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Vancouver names representatives to OCOG board



Lay believes Games will provide boost to whole province

Whistler is not alone anymore in announcing its members for the 2010 Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games board.

This week Vancouver announced that city manager Judy Rogers and president of the LegaciesNow Society Marion Lay are to represent the city on the board.

"The city could not have two better people to represent council and the citizens on this board," said Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell.

"Both have the unanimous support of council."

Whistler chose the municipal administrator and the president of Tourism Whistler as its two members. Currently they are Jim Godfrey and Barrett Fisher, respectively.

Lay is a member of the executive committee of the Canadian Olympic Committee and is on the National Task Force on Sport.

She was also Canada’s 100m freestyle swimming champion from 1964 to 1968 and a member of the 4X100m freestyle relay team which captured the bronze medal at the 1968 Olympic in Mexico City.

She retired from international competition in 1968 and became CBC’s colour commentator at all major swimming events until 1973.

Lay is president of Think Sport Ltd., a Vancouver-based sport management and consulting firm that specializes in event management, program planning, evaluation and gender equity education.

"I’m thrilled," she said.

"It is a great honour."

"I think the commitment is to have the best ever Winter Games and Paralympic Games and also to do it within a budget that allows for a legacy at the end that not only is for the facilities but is also for sport development and for community programming.

"So one of my major commitments is to ensure that we have money over the next seven years for our sport and our cultural programs. We have to have an Olympic Games here in Canada where we win gold medals."

Lay believes the Games will provide a great boost to B.C. Not only by bringing federal money into the economy but also by raising the profile of the province as a location to host any number of sporting and other events over the next six years.

"There will be a huge request internationally for the hosting of events right around the province," she said.

"Any event can come and go and nothing happens because of it. Or you can have committees that say… ‘if we are going to have an investment we better see some returns.’

"I think the plans are showing the returns are there – new green technology, youth strategies and downtown eastside strategies.

"I think we just need to absolutely ensure the commitments in the bid are honoured and implemented and funded with the OCOG.

"The challenge is how do you put your values into action."

The fate of the LegaciesNow program will be determined by the full board once it meets toward the end of September. It has been separate from the bid for some time, as it became apparent that developing sport needed its own team to achieve maximum results.

Rogers has been involved in various aspects of the quest to host the Games since the very beginning.

The composition of the board is structured under tight International Olympic Committee rules. There will be 19 members altogether.

Seven members come from the Canadian Olympic Committee. They are COC president Michael Chambers, Chris Rudge the executive-director, Canada’s three IOC members, Charmaine Crooks, Dick Pound and Paul Henderson, a yet-to-be-named athlete from the most recent winter or summer Games and one other person.

There will also be three federal and three provincial appointees. Announcements on who they will be are not expected before the end of the month.

The Canadian Paralympic Committee’s president Patrick Jarvis will also be an OCOG board member.

First Nations leaders will meet before the end of the month to choose a representative. Squamish Chief Gibby Jacob, who has been involved in the quest to bring the 2010 Games to Vancouver and Whistler since the beginning, is considered the top contender for the position.

Vancouver and Whistler were chosen by the International Olympic Committee July 2 to host the 2010 Winter Games over rivals Pyeongchang, South Korea and Salzburg, Austria.