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Vancouver earns high marks for Green Games

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge on Tuesday praised Vancouver for putting forward a green Olympic Games, saying a socially and environmentally conscious organizing committee had provided a "blueprint" for future Olympics.

Rogge, who spoke at the opening of an IOC session three days before Friday's Opening Ceremonies, also commended organizers for steering Games preparations through difficult economic times, saying they had risen "to the challenge without compromising the original vision for these Games."

That vision has included a speedskating oval whose roof is made from reclaimed timber, an athletes' village heated in part by local sewers and with supplied with rainwater toilets, and a sliding track for bobsled, luge and skeleton that heats nearby buildings with waste heat from its ice refrigeration plant. Some locals have complained that the attention to the environment has led to cost overruns.

But, Rogge said at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, "that vision has established new standards for environmental sustainability and legacy planning. Everything that has been done to prepare for these Games was done with the athletes, the environment and legacy in mind. The lessons learned here are a blueprint for future Games."

Rogge pointed out that more than 2,500 athletes from 82 countries will be competing at the Winter Games, which will be recorded by more than 10,000 media members and watched by 250,000 spectators and a global television audience of 3 billion.

By Amy Shipley  |  February 10, 2010; 12:30 AM ET
Categories:  Vancouver 2010  
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