Speech by the IOC President, Jacques Rogge
Dear Canadian Friends,
Here we are, back in Canada, for the third time in the history of the Olympic Games.
After Montreal and Calgary, it is now the turn of the west coast of this wonderful sports loving nation to host the world’s athletes.
Thank you, Canada, for this great loyalty to the Olympic ideals.
My thanks go to the public authorities of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, the Four Host First Nations, our hosts Vancouver, Whistler and Richmond, and all regions of Canada for their strong commitment and support.
Thank you to our friends at VANOC the Organising Committee, who have worked tirelessly for seven years to ensure that we can be here tonight in this magnificent Stadium, to open 16 days of competition for which the athletes have trained so hard.
And a special thanks to the thousands of Games volunteers for your enthusiasm. Without you, none of this would be possible.
For today, the Olympic Games mean more than just performance.
The Olympic Games have brought together in the same quest for excellence, friendship and respect the people of over 82 National Olympic Committees, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion or political systems.
Our world today is in need of peace, tolerance and brotherhood. May the Vancouver 2010 Games be held in peace, in the true spirit of the Olympic Truce.
These Games belong to you. They are your Games.
So give them the magic that we all desire, through your performances and your conduct and do it in memory of your late friend, Nodar Kumaritashvili.
Remember that you are role models for the youth of the world.
There is no glory without responsibility.
Please compete in the spirit of Olympic values.
And reject doping and cheating.
I now have the honour to ask the Right Honorable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, to open the XXI Olympic Winter Games