International Paralympic organization will receive greater revenues from 2010 Games 

The International Paralympic Committee will receive $14 million US for the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Winter Olympic Games from the local organizing committee thanks to a new deal inked in Lausanne, Switzerland, earlier this week.

The money is for the broadcasting and marketing related to the Games.

The IPC will get the same amount for the 2012 Games as well. For the 2008 Games in Beijing it will receive $9 million US.

"(The International Olympic Committee) is happy to be able to support the IPC for these forthcoming editions of the Paralympic Games and, in doing so, strengthens its relations with the Paralympic movement," said IOC president Jacques Rogge in a press release.

This new agreement builds on two previous ones: The first was drawn up during the Sydney 2000 Olympics and the second was signed in June 2001.

The latest agreement recognized the need to build co-operation between the organizing committees of the Olympics and the Paralympics. The move was so well supported that the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics went ahead and chose to immediately implement the concept of having one organizing committee for both Games.

And so it will continue.

The Paralympic Winter Games hosts events for athletes from five different disability groups: wheelchair curling, sledge hockey, alpine skiing, biathlon and cross-country skiing.

The number of athletes competing in the Games has increased steadily over the years; from 400 in the Rome Summer Games in 1960 to 3,843 in Sydney in 2000, where a record of 123 countries participated.

The Canadian Paralympic Committee will have one representative on the board of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games Organizing Committee, the body responsible for the staging and operation of the Games.

It has yet to announce who that representative will be, and in that the organization is not alone.

The Resort Municipality of Whistler, so far, is the only body that has announced its delegates to the OCOG Board: the municipal administrator and the president of Tourism Whistler.

Currently Jim Godfrey is the administrator and Barrett Fisher is the acting president of Tourism Whistler.

The 20-member OCOG board will have representatives from Vancouver, Whistler, the federal and provincial governments, the Canadian Olympic Committee and First Nations.

It’s hoped the board will be up and running by late fall.

Meanwhile a transition team, comprised of members of the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation, is keeping things moving smoothly.

Last month the bid corporation was awarded a major marketing award for its work to land the 2010 Winter Games.

It won the Top Clients Award in the Lobby Group category from Strategy Magazine.

In an article announcing the winners in several marketing categories Strategy pointed to the massive multi-pronged international marketing effort that at its peak included a team of 18 full-time, part-time and contract staffers.

The magazine credits the bid corporation for its strategic use of homegrown Olympic champs as lobbyists as well as its synergy with marketing partners.

And it acknowledged the bold way the bid corp. turned a potentially devastating plebiscite on hosting the Games into a public relations campaign that galvanized the city behind the event.

The bid corp. also launched what’s believed to be the first e-mail campaign to International Olympic Committee members as a way of keeping the quest for the Games front and centre as the date for the IOC decision on who would host the event drew near.

Meanwhile a local ATV tour company is already capitalizing on the resort winning the Games.

Canadian Snowmobile Adventures and Canadian All-Terrain Adventures are taking tourists into the Callaghan Valley to check out the proposed site of the 2010 Nordic event centre.

"With the Olympic decision made obviously there is a lot of interest and people want to get in there and see what the valley looks like," said Doug Washer one of the owners of the adventure tour company.

"There are lots of points of interest to stop and show people such as where the jumps are going to be, where the stadium might be, and where the Nordic trails might be, so in that regard there has been a lot of interest in the valley for sure.

"And I imagine the tourism interest in the winter time will be much greater than even in the summer time so we will probably dedicate a specific tour at that time just to explain what is going on in more detail, and what the Olympics is all about."

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