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IOC evaluation report leads to changes in Whistler

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The ceremony would be broadcast to the Vancouver site and Vancouver’s medal ceremony would be seen here on giant screens.

Overall 2010 bid officials were pleased with the evaluation commission report released May 2.

"The good news for us most of all was that there were absolutely no surprises," said Douglas.

"It just reaffirmed that we were on the right path and we want to keep delivering the message internationally through to July 2 (when the IOC will choose a host for the 2010 Games)."

While the evaluation commission does not rank the candidate cities in its report the general consensus is that Vancouver and Whistler are out in front.

However, Douglas said the bid corp. still sees it as a close race.

"We think we are in a horse race and if you are in any good race you just keep moving forward," she said.

"We all have our heads down and are moving to the finish line. We are not done until we are done."

Despite concerns over the Sea to Sky Highway the evaluation commission report found the bid’s transportation plans were solid.

Pyeongchang and Salzburg also had challenges identified in transportation. Salzburg’s airport is relatively small but the city has a well-developed bus and rail system.

Pyeongchang is facing considerable upgrades to its transportation system and plans to spend $2.8 billion US between 2002 and 2009.

Other issues raised for Pyeongchang were risks associated with the construction of a new alpine venue, challenges with provision of accommodation, and minimal experience in hosting winter sports for the disabled.

Salzburg’s evaluation was mostly positive but bid proponents were urged to look more closely at the planning of the Paralympics. There was also concern over noise disturbances at the athlete’s villages, and the amount of accommodation secured so far. Salzburg’s plans also offer little or no legacy for ice events in the region.

Since the IOC report was released Salzburg has announced plans to condense the number of sports venues.

For Whistler Mayor Hugh O’Reilly the Vancouver bid’s evaluation was a validation of the hard work done so far.

"This recognizes the huge amount of effort that everyone collectively… (has) put in," he said.

"I think we’ve got a really well thought out vision which really addresses athletes’ needs. The compactness of the venues, the venues themselves and the athlete’s villages are all well considered and the athletes really have had a huge say.

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