Prime Minister reminded the gathering at the special reception hosted in the city’s downtown Fairmont Hotel. Just below the second story windows, a crowd of several hundred protesters to the games had gathered just prior to Opening Ceremonies. Thousands more, all suporters of the games,  jammed the streets, decked out in Canadian flags, Olympic Gear, their country’s colors and maple leafs on their way to watch live or view on humongous outdoor/indoor screens peppered across the city,  the Opening Ceremonies to the games.

Opening Ceremonies, the first ever to be held indoors, were a spectacle, as in the Francophone take on the word, “Spectacular.”

Dignitaries on hand included Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and V.P. Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden. Dignitaries and representatives from other countries in attendance included Belarusse, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, France, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, USA, Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom, Cayman.

Canada’s P.M. Stephen Harper welcomed the international delegation to “one of the most beautiful and livable cities in the world,” speaking in both French and English.

He described the 5500 Olympic athletes as a “colorful procession that showcases how easily disparity can be swallowed up by a sporting event.”

He continued by saying, “And while the pursuit of athletic excellence is the point, the Olympics are  a celebration of the fundamental aspects that unite people.”

He cited the feel-good example, being used concurrently in a running Visa commercial, of the Turin Games’ Sarah Renner who broke her ski pole and was then aided by the Norwegian Olympic coach who sprang forward  to lend her his. This type of sportsmanship is what sports should be all about, he concluded.

The somberness of the day’s events, however, were not to be ignored.

“There are also moments that break your heart – such as today’s death of Nodar Kumaritashvili, Georgia’s Luge athlete’s death. These athletes live the Faster, Better, Higher credo, meaning Faster, Better, Higher than has ever been attained by human beings before. These aspirations, he said, come at certain costs.”

Canada’s Harper ended his greeting to his international guests by observing a minute of silence in respect for the Georgian Athlete.

Governor General:  “Thank you so much for standing together with Canadians.The Olympics are a celebration of solidarity among all peoples. To honor the best in all of us. “

Right Honorable Michaellle Jean, Governor General of Canada also spoke first in French and then in English when she told her guests that “The world is yearning for change, the kind of change to uplift us. The kind of change with which everyone everywhere can achieve their highest potential. The Olympic flame was received and greeted with so much fellowship and community.” she noted.  “Humanity is linked in a cosmic circle of interdependence, with the shared values of:  peace, inclusion, solidarity all at the core of Olympic values.”

These values have been expressed in more than words.  For the first time in Olympic history a third brand, the brand of the Four Host Nations Society, in addition to  the IOC and the host city of Vancouver – has been allowed official Olympic communications.

Shawn Atleo

For Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, current national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, this is significantly meaningful. “These games are about sports, arts and our culture. It’s about bringing it all together and putting it out there for the world to see. This is what these Winter Games are all about for us.”  He spoke to guests gathered at a fashion show celebrating First Nations fashion designers Dorothy Grant, Pamela Baker and Angela DeMontigny on February 13th just as Jenn Heil was winning silver for her country.

Sophie Pierre, Chief Commissioner of the B.C. Treaty Commission, commented that seeing the Opening Ceremonies to the 2010 Olympics were once-in-a-lifetime memorable. “They gave us all a drum, drumstick, a battery-powered candle and white cape as we entered B.C. Place. All 55,000 of us. It’s how they created the effect of snow and ice as a backdrop for the ceremonies,” she explained, adding that the audience participation was unprecedented. A friend and guest of Dorothy Grant’s at her fashion show, she remarked that she wondered when will we see a male First Nations fashion designer?”

During this hyper-competitive time, when countries from around the world are assembled to display the zenith performances of their athletes, Canada once again displayed its quality for compassion when the crowd of Maple-leaf-bearers began to applaud for U.S.’s Hannah Kearney who took gold this round after finishing 22nd in Turin.G

***It is estimated that 24 million Canadians watched the Opening Ceremonies.  In a country whose population totals just over 30 Million, that’s enormous solidarity!  More Info at CTV

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Olympic Sport 2010 – Bobwheeling – For The Warmer Winters

by Green Blogger

At today’s unveiling of Olympic Rendezvous at Samsung (OR@S) Gerhard Heiberg of the International Olympic Committee stated with full confidence, “We chose the right place,” when referring to Vancouver, B.C., in which to hold the Winter Games. Except maybe, for the weather, he quietly added. Ironically, the unusually mild 2010 winter that the city is experiencing gives the greenies a great backdrop to drill down on the point of global warming.

“We were on Cloud 9 when we were awarded the games back in 2003,” stated Premier Campbell at the Samsung WOW Rendezvous launch, attended by Super Athlete, Wayne Gretzky. Amazingly, as recent as 2003 there was still debate about the “real” or “imagined” existence of global warming.

Enter The Offsetters: Offsetting the Winter Games one ton at a time.

So while headlines point to the trucking in of snow for the Winter Games, these kids from Kelowna, Canada dreamed up a new Olympic sport for our ever-evolving Earth.  Of course, they did so tongue-in-cheek and in conjunction with OffSetters, a carbon offsetting company founded by two University of British Columbia professors. Offsetters is encouraging every Olympic attendee and guest to do their part in offsetting their impact on the globe during the games.Calculate your Impact Here.

The 2010 Winter Games’ footprint will be an estimated 118,000 tonnes of direct carbon emissions – all emissions that are directly attributable to the 2010 Winter Games like venue construction, facility heating, and athlete travel. Additionally, this event will produce 150,000 tonnes of ‘indirect’ emissions – emissions that are largely attributable to flights and accommodation for spectators, media, corporate sponsors and their partners.

Bobwheeling: The Newest Olympic Sport

Can’t See The Video?  CLICK HERE for BOBWHEELING

As humorous as this is, the concern is real. Snow is being trucked in, flown in, bussed in to Cypress Mountain. Come Friday the Winter Olympic’s first event, women’s moguls, will need snow.  Below, VANOC CEO, John Furlong, is escorted off the tarmac in downtown Vancouver after a look-see flyover the Sea to Sky route which is the Whistler to Vancouver road. At Samsung’s Rendezvous Furlong said, “When the torch arrives here tomorrow evening, life as we know it will change.  More than anything we here in Vancouver want to leave behind the positive legacy that the power of sports can change lives.” Let the snow, er, games begin.

From NY POST:


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Olympics 2010 – Premier Campbell Swoops In To Take Green

Looking something akin to an Olympian Superhero, Premier Gordon Campbell kicked off this pre-Olympic Weekend by flying over Robson Square, not quite in a cape but certainly the next best thing…on the zip line at Robson Square.

“The harness was quite comfortable,” he said afterwards.He and Olympian Charmaine Crooks were the first to ride the Zip Line and launched what will be free rides offered starting Feb. 12th, the first official day of the Winter Games.  The ride speeds revellers off a four-storey-high tower and along a 170 meter wire.

[premier-gordon-campbell-rides-robson-zipline-06.jpg]

Photo Courtesy VanCityBuzz

“That was great. I was trying to do a somersault backwards and I didn’t quite make it,” yelled the super-fly Premier Campbell to reporters watching below. “This is going to be a fun place for people to come,” he said. “I want everyone to know it’s there for them, it’s free for them, it’s their Olympics, so come down and have a good time.”

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Campbell was out and about promoting all things green that VANOC (Vancouver Olympic Committee) and the Province of B.C. has done to make these games green.

FACT: The 2010 Winter Games will produce only about a tenth of the carbon dioxide emissions generated by previous Winter Games. The games will be run primarily on clean renewable hydro electricity provided by BC Hydro.  For a complete rundown on how the timing devices and broadcasters et al will be powered by Clean Energy go to the Power Smart Village site.

The 2010 Winter Games will produce the lowest carbon dioxide emissions from power generation in the history of the modern Games, at only about a tenth of previous Winter Games.

https://i0.wp.com/www.gordoncampbellmla.bc.ca/media/resampled_PGC_Miga_Feb08_560.jpg

Club Energy is one of the Fun things offered at the Power Smart Village.  The dance floor actually lights up as you dance, powered by your energy. And it’s sustainable.  No bouncers, no cover charge.  They challenge you to prove you really can “Light up a room!”

For Sustaianability and the Winter Games, the Power Smart Village is Renewable Energy Central for the 2010 Winter Games. It thrives on people power. It’s a free, interactive gathering place in downtown Vancouver. It promises to “deliver fun and insight into living greener in B.C.” And, well, why not the World!

On February 10th, they’re hosting a So You Think You Can Dance session at 3pm and 6pm.

Contestants will have the choice between two to three songs to perform their best dance moves, concentrating both on creativity and movement. Judging will be based on number of steps taken within the allotted time, as well as audience preference.

More Things to do at Power Smart Village: Tour an energy-efficient Home of the Future, or join the cheering as Games events are broadcast live on a 65-inch energy-efficient TV. Get creative with their digital Expression Wall. Create electricity – literally – on their sustainable dance floor.

AT 333 Dunsmuir Street, Downtown Vancouver

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