Canadian BC premier: Winter Olympics to create jobs

08:40, February 03, 2010      

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The premier of British Columbia, reiterated Tuesday the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games were good for the local economy and were literally generating thousands of jobs.

Speaking in Vancouver where Game's organizers unveiled the sculptured podiums and costumes the medal presenters and athlete escorts will wear, Premier Gordon Campbell said the 6 billion-plus Canadian dollars being spent to stage the Olympiad starting on February 12, would benefit the western province enormously.

"Everyone can see what the costs of the Olympics have been. It has been fully funded by the province, the federal government. We have been clear about that throughout. I think again, this is an Olympics that is generating revenue, that is generating jobs. All the people who are protesting it, I've never heard them go to someone who has one of those jobs and say 'I don't think your job is worth it,'" said Campbell.

"Those jobs are of huge value to our economy, particularly at times like this. Literally thousands of jobs, about three to four million (Canadian) dollars a day is going into the provincial economy. Now that's something to celebrate."

"Some businesses will probably have some challenges, but overall the province, the economy, the people of the province, are benefiting enormously from these Olympics."

Campbell, who last visited China on a 2007 trade mission promoting BC's expertise in green technology and life sciences, praised the Vancouver Organizing Committee (Vanoc) for the Games, saying the group had been exceptional in its preparations and exceeded expectations "every step of the way".

"They have exceeded sponsorship expectations, they have exceeded broadcast revenue expectations and tickets are effectively sold out now. All of those are generating revenues, which is paying for the Olympics."

Canada will be looking to reach the top of the podium in Vancouver and Whistler as its athletes have failed to win a gold medal in the country's two previous hosting of Olympiads at the 1976 Montreal Summer Games and the 1988 Calgary Winter Games. It is the only host country never to see its athletes win on home soil.

The distinctive medal podiums being used for the Games, 23 in all, are shaped like Vancouver Island and each feature more than 200 pieces indigenous wood from around the forestry-rich province. The fluid, wave-like pattern of the wood is said to echo the undulating peaks and ridges of the Coast Mountain Range.

Also unveiled were the three victory ceremony costumes designed by Canadian-Japanese Yumi Eto. The pieces include a midnight navy and blue "vintage inspired" ski coat adorned with Aboriginal artwork, and a chunky hand-knit heritage sweater, cinched at the waist with a hand-tooled belt. The outdoor version of the latter comes with a dark blue cocoon parka.

With the Games just 10 days away, Campbell added Vancouver and Whistler's hosting of the 21st Winter Olympics had lifted the spirits of a nation coming to terms with the current economic downturn.

"We've seen that in Canada, we've seen the torch go out to every province and touch literally millions of lives. What you can't ever measure is that the inspiration of young people is part of the Olympics. It might be a young artist .. a young speedskater," he said.

"It generates the kind of enthusiasm and excitement that I think is good for the entire nation. We obviously have to manage the finances of it, but I'll tell you, it drives economic opportunity. For us in British Columbia, it is going to be a launching pad into the 21st century."

Source: Xinhua
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