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28OLYMPIC REVIEW VANCOUVER 2010 planning and hosting activities. " We have developed a profound partnership with the aboriginal people of this country," Furlong declares, referring to the indigenous First Nations, Inuit and Métis population. " They are full partners in delivering the Games." The IOC's objective of assuring aboriginal groups' full participation in the Games dates back to 1999, when the body adopted its Sport for Sustainable Development agenda. The Games in Vancouver will demonstrate that assurance. " Indigenous participation in past Games has focused primarily on ceremonies and cultural programmes," says Gary Youngman, Vancouver's Consulting Director of Aboriginal Participation. " We plan to go beyond that, to set the bar higher, with the hope that future Organising Committees can be inspired and learn from our experience." Fasel credits in particular the contributions of British Columbia's Four Host First Nations - the Lil'wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil- Waututh - on whose native territories the Games will take place. " They've been involved since the bid phase," he says, " and not only have they participated in the organisation, but First Nations companies have helped build some of the venues." Aboriginal art and culture, a vital ingredient in forming Canada's history, will be on display through the Games and notably during the Cultural Olympiad. The two- month- long programme, from 22 January to 21 March, will celebrate the best artists from across Canada and around the world. Featuring music, dance, theatre, visual arts, film, outdoor spectaculars and digital media experiences, " it tells a full story of what Canada is about and why Canada works," Furlong says. Furlong, who emigrated to Canada from his native Ireland nearly 30 years ago, recalls the words of a custom official who greeted him at the airport. "' Welcome to Canada,' he said, ' make us better.'" These Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, he firmly believes, will indeed make Canada better. " We've tried to have the Games unify the spirit of the country, to have Canadians see them as an opportunity to stop and celebrate and embrace their good fortune to live in a special place," he says. That energy will encourage the rest of the world to turn its attention to Vancouver and cheer for the 2010 Olympic Games. ¦ It's going to be nice to see so many people converging on Vancouver, people who are really open to exploring and seeing all the good things in a place. I'm looking forward to trying to get in to see some of the ice hockey games. It's great when you get to see something like that, literally a few minutes from your doorstep. Other things that would be fun to check out are curling and speed skating - they're going to be exciting and unique. I think it's going to be fantastic. TOM MASTERSON 24, BIOTECHNOLOGY MARKETER I was an escort runner with the Calgary 1988 Olympic Torch Relay and everybody lined the road with Canadian flags. I expect the same thing here in Vancouver - massive amounts of patriotism and enthusiasm for Canadian athletes. We tend to think that the world has discovered Vancouver, but we are actually quite small in the light of the world, so there will be many people who've never seen Vancouver, who'll be impressed. I think even Canadians who haven't been to Vancouver for a long time might be encouraged to come again. BRIAN MOGHADAM 51, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER ABORIGINAL ART AND CULTURE, A VITAL INGREDIENT IN FORMING CANADA'S HISTORY, WILL BE ON DISPLAY THROUGH THE GAMES AND NOTABLY DURING THE CULTURAL OLYMPIAD, CELEBRATING THE BEST ARTISTS FROM ACROSS CANADA AND AROUND THE WORLD

I'm looking forward to feeling proud to be a Vancouverite and proud to be a Canadian, and that we can contribute to a worldwide movement that may inspire young people to become interested in fitness and sport. The Olympic Games is one of a handful of events that unite the world in friendship and spirited competition, to build a network of goodwill throughout the world. Hosting the 2010 Games is an investment in building a solid foundation of athleticism in Canada, building an interest in sport. Major kudos to those who put in countless hours and vast amounts of energy to get this thing going. I think it will stand us in good stead for years to come. JIM COLBERT 56, ADVERTISING CREATIVE DIRECTOR Every year I watch the Olympic Games, from the time I get up to the time I go to work - I don't plan on going to any of the events because I work a night shift. Certainly watching the Games on TV is going to be more interesting because it's ours - I'll probably get to know more of the local athletes, and it'll mean more. I'll watch hockey, for sure. I enjoy the cross-country skiing competition and the ski jumping and the speed skating, too. But there isn't any event that I don't enjoy - because it's history in the making. You're a part of it then, so I'm excited that way, for that reason. ADEL YAZURA 64, MAIL SORTER, NIGHT SHIFT It is going to be one heck of an experience. We're going to have many cultural performers, not just ourselves, but other Aboriginal performers from all over Canada are going to be here at the Cultural Centre to participate in the Games. I am a performer and I will lead everybody into the songs, and I do traditional welcomes, as well. I think these performances are a great way to show the whole world that our cultures are still alive and well. JOSH ANDERSON 27, FIRST NATIONS FRONTLINE OPERATIONS COORDINATOR The morning Vancouver was to find out whether it had won the bid or not, my sister and I took our little babies to GM Place, where the winner would be announced. We wanted the children to be able to say they were there when we found out Vancouver had won. My husband and I were lucky enough to get tickets in the lottery - we did very well, and got tickets for the opening ceremonies, and tickets for the women's gold medal hockey game, among others. I'm excited for my kids to be exposed to a wide range of sports, sports they might not otherwise see. JENNIFER WAH 45, COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT OLYMPIC REVIEW29 VANCOUVER 2010