Friday, February 12, 2010

2010 Olympic Winter Games Start Today in Vancouver, B.C.


The official logo of the 21st Olympic Winter Games
in Vancouver, B.C.

The 21st Olympic Winter Games start today in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, with an impressive and awe-inspiring ceremony at 6:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time). Canada's Governor-General Michaelle Jean will officially inaugurate the games at the British Columbia Place Stadium. The 16-day events will conclude on February 28 with participation of more than 5,000 athletes from over 80 countries. Seven sports (ice hockey, curling, skating, sliding, skiing, snowboarding and ski jumping) will be covered in 86 events.

Paralympics (Olympic competitions for athletes with physical and visual disabilities) will also be a part of the winter games. The 10th Paralympic games will be held separately on March 12 to 21.

This is the third time that Canada has been hosting Olympic games on its soil. The first hosting was the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec and the next one was the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta.

Canada has taken extraordinary security measures in ensuring the safety and security of the Olympians.

The Pope's Greetings for the Olympics

Pope Benedict XVI in a message on December 30, 2009, to Archbishop J. Michael Miller of Vancouver, British Columbia, and also to Bishop David Monroe of Kamloops, British Columbia, greeted "the participating athletes, the organizers and the many community volunteers who are generously cooperating in the celebration of the significant international event."

"Such an important occurrence for both athletes and spectators allows me to recall how sport 'can make an effective contribution to peaceful understanding between peoples and to establishing the new civilization of love,'" Pope Benedict added quoting his predecessor Pope John Paul II.

"In this light," the pope said, "may sport always be a valued building block of peace and friendship between peoples and nations." In the conclusion of the message, the pope invoked the abundant blessings of Almighty God.

Vancouver Archdiocese Extends Hospitality to Athletes

The Archdiocese of Vancouver under Archbishop Michael Miller, CSB, extends 'radical hospitality' to the athletes by opening two hospitality centres. In a letter to the athletes, the archbishop says: "While you are here, we hope you will consider visiting one of the archdiocese's downtown hospitlity centres for athletes." One of the centres is the Holy Rosary Cathedral and the other one is at the archdiocesan offices at the foot of Robinson Street."

"We think you will find these places to be sanctuaries while you take a break from the rigours of competition. We hope you will find a common language in the love of Jesus Christ."

The archbishop also invites all athletes to participate in the coming Ash Wednesday Mass on February 17.

Websites and Blogs Dealing with the Olympics

For daily Olympic events and updates, you may visit the following websites and blogs:

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