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NEWS RELEASE · 1st March 2010
Office of the Premier
The 2010 Olympic Winter Games were an unparalleled success thanks to the gold-medal performance by Canadian athletes, VANOC, volunteers and residents, Premier Gordon Campbell said today.

"The 2010 Olympic Winter Games has not only left British Columbians with a powerful and enduring legacy, it has provided one of the defining moments in our country's history," said Premier Campbell. "Over 17 days, hundreds of thousands of people from across Canada and around the world filled the streets of Vancouver, Richmond and Whistler to share in the Olympic experience - and it has changed us forever."

The Games have also propelled British Columbia onto the world stage thanks to the unprecedented international marketing, exposure and outreach. Some 3.5 billion people - more than half the world's population - viewed the Games on TV, the Internet or a mobile device, making the 2010 Winter Olympics the most watched Winter Games in history.

In Canada, 33.1 million people - 99 per cent of the population - watched, read or listened to the Games since they started. Sixty-nine per cent viewed the opening ceremonies - the most-watched TV event in Canadian history.

"On behalf of all British Columbians, I want to thank VANOC, the volunteers, athletes, sponsors, fans, the federal government and every partner who have come together to make the 2010 Winter Olympic Games such a tremendous success," said Premier Campbell. "Everyone involved has played a role in elevating Canada's national pride to new heights and for making these Games a defining moment on our history - one that will be remembered for generations."

The Province put in place a comprehensive strategy to leverage the Games and sell British Columbia to the world, including:

* An international advertising campaign to promote tourism.
* A dynamic provincial presence at Robson Square that included the BC Pavilion, a popular zipline, and the Ignite the Dream laser and pyrotechnic show.
* A state-of-the-art BC International Media Centre to support 3,900 visiting media during the Games.
* A business hosting program with approximately 100 networking events and more than 9,000 participants over 17 days.

The Conference Board of Canada forecast that the Games will bring an additional $770 million to B.C.'s economy in 2010 alone. That doesn't include $2 billion in spending by delegations of sponsors, suppliers, networking businesses and athletic teams.

Tourism BC reports that at the halfway point of the Games more than 100,000 visitors were served at the information centres at Vancouver International Airport, Peace Arch border crossing, and throughout the venue cities in Vancouver, Whistler, Richmond and West Vancouver. When the final counts are in, the Province estimates that the prediction of 250,000 visitors to the province will be achieved.