Organizers will unveil the Olympic torch design and the outfits
torchbearers will wear on Thursday in Whistler as part of the one-year countdown
to the 2010 Games.
The Olympic Torch is designed and manufactured by Canadian
business leader Bombardier, while the torchbearer uniform is designed by
Hudson’s Bay Company. Both will be revealed for the first time in Village
Square at 8 a.m. at a public celebration with Olympic and other dignitaries.
The list of VIPs includes IOC president Dr. Jacques Rogge, Gary Lunn, the
federal Minister of State for Sport, B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell, and Whistler
Mayor Ken Melamed.
The Torch Relay, presented by Coca-Cola and RBC and supported
by the Government of Canada, will connect Canadians in every province and
territory, in a 45,000-kilometre journey over approximately 100 days and
involving 12,000 torchbearers. It starts Oct. 30 and will stop in Whistler Feb.
For Whistler’s mayor the countdown marks a time for final
preparation and for the excitement of hosting the world’s biggest sporting
event to become real.
“This is an exciting time,” he said Monday while rushing
between interviews with media from all over the world.
“It means we are finally a year away. In some ways the wait has
been interminable… but now it is all about the final countdown to the
realization of these Games.”
For the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Games the
countdown is a time to tell Canada to get involved.
“Get on board, celebrate, be part of this,” said Maureen
Douglas, VANOC’s director of community relations.
“We are one year away from one of the most remarkable
experiences a country can share in and we want you to be part of it.”
Cities, regions and towns locally and across Canada have
organized events and VANOC is encouraging everyone at 6 p.m. on Feb. 12 to make
some noise by to honking horns, ringing bells, cheering, and singing out loud.
On Thursday the 2010 Mascots, Sumi, Quatchi and Miga, will also
be in Whistler to celebrate. And, of course, there will be cake.
The one-year countdown celebration period officially kicked off
with the first sport event on Jan. 16 and ends on March 21 — the one year
mark to the last day of the Paralympic Games.
Whistler is celebrating the countdown with several days of
activities including fireworks and fire spinners as Whistler Blackcomb turns up
the heat with the top free-riding athletes from the Ski and Snowboard School
jumping through the “Ring of Fire”. The event will take place Thursday from
5:40 p.m. to 6:10 pm in Skier’s Plaza.
There will be a series of free concerts in Village Square in
celebration of the energy, diversity and distinctive flavours of Canada. They
are presented by Whistler Arts Council and the 2009 Cultural Olympiad. The
concerts are just one aspect of the Cultural Olympiad that includes films,
theatrical performances and other artistic mediums (go to
for more information)
The concert schedule:
•Thursday. Feb. 12
4:40 p.m.-5:40 p.m.: Wil
5:40 p.m.-6:10 p.m.; 1-year Countdown Celebration
6:10 p.m.-7:10 p.m.: the Paperboys
•Friday, Feb. 13
4:40 p.m.-5:40 p.m.: Joel Plaskett
5:40 p.m.-6:10 p.m.: DJ Dakota
6:10 p.m.-7:10 p.m.: Wide Mouth Mason
•Saturday, Feb. 14
4:40 p.m.-5:40 p.m.: Grand Analog
5:40 p.m.-6:10 p.m.: DJ Dakota
6:10 p.m.-7:10 p.m.: Buck 65
•Sunday, Feb 15
3:40 p.m.-4:40 p.m.: Bitterly Divine
4:40 p.m.-5:10 p.m.: DJ Dakota
5:10 p.m.-6:10 p.m.: George Leach
On Wednesday dignitaries and Olympic officials will also unveil
Whistler’s own Omega countdown clock, which will be located at the Whistler
Sliding Centre on Blackcomb Mountain.
Also on Wednesday, starting at 7 p.m. in Village Square there
will be a special performance by Canada’s Jully Black and visits from Canadian
athletes, including last weekend’s skier-cross silver medalist, Whistler’s own
Also, don’t’ forget to look up if you are passing through Mountain Square as artists practice aerial entertainment.