Athletes' letter to VANOC | Olympics | Climate change | Our projects | Olympics | Issues

Dear Mr. Furlong:

As the 2010 Winter Games draw near, excitement is building among Canadians across the country. At the same time, there is a shadow hanging over the Games' preparations—the very real possibility that the future of winter sports itself is threatened by climate change.

We are all athletes who travel the world to compete in sports ranging from skiing and bobsledding to kayaking and cycling. We have witnessed first-hand the impacts of climate change—most vividly retreating snowlines and shrinking glaciers. We know that not only will our sports be affected by climate change, but so too will millions of people around the world who will face extreme weather events, droughts, and other serious impacts.

Yet there are solutions to climate change. Many of us are taking responsibility for the climate impact of our travel to competitions and training by participating in the David Suzuki Foundation's Play It Cool program, and purchasing high quality Gold Standard carbon offsets. Like many Canadians, we are also finding ways to make changes in our personal lives to help reduce our contribution to climate change. But more action is needed, and individuals alone cannot solve the problem.

The Vancouver Olympics is an ideal opportunity to inspire Canadians and spectators around the world to support effective, coordinated action on climate change. Public concern about climate change remains strong, and the International Olympic Committee has recognized "Environment" as the third pillar of the Olympic movement along with "Sport" and "Culture". The time is right for VANOC to take decisive action on its bid commitments and make the vision of a carbon neutral Games a reality.

With this in mind, we respectfully urge you to make the 2010 Winter Games carbon neutral by taking these critical and affordable actions to ensure the integrity of VANOC's climate legacy:

1. Take responsibility for the full carbon footprint of the Games, as identified in the Meeting the Challenge by the David Suzuki Foundation. This includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions where possible and purchasing high quality carbon offsets for remaining emissions, including at least 20 per cent Gold Standard carbon offsets.

2. Carry out an effective public outreach campaign to inspire Canadians to take action to address climate change during the Olympics, and in their daily lives.

We encourage you to lead by example and use the inspirational power of the Olympics to show the world that together we can put effective climate change solutions into action.

Yours sincerely,

  • Jasey Jay Anderson, Canadian Snowboarding Team (4X FIS Overall World Champion)
  • Scott Barrett, Canadian Alpine Ski Team
  • Jon Beare, Canadian Rowing Team (Beijing Bronze Medallist)
  • Patrick Biggs, Canadian Alpine Ski Team
  • Alexandre Bilodeau, Canadian Freestyle Ski Team
  • Ryan Blais, Canadian Freestyle Ski Team
  • Jasper Blake, Elite Triathlete (2006 Canadian Ironman Champion)
  • Emily Brydon, Canadian Alpine Ski Team
  • Ashley Brzozowicz, Canadian Rowing Team
  • Adam Campbell, former member, Canadian Triathlon Team (current Manager of Canadian Triathlon Team)
  • Chandra Crawford, Canadian Cross Country Ski Team (Torino Gold Medallist)
  • Brandon Crichton, Canadian Cycling Team
  • Jillian D'Alessio, Canadian Canoe/Kayak Team
  • Anna-Marie de Zwager, Canadian Rowing Team
  • Deidra Dionne, Canadian Freestyle Ski Team (Salt Lake City Bronze Medallist)
  • Andrew Ference, Boston Bruins Defenseman
  • Marie-Michèle Gagnon, Canadian Alpine Ski Team
  • Daria Gaiazova, Canadian Cross Country Ski Team
  • Nikola Girke, Canadian Windsurfing Team
  • Kelly Guest, Elite Triathlete
  • Thomas Grandi, Canadian Alpine Ski Team
  • Kristina Groves, Canadian Speed Skating Team (Torino Silver Medallist)
  • Tom Hall, Canadian Canoeing Team (Beijing Bronze Medallist)
  • Jenn Heil, Canadian Freestyle Ski Team (Torino Gold Medallist)
  • Kris Holm, Professional Unicyclist
  • Matt Hunter, Professional Mountain Biker
  • Benoit Huot, Canadian Handisport Swimmer (4X Beijing Bronze Medallist)
  • Chris Jarvis, Canadian Rowing Team
  • Oskar Johansson, Canadian Sailing Team
  • Perianne Jones, Canadian Cross Country Ski Team
  • Michelle Kelly, Canadian Skeleton Team
  • Melanie Kok, Canadian Rowing Team (Beijing Bronze Medallist)
  • Adam Kreek, Canadian Rowing Team (Beijing Gold Medallist)
  • Justin Lamoureux, Canadian Snowboarding Team
  • Brent Langbakk, Canadian Orienteering Team
  • Brittanee Laverdure, Canadian Wrestling Team
  • Sherry Lawrence, Canadian Alpine Ski Team
  • Ryan Leech, Professional Mountain Bike Trials
  • Ingrid Liepa, former member, Canadian Speed Skating Team
  • Kevin Light, Canadian Rowing Team (Beijing Gold Medallist)
  • Courtney MacIntosh, Canadian Rowing Team
  • Michael Mackie, Canadian Alpine Ski Team
  • Seamus McGrath, Canadian Mountain Biking Team
  • Tiera McLeod, Canadian Canoe/Kayak Team
  • Neil Meechan, Canadian Rugby Team
  • Ian Miller, Canadian Canoe/Kayak Team
  • Heather Moyse, Canadian Bobsleigh Team
  • Christine Nesbitt, Canadian Speed Skating Team (Torino Silver Medallist)
  • Genevieve Orton, Canadian Canoe/Kayak Team
  • Catharine Pendrel, Canadian Mountain Biking Team
  • Chantal Petitclerc, Canadian Wheelchair Racer (5X Beijing Gold Medallist and 2008 Canadian Press female athlete of the year)
  • Sheryl Preston, former member, Canadian Rowing Team
  • Erik Read, Alberta Alpine Ski Team
  • Ross Rebagliati, former member, Canadian Snowboard Team (Nagano Gold Medallist)
  • Sara Renner, Canadian Cross Country Ski Team (Torino Silver Medallist)
  • Christine Ridenour, Elite Junior Canadian Triathlon Team
  • Jean-Philippe Roy, Canadian Alpine Ski Team
  • Dan Roycroft, Canadian Cross Country Ski Team
  • Shona Rubens, Canadian Alpine Ski Team
  • Jane Rumball, Canadian Rowing Team
  • Ben Rutledge, Canadian Rowing Team (Beijing Gold Medallist)
  • Rick Say, Canadian Swim Team
  • TJ Schneider, Professional Snowboarder
  • Kyle Shewfelt, Canadian Gymnastics Team (Athens Gold Medallist)
  • Mike Smith, Canadian Orienteering Team
  • Warren Tanner, Canadian Freestyle Ski Team
  • Rob Turk, Canadian Rugby Team
  • Helen Upperton, Canadian Bobsleigh Team
  • Kelly VanderBeek, Canadian Alpine Ski Team
  • Adam van Koeverden, Canadian Canoe/Kayak Team (Beijing Silver Medallist)
  • Rob Weitemeyer, Canadian Rowing Team
  • Trevor White, Canadian Alpine Ski Team
  • Hayley Wickenheiser, Canadian Hockey Team (Torino Gold Medallist)
  • Philip Widmer, Canadian Cross Country Ski Team
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/climate-change/projects/olympics/athletes-letter-to-vanoc/