RMOW, COC working together to support Canadian athletes 

Organizations to develop accommodation program for families

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the Resort Municipality of Whistler signed a memorandum of understanding this week that outlines how the two organizations will collaborate to achieve the mutual goal of developing programs that encourage and support Canadian athletes in reaching the podium at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and beyond.

The MOU also contains guiding principles that govern the expanded relationship between the two partners. Both the COC and the RMOW are member partners of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

A working group, comprised of representatives from both organizations, will be responsible for the development of objectives and the execution of specific programs. Potential programs include accommodation for families of Canadian athletes as guests of Whistler families during test events, supporting emerging Whistler athletes, a coaching development summit in Whistler, and assisting the COC in establishing a location for Canada Olympic House during the Games. Post-Games programs include working with the Whistler Legacy Society to ensure ongoing access to the sliding centre and Nordic centre in Whistler after the Games.

"We're excited about the prospects of our partnership with Whistler," Lou Ragagnin, the Chief Operating Officer of the COC, said in a release. "Our objectives are very much aligned and by working together we'll be able to develop several unique, Whistler-based programs to support Canadian athletes as they strive for podium success leading up to, and beyond, the 2010 Olympic Winter Games."

"Our partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee demonstrates a shared commitment to the delivery of a great Games and an extraordinary experience for Canadian athletes," said Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed. "We are pleased to be working with the COC in fostering excellence in athleticism."

The catalyst for the MOU between the COC and the Resort Municipality of Whistler was an orientation session in February during which the municipality reviewed Whistler's strategic framework for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games relating to athlete development.

It was an energetic and team building session, said John Rae, Manager of Strategic Alliances & Marketing, noting that the COC was already knowledgeable about Whistler's sustainability goals. The agreement takes effect immediately and runs until March 31, 2011, with an option for renewal.


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