Winter Olympics costs spiral

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The cost of building some 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic competition venues has ballooned by almost half, a newly–released report shows.

The cost of building some 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic competition venues has ballooned by almost half, a newly–released report shows. Originally budgeted at $212. 2m, five venues have undergone an Olympic–sized increase to $314. 2m, a 48% hike, the Vancouver Organising Committee's (VANOC) annual report shows. As an example, Whistler's Olympic Park, the Nordic venue, has risen to $122. 4m from the original estimate of $102m. The annual report also showed a $48. 1m deficit as was predicted by VANOC earlier this year. It is reportedly due mainly to the timing of cash flows. Meanwhile, the web–based Vancouver 2010 Education Programme has expanded to include two new initiatives that are designed to connect teachers and students in British Columbia and across Canada to the Olympic and Paralympic Movements and to the 2010 Winter Games. The first new programme, the Pan–Canadian Paralympic School Week, will be launched across the country on 3 November 2008. The week–long programme offers an opportunity for students to learn about the Paralympic Movement, to explorethe significance of human interdependence, and to recognise and celebrate wide–ranging examples of Paralympian achievements. The curriculum, developed by the BC Ministry of Education in partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and VANOC, is inspired by VANOC's Paralympic School Day, whichengages students and guest Paralympians in Paralympic–style sports, such as ice sledge hockey, cross–country skiing or wheelchair curling. An educator guide is now available online to help teachers plan activities and events at their schools during that week. On 12 November 2008, the Ministry of Education is launching its Sharing the Dream Webcast Series with its first student–led webcast interview with Olympic gold medallist Carol Huynh in Coquitlam. Students on–site will interview Huynh while students across the country will be able to log–on to view the webcast and e–mail questions to contribute to the discussion. Following the webcast, discussions will continue through the TakingITGlobal website, which will connect Canadian students with students from around the world to help them all become global citizens.

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