The City of Vancouver today welcomed an invitation from the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games (BOCOG) to co-host the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games Torch Relay together with the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC). The invitation was announced by BOCOG, marking the one-year countdown to the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Summer Games which are scheduled for September 6-17, 2008.
The Beijing 2008 Paralympic Summer Games Torch Relay is the first of its kind and will take place in China and select international locations. The Relay will start August 28, following the closing of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Summer Games, and finish on September 6, the opening of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Summer Games.
"We are very pleased to welcome this invitation,â€ said Mayor Sullivan. â€œHosting the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Summer Games Torch Relay will promote our city, our province and Canada as one of the most inclusive and accessible societies in the world. In addition to increased tourism, the Torch Relay will build community spirit in advance of 2010.â€
â€œThe Canadian Paralympic Committee looks forward to partnering with the City of Vancouver in hosting the 2008 Paralympic Torch Relay. This is a unique opportunity to increase awareness of the Paralympic movement in Canadaâ€ says Carla Qualtrough, CPC President.
In June, City Council directed staff to express interest in being considered as a candidate city to host the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Summer Games Torch Relay.
The City of Vancouver will work with other Olympic and Paralympic partners including the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), the Canadian Paralympic Committee, Four Host First Nations and the Resort Municipality of Whistler to coordinate this exciting initiative.
The Beijing 2008 Paralympic Summer Games Torch Relay is one of the ways the City of Vancouver will celebrate the 2010 Winter Games. The public are asked to submit other ideas on how to celebrate the 2010 Winter Games at http://vancouver.ca/olympics.