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Canada's foreign affairs ministers lauds Whistler as location for 2010 Winter Olympic Games



Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham took every opportunity to give Whistler and Vancouver’s bid for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games a plug at last week’s meeting of G8 foreign ministers.

Just minutes after arriving by car June 12 he stepped out of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler to speak to the press sporting a gold 2010 Games lapel pin.

"I am going to make a point of making sure that they know about it (the Olympic bid)," he said.

"I think it is important for them that they know about it. I think it is great. They are going to drive up to Whistler and they are going to see this place. Let’s make sure that they get to know that this would be a wonderful place to have the Winter Olympics in 2010."

In the same breath he did admit that as spectacular as the drive up the Sea to Sky Highway was there was little doubt the road needs some help.

"(It) needs a little fixing and I think everyone agrees to that," said Graham.

With hundreds of members of the media hanging on his every word at the closing press conference Graham reiterated that Whistler was an ideal location for the Games after offering a thank-you to the resort.

"I would first like to begin my statement by thanking the government and people of the province of B.C. and the mayor and the council and especially the citizens of the municipality of Whistler for the warm welcome they have extended to our G8 foreign ministers and our delegation," said Graham.

"I am sure you will all agree with us that this is a magnificent venue for a meeting and I invite you all to come back in the winter and judging by the hospitality you received here this would be an excellent place for the 2010 Winter Olympics with the Vancouver Whistler region."

Words like those warm the hearts of organizers at the 2010 Bid Corporation.

"This is further confirmation that at many ministries now… this is Canada’s bid and any time we get a reiteration of that it does show that this is Canada’s bid," said Sam Corea spokesman for the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation.

"We are wholeheartedly excited about these comments."

The success of the G8 conference from a security point of view is also important said Corea.

"It does attest to security and organizational issues and we are marked (by the International Olympic Committee) on these issues too," said Corea.

"British Columbians and Whistlerites should be proud that they can put together these events and it is another feather in our cap."