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One Year to Go: Countdown to 2010 Olympics

With only one year to go before Canada hosts the 2010 Olympics, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is inviting communities across the host country to help celebrate the countdown to 2010 in their own unique way. Will the Games be green?

Tomorrow at 6:00 pm -- exactly one year from the start of the Opening Ceremony in Vancouver -- Canadians are invited to make noise. "You can honk car horns in downtown Toronto or sound foghorns in Halifax, ring sleigh bells in Prince George, chant folkloric songs, or dance to Aboriginal drumming in St. John's," advises the Vancouver Organizing Committee. "Anything to show Canadians' pride as the Games draw near. The noise will roll like a wave of sound across the land as the clock strikes 6:00 pm in each of the country's six time zones."

John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee, wants Canada to party. "These are Canada's Games and we invite the whole country to join in the fun," he said. "Celebrate a local athlete, host a weekend street hockey tourney, or 'hurry hard' to organize a community curling bonspiel. Maybe a torchlight parade of skiers suits your town more, or a showcase of the best art, sculpture and performers in a door-to-door culture crawl."

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Games photo on EnergyPriorities.com

Whistler BC residents celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic spirit. (VANOC photo)

The Games enter their one-year final stretch under a cloud of criticism over carbon emissions. VANOC plans to offset emissions from officials, staff and athletes, but not indirect emissions from spectators. Over 70 Canadian athletes have signed a letter to 2010 Olympic Committee CEO John Furlong urging him to make sure the Games are carbon neutral. The David Suzuki Foundation, which is supporting the athletes in their bid, has estimated that the emissions produced by the Games are equal to that of 65,600 cars for one year. Linda Coady, VP of Sustainability for the Games, told the Vancouver Sun that her organization is still working out a "carbon management program" and that details will be released in late March.