2010 Winter Games Leaves A Lasting Legacy of Sport Hosting Experience

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More than a thousand athletes from over 20 countries trained in British Columbia's world-class facilities for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, creating a lasting legacy of economic development, sport system development, and social community development.

With help from Hosting BC, a partnership of 2010 Legacies Now, the Province of B.C. and Tourism BC, more than 18 communities around the province were able to develop relationships with international teams leading up to the Games.

"Communities in British Columbia have been very successful in attracting world-class athletes and we are pleased to help bring these teams to our province," said Hon. Kevin Krueger, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts. "By hosting international athletes, our communities realize a lasting legacy of economic benefits and increased community spirit."

Originally launched in Torino in 2006, Hosting BC offers Team and Event Services to assist sport-event organizers and sport teams in finding training facilities in B.C. Hosting BC coordinates and works with identified B.C. communities to develop hosting packages, which include accommodation, transportation, medical services, and cultural and recreational activities.

"Because of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, many B.C. communities have had the opportunity to showcase their sport facilities and make connections with international athletes and coaches," said Bruce Dewar, CEO of 2010 Legacies Now. "B.C. communities have not only seen good economic benefit, they have been able to learn from the visiting teams and build on relationships for the future."

The Okanagan community of Kelowna has successfully played host to several international teams leading up to the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The Swedish women's ice hockey team trained at both the Rutland and Memorial Arenas, while the Capital News Centre hosted sledge hockey teams from the USA, Germany, Norway and Canada. Both the Swedish men's and women's curling team and the German women's curling team also trained at the Kelowna Curling Club.

"All the Olympic athletes dined at local restaurants, shopped in local boutiques, and had a chance to visit our many attractions. There was a very tangible economic impact on our city resulting from these teams visiting prior to the 2010 Winter Olympics," said Nancy Cameron, CEO of Tourism Kelowna. "With exposure through the Games we look forward to many more European teams training in Kelowna in years to come."

Other communities which hosted international teams include: Kimberley, which hosted Para-Alpine teams from Canada, the UK, New Zealand and Australia; Abbotsford, which hosted the Japanese short-track speed skating team and Russian figure skating team; and the Comox Valley (Mt. Washington Alpine Resort) which hosted more than 300 athletes competing in snowboarding, cross-country skiing, biathlon and freestyle skiing.

The cornerstone of the Team and Event Services program is HostingBC.ca (www.hostingbc.ca), a comprehensive online database of B.C. winter and summer sport facilities which includes photo galleries, technical venue information, local support services and key contacts in each community. It allows training and event organizers from around the world to search by sport, facility, resort or community to find suitable locations to host their event and/or training camps.

Hosting BC provided BC communities with funding to host national and international sport events. The program aimed to build BC's reputation as a premier sport event destination and maximize sport hosting opportunities leading up to, and beyond, the 2010 Winter Games. The program was supported by the Province of British Columbia.