A chance to Champion the 2010 bid 

2010 Olympic Bid Member >>Steve Podborski
  • 2010 Olympic Bid Member >>Steve Podborski

Locals will be able to display stickers and posters of support thanks to a new Olympic Bid program

Check out storefronts and bumpers in the next few weeks.

You might notice a spectacular poster of Whistler at dusk, inset with Olympic themes, or a sticker on a car proclaiming support for the 2010 Winter Games.

It is all part of a new Whistler-based program to let locals show their support for the quest to host the Winter Olympic Games in 2010.

Called the Whistler Bid Champion Program it will focus on giving specially designed promotional materials to locals to raise awareness of the event.

It will also offer educational materials and presentations to community groups and local employers.

"Basically what we are trying to do is create a forum for businesses and individuals and people in the community to have some tools to show their visible support for the bid," said Maureen Douglas, Whistler’s director of community relations for the bid.

"We want to get this into people’s hands. People are asking for these tools and we want to make that available."

An endorsement letter will also be drawn up which people can sign. It will be kept safely then forwarded to the International Olympic Committee to help illustrate the level of local support for the Games.

Douglas is also hoping to target some local businesses to help spread the word on the Games and ensure that accurate information is circulated in the community about the Games, the facilities, the legacies and the costs.

"We will be looking at certain members of the business community to help take it out to other businesses and answer questions," said Douglas.

"It also helps us answer people’s concerns. They might still be missing a piece of the puzzle and we can help with that."

It’s hoped the new program will also tap into the "silent majority" living in the community.

"Not unlike Vancouver there tends to be a somewhat silent majority," she said.

"People see you out there doing your thing promoting the bid and they think, ‘oh it is coming along fine,’ and they are not out there necessarily waving the flag."

Councillor and lawyer Nick Davies believes the program is an idea whose time has come.

"I think we are moving from the time when the community was looking at the bid and seeking further information to a time where people ought to be taking a position," he said.

"So I think people can start taking a position and doing things like using a bumper sticker or putting a decal in the window."

Davies is also hoping a support statement or catchy "unofficial" logo could be made available for people who want to put it on their company or personal letterhead.

The Bid Corporation will send in their "mini bid book" at the end of May. The International Olympic Committee will choose candidate cities Aug. 29. The final decision on who will host the 2010 Games will be made July 2, 2003.

Vancouver has also launched a "Champion" program but the focus is on trained volunteers championing the bid rather than individuals using promotional materials to show support.

Whistler’s program is suited to the resort as the community is clustered in a small area and most people shop and travels trough town daily.

Said Douglas: "In Whistler the core of the community… go into the village so getting that visibility is so important and it just keeps it present in people’s minds what we are working toward."

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