Boffins assist VANOC

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Uinversity researchers have been appointed by the Vancouver Organising Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) to provide third–party data and analysis for the Olympic Games Impact (OGI) research project.

The OGI Research Project was developed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to introduce a standardised cross–Games method of monitoring, measuring and reporting on the long–term impact of hosting an Olympic Games. All Olympic Organising Committees are required to undertake the OGI study in conjunction with an independent research organisation. A key objective of the project is to create a database of information that is common to all Games. University of British Columbia (UBC) researchers will measure changes between 2001 and 2013 in 126 national and regional environmental, social and economic indicators required for the OGI report, passing on data and analysis to future bid and host cities. "UBC is a respected world–class university with a broad base of expertise and resources, " said John Furlong, CEO of VANOC, which is providing a $300, 000 grant to UBC for this project from the Games' operating budget. "We are confident we've got the right team to deliver the research we need to meet our OGI obligations. Tracking this information will not only help future Games but will also prove to be an important legacy for those who will continue to use this data long after 2010. ""UBC is pleased to provide the data and analysis so valuable to the Olympic Movement including bid and host countries around the world, " said Stephen Owen, UBC vice president of external, legal and community relations. "As an international leader in research and sustainability, we are proud that UBC scholars will help to improve future Games. "The five–year project will be led by Dr Rob Van Wynsberghe from the School of Human Kinetics and Department of Educational Studies in UBC's Faculty of Education. Dr Van Wynsberghe's research interests include determining how large–scale events can impact the health and sustainability of cities and citizens. UBC's team, which will include students, will assemble data and provide analysis for the three remaining OGI reports–due to be tabled with the IOC in 2009, 2010 (post–games) and 2013. An OGI Programme Baseline Report on the 2010 Winter Games was completed in 2007 by the Fraser Basin Council, a non–government organication that reports on the social, economic and environmental health of BC communities. The baseline report provided baseline data to illustrate the situation in Vancouver, BC and Canada prior to the Games. For the remaining three reports, the UBC team will track changes in the baseline indicators. "OGI is an example of the rich learning and research opportunities that UBC provides to students and staff, " says Bob Sparks, director, UBC School of Human Kinetics. "It offers a meaningful way to engage with a major global event happening in our back yard. "The Beijing Organising Committee for the 2008 Olympic Summer Games (BOCOG) selected Renmin University to lead its OGI research. The London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic Summer Games (LOCOG) has appointed the national archiving service for the UK, the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) as its OGI Researcher. ESDS is a joint venture between the University of Essex and the University of Manchester.

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