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Author Douglas Coupland and a former Canada Reads panelist connect with the 2010 Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics begin in the beautiful city of Vancouver this Friday, and Canada Reads author Douglas Coupland has been asked by the Olympic committee to help commemorate the event.

Coupland and Roch Carrier, a panelist in Canada Reads 2005, both contributed essays to the Vancouver 2010 Official Souvenir Program, which aims to capture the flavour of the Winter Olympics and the Paralympic Games.

One of Vancouver's most noteworthy citizens, Douglas has written an essay about his hometown. Vancouver. Carrier, author of the beloved classic The Hockey Sweater, tackled hockey's historic and current importance to Canadians. (My guess is that it means a lot.)

The complete set of maps and event schedules included in the program should come in handy for those of you heading to Vancouver. If you're like me and you'll be following along on the TV, the program sounds like a nice way to support the games from afar. Or a way to become even more envious of those who do get to go...

Following up on his contribution to the official brochure, The New York Times recently asked Douglas about his thoughts on the Olympics, Generation X, his own workout regime and the irony of a Canadian winter with no snow.

Rosie @rosewhite22

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