Olympic, Paralympic flags rise in Whistler 

Officials gather Friday to mark occasion

Whistler will step into the spotlight tomorrow with the raising of the Paralympic flag here marking the countdown to hosting the event in 2010.

On hand will be a host of dignitaries, including Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan, Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed, Chief Leonard Andrew of the Lil’Wat First Nation, federal parliamentary secretary James Moore, and Dave Cobb, senior vice-president marketing for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Games.

The flag raising will take place outside the Whistler Olympic Information Centre, near Millennium Place, at noon.

A flag designating Whistler as the mountain host for the 2010 Olympics will also be raised.

Whistler will host all alpine and Nordic events in February 2010. The Paralympics will be held here March 12-21.

Mayors Melamed and Sullivan have just returned from the 2006 Paralympics in Turin Italy, which came to an end a week ago.

On Tuesday, March 28th the Resort Municipality of Whistler and VANOC will host a panel discussion and open forum on sustainability and the Olympics. Speakers will include Linda Coady, vice president of sustainability for VANOC, Ugo Pretato, head of environmental programs for the Torino 2006 Games and Diane Gleason, director of environmental programs for the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics. It will be moderated by Salla Koivusalo, environmental director for the International Association of Athletics Federation games in Helsinki in 2005.

The discussion will focus on how the world’s biggest sporting events can help move sustainability into the local and global mainstream. It will be held at Millennium Place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Linda Coady will also be speaking at the upcoming Globe 2006 conference, which will be held in Vancouver starting March 29 th .

The conference will once again highlight the Hydrogen Highway project, which aims to put hydrogen fueling stations in Victoria, the Lower Mainland and up the Sea to Sky corridor. It is expected to be up and running by 2010 as a showcase for sustainable development during the Olympic Games.

As part of the project Whistler councillors Eckhard Zeidler and Bob Lorriman will drive from Whistler to the Globe conference on Thursday, March 30th in hydrogen fuelled cars provided through Powertech Labs and Sacré-Davey Engineering.

The cars will be leaving the Marriott Hotel Resident on Painted Cliff Road around 8:30 a.m.

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