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34OLYMPIC REVIEW VANCOUVER 2010

OLYMPIC REVIEW35 VANCOUVER 2010 challenge. That's in part because Whistler's hotel system is created from strata- title condominium hotels that often have multiple owners, making it difficult for VANOC to reserve large blocks of rooms. VANOC has been able to find enough accommodation for officials, athletes and sponsors. But Terry Wright, VANOC's Executive Vice- President – Service Operations and Ceremonies, said it is still about 1,200 rooms short for workers. As a result, the organising committee recently sought tenders to moor two small cruise ships as floating hotels at nearby Squamish. It expects to resolve the shortage this year. Broadcasters in Vancouver will work out of a brand- new expansion, adjacent to the Main Press Centre, which is in the waterfront convention centre with its iconic and instantly recognisable five- sails roof. Whistler's convention centre will house a combined mountain media centre. If one of the main aims of the Olympic Games is to not build what IOC President Jacques Rogge calls " white elephants" then the VANOC venues fit the bill. Furlong says that VANOC never considered constru-cting venues that don't have a useful post- Games life. The Richmond Oval will be converted to much- needed community facilities, and Whistler Olympic Park adds trails and a long- sought cross- country element to the mountain resort's tourism strategy. The Whistler village will be converted to much- needed resident-only housing. And in Vancouver, the 1,100- unit village includes 250 units of low- income social housing, which fulfils one of VANOC's " inner city inclusivity commitments" to not negatively impact adjacent low- income neighborhoods. Environmental sustainability has also figured prominently in the plan. The Vancouver village incorporates green building technologies and energy- efficient district heating, and one of the condominium buildings is a model " net- zero" building designed to have a neutral environmental footprint. Many of the venues were already put through their paces the previous winter with a more limited schedule of test events, and VANOC spent the next year correcting and tweaking its findings. For example, the difficulty of moving spectators around last year's Alpine World Cup at Whistler Blackcomb showed the need for a new chairlift. ? RightThe Vancouver Torch Relay will criss-cross Canada ahead of the Games next year