Alberta announced on Tuesday its commitment to helping Canadian athletes to the podium at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Premier Ed Stelmach signed an accord with the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee that details Alberta's $100-million contribution for enhanced training facilities in the province, including:
- $25.6 million on recently completed renovations at the Canmore Nordic Centre.
- $69 million on a new ice complex at Canada Olympic Park to begin in March.
- Renewing Olympic facilities from the 1988 Games in Calgary.
"We are proud that the road to Vancouver leads through Alberta," Stelmach said in Canmore on Tuesday morning, just before the opening of a cross-country World Cup event.
'We are proud that the road to Vancouver leads through Alberta.' —Ed Stelmach, Alberta premier
"As the sport moves forward, it's great the Alberta government can help us keep current and keep us in the loop so we can keep fighting for the podium," said cross-country skier Devon Kershaw.
Stelmach also announced the province will create a committee of volunteers, an "Alberta House," and a cultural promotion of Alberta's artists, performers and writers during the Games.
In exchange, Vancouver is promising to join with Alberta and Salt Lake City, host of the 2002 Winter Olympics, to draw more international events to the cities after the Games are over.
"As we all prepare to remember and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games, what better time to create this link between Alberta and the 2010 Games," said John Furlong, CEO of VANOC.
"The legacies of the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games are impressive. Alberta is the training ground for many Canadian athletes who hope to win a medal in 2010, and we are pleased to see such strong support for their Olympic and Paralympic dreams."
The 2010 Olympics are in Vancouver and Whistler from Feb. 12-28, 2010, followed by the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12-21.