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Monday, August 24, 2009

Cute 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games Mascots roving the streets

We found this pic on the Mansfield Today website and couldn't resist grabbing it. Cute eh!

The Symbol of the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver

Vancouver is getting geared up for the 2010 Olympic, and Paralympic Winter Games. On July 2nd, 2003 Vancouver was announced and chosen as the host city for the 2010 Olympics! The city is getting ready for an event of a lifetime!

Record-breaking audience to tune in to Vancouver's 2010 Olympic Games

VANCOUVER The 2010 Games will be the best covered in Winter Olympic history, judging by the overwhelming interest in a media centre for unaccredited journalists, says B.C.’s minister for the Games.

“In all, media at the centre will reach more than 500 million viewers a day,” said Mary McNeil, the provincial minister of state for the Olympics, referring to the $2.5-million government-funded B.C. International Media Centre.

The centre, with 1,300 spots, is still tiny compared to the International Broadcast Centre and the Main Media Centre for 10,000 accredited broadcast, print and Internet-based journalists. Their work at the waterfront Vancouver Convention Centre, built for nearly $900 million, is expected to attract as many as three billion worldwide television viewers.

But the centre for unaccredited journalists, which in past Olympics has been a poor sister to the official media centre, has been overwhelmed with requests and every inch of available space is booked.

More than 24 news agencies and television broadcasters are setting up in the new centre, which will temporarily take over the University of B.C.’s Sauder School of Business at Robson Square. They’ve been lured by abundant space, central location to downtown events, the provision of high-value standup camera positions and at-cost high-speed transmission facilities.

ESPN, ABC, Fox News, Associated Press TV, British Press Association and several Asian news agencies have all said they will set up newsrooms at the centre.

It will also serve as the base for reporters representing more than 400 newspapers, said McNeil.

It will capture a growing and important segment of the media who come to the Olympics without credentials who need a place from which to report on non-sporting events or to assemble highlight packages for daily distribution to non-rights holding broadcasters.

These numbers will make the 2010 Games the best covered in Winter Olympics history, McNeil said. That, in turn, will be a huge boost for the city and provincial tourism.

“We would be crazy if we didn’t take advantage of the kind of attention the Olympics will bring. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us,” she said. “Think of all the stories that will show B.C. images. That’s a gold mine for our tourism industry.”

The province is underwriting the entire $2.5-million cost of the media centre, which is part of a large Olympic-themed complex the government is building at Robson Square. Another part of the complex includes a $2.3-million hosting facility and showcase for B.C.

With official Olympic credentials always difficult to obtain — the Canadian Olympic Committee, for example, received 800 requests from Canadian media groups for 200 positions at the 2010 Games — Olympic cities have adapted to provide unaccredited media centres.

But those facilities have often failed in their mission because they were in out-of-the-way locations or did not provide the services needed.

To this day, Art Berko, the Olympic chief for sports broadcaster ESPN, doesn’t know where Italian officials put their unaccredited media centre for the 2006 Turin Games.

His company shared a pair of penthouse apartments with ABC television in a residential neighbourhood a mile from the main media centre.

For the 2008 Beijing Games, ESPN rented space with other non-rights holding broadcasters in a commercial building outside the Olympic fence. In both cases they ignored the non-accredited media centres.

Berko, who has covered nine Olympic Games, said most cities want the media attention but make it difficult for journalists to do their jobs. “Often it’s much simpler for us to set up our own shop.”

But not this time.

“What’s good about the BCIMC is that it’s in a central location close to a lot of the places where we need to go," he said. “It’s been well thought-out.”

Much of the centre’s concept has been credited to Laura Ballance Media Group, which is overseeing the project. Ballance and her partner, Jeremy Dunn, both former journalists, said they actively sought advice from Olympic journalists about what the centre would need.

“Universally what they told us was that they needed a central workspace, some camera positions, a desk and a phone,” said Dunn, the centre’s operations manager.

While space is free, cost-recovery fees are being charged for value-added services such as high-speed transmission lines, telephones and parking.

One of the high-value attractions is that organizers set up a series of standup camera positions that capture the backdrop of the city. A number of Canadian broadcasters, including CBC’s The National, Global BC, and even Olympic rights holder CTV have agreed to do live broadcasts from the positions.

Ballance said the centre also has been designed with an eye toward sustainability. It will be paperless, with print-on-demand copiers, and information updates that will be sent out by social-networking services such as Twitter.

“You’re not going to see a table full of press releases and documents that get thrown out at the end of the Games,” she said. “It’s the first unaccredited media centre of its kind. We’re even using B.C. wood for cutlery. We wanted to set a new standard for how these kinds of facilities operate.”

The centre has also created 30 spots for bloggers and social media who can prove they have a substantial online following. It will also have banks of televisions, but reporters won’t be allowed to copy and broadcast the images. Nor will it have access to the Info 2010 terminals being set up by Vanoc in the accredited media centres that will list event results and other information.

Vanoc is still assessing whether it will post an information officer at the centre. But the Canadian Olympic Committee is installing a branch office where it will try to coordinate press conferences featuring Canadian athletes.


Mascots for Vancouver 2010 Olympics

The mascots of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia are based on mythological characters, they are Miga, Quatchi and Sumi.

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