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Dates for proposed 2010 Winter Olympic Games change

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By Clare Ogilvie.

The Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation has changed the dates it is proposing for the Winter Olympics so the Games do not clash with major sporting events such as the Super Bowl.

"The (International Olympic Committee) requested, after the evaluation commission, that we move the dates forward," said Bid Corporation spokesman Sam Corea.

"We have sent letters and in discussion with all the venue owners have decided to move it to Feb. 12 to the 28."

The dates for the Paralympics will also move, with the event now to be held from March 12 to 21.

The 2010 Olympics were initially scheduled to run from Feb 5 to Feb 21.

Corea said the dates might still change, as the event is a long way off.

"All the dates could change until everything is final," he said.

"One of the reasonings comes from a marketing perspective. In North America they don’t want the Games to compete with other events.

"One of those events would be the Super Bowl. We would be right up against it and it is such a huge event in North America."

The NFL championship game is often the most-watched TV program each year. It drew over 137 million viewers last year.

Meanwhile with 95 days and counting to go until the host of the 2010 Games is chosen the bid corporation is focusing on getting its message out.

Bid officials will be travelling overseas and making presentations at home to keep Vancouver and Whistler’s profile front and centre as the fight to win the Games continues.

The B.C. locations are competing against Salzburg, Austria and Pyeongchang, Korea for the right to hold the Games. The winner will be announced in Prague, Czech on July 2.

2010 Bid Corp. President John Furlong was in Washington, D.C., this week for the World Figure Skating Championships.

"This is about more awareness, that is all," said Corea.

"This is to keep people updated."

The bid will have a larger presence at the 2003 World Curling Championships in Winnipeg, Manitoba April 5 through 13.

"That is because they are in Canada," said Corea, an admitted curler.

"We will be there available to talk to the press and the community and it also helps that Roy Sinclair, a member of the evaluation commission and president of the World Curling Federation (will be there).

"So it is one extra chance for us to answers any questions he might have about the bid.

"We are not there to lobby. We are just there to provide information."

From April 5 through10 Furlong will be travelling to Argentina to attend the National Olympic Committee meetings of Central America and South America.

"We are permitted to do a presentation there," said Corea.

On May 2 another milestone along the way to the finish line will be passed as the evaluation commission which travelled to all three candidate cities in February and March releases its report on its findings.

Following that, on May 16, Vancouver Bid Corporation officials will attend SportAccord in Madrid Spain.

All the 2010 candidate cities have been invited to make a presentation at this international sports convention which gathers people from all areas of the sporting community.

Representatives from 95 sports federations and the IOC executive boards are expected to attend.

The Vancouver 2010 bid will also host a booth at SportAccord.

In late May bid officials will attend the international conventions of sports writers in Portugal.

Here at home, Scotiabank has signed on as a Community Contributor. It will provide $200,000 to help create more awareness about the bid and in particular the Paralympics.

This latest contribution pushes funding for the bid close to its target.

"We are very close to having all the fundraising targets achieved," said Corea.

"The funding is committed but it has to be received. It has been very good to have over 250 companies, businesses and corporations from the small to the big, from local to national involved in this bid planning.

"And the fundraising, as a project, has gone very well."

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