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Friday 18 Apr 2014

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The Vancouver Games on the BBC: introduction

BC Place in Central Vancouver, which is the venue of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics Games (officially known as the XXI Olympic Winter Games). copyright Arlene Gregorius/BBC

The 2010 Vancouver Olympics will represent the 14th Winter Olympic Games broadcast by the BBC, a sequence that has run unbroken since the 1960 Games in Squaw Valley, California, USA.

Viewers will be able to access live coverage, the latest news updates and any of those missed magical moments, regardless of the time of day and where they are, through the BBC's extensive TV, radio, online, red button, mobile and BBC iPlayer services.

They can also benefit from the BBC HD channel, where they can watch the coverage from BBC Two with more detailed pictures and sharper shots of fast-moving action than conventional 'standard definition'.

Vancouver 2010 is a 17-day festival of live international winter sports – from biathlon to bobsleigh; curling to cross-country; skiing to skeleton; snowboarding to ski jumping – taking place from 12 to 28 February.

The competition schedule involves 86 medal events in 15 Winter Olympic sports held at nine venues.

BBC TV will broadcast more than 160 hours on BBC Two and BBC HD (with an additional 13 hours also available on BBC HD), bringing British audiences the global stories of ambition, determination and courage, while capturing the excitement, drama and magical moments that make the Winter Olympics such a unique sporting event.

Barbara Slater, BBC Sport Director, says: "This February we'll be providing the viewer with the most comprehensive and compelling Winter Olympic experience ever. There will be more hours of terrestrial coverage, which will all be in HD, the red button will be offering a selection of extra live action all of which will be streamed on the BBC Sport website. In addition 5 Live and the BBC News Channel will be on hand to bring all of the latest stories from the slopes."

Once again, the BBC is set to produce more hours of coverage than ever before. BBC Two will dedicate approximately 160 hours to the event over the 17 days, plus 2,000 hours of interactive coverage from BBC Red Button.

Viewers with digital TV can access up to six additional streams of coverage (four live) to see extended coverage of the 86 individual events. In addition, BBC Red Button and BBC iPlayer will carry a 30-minute highlights show. This will be available everyday from 6.00am on the red button and around 8.00am on iPlayer, and will encapsulate all the day's action.

BBC Radio 5 Live has Vassos Alexander and Eleanor Oldroyd in Canada for the Winter Olympics. During the week Vassos will present his Breakfast sports desk from Vancouver. This will include a daily round up between 6.05 and 6.15am. Eleanor will be reporting for Drive.

There will be live commentary on a number of events including Zoe Gillings in the snowboard cross, the GB skeleton team, and the women's two-woman bob.

There will also be coverage on all of Team GB's our other medal hopes, including the men's and women's curlers, short-track speed skaters, Chemmy Alcott and the Kerrs in the figure skating.

The online service (bbc.co.uk/winterolympics) will include live streaming of four interactive TV channels on broadband, accompanied by the ever-popular live text commentary featuring text and emails from readers, as well as catch-up video highlights.

The BBC Sport website currently receives 10 million unique users per week. Also on the site will be blogs, photos, medal tables, competitor biographies and behind-the-scenes audio and video footage to bring the atmosphere to viewers and listeners back home.

BBC Mobile will offer live streaming of the live network programme each day, as well as a selection of the best on-demand clips each day including a Winter Olympics daily catch-up.

Other BBC channels such as BBC World News will keep viewers around the globe up to date with the latest goings-on and BBC News Channel will be out in Vancouver to bring all the news and issues surrounding the Games.

At 1.45am on the 13 February (5.45pm local time, on 12 February), the world will turn its eyes to BC Place in Vancouver, for the spectacle and splendour of the Opening Ceremony.

BBC TV will have live coverage of this historic event, which marks the beginning of 16 days of world-class competition, as well as the Closing Ceremony, which will effectively hand over the baton to London 2012.

Both ceremonies will be presented by Sue Barker with commentary led by Hazel Irvine.

Hazel Irvine and Sue Barker will present a daily, two-hour, early-afternoon Winter Olympics highlights show featuring the best of the overnight action while Clare Balding fronts the BBC's peak programming slot (7.00-9.00pm), which will bring the best of the action from the alpine skiing and snowboarding. Extended live coverage will then be broadcast post-Newsnight until 5.00am, presented by Hazel Irvine.

A team of world-class presenters, commentators and analysts will provide intelligent, informative and exclusive insight on all the action in Canada. The BBC TV team comprises some well-loved and respected faces, as well as a few new ones.

Graham Bell and Matt Chilton along with Kerrin Lee-Gartner (Canada's 1992 Women's Downhill gold medallist) will guide the viewers through the alpine skiing events; Ed Leigh will be on hand for snowboarding and freestyle skiing; Paul Dickenson and Colin Bryce will follow Team GB's hopefuls in the sliding events, while Paul will also cover ski jumping; Hugh Porter and Wilf O'Reilly will be rink-side for speed skating; British skating icon Robin Cousins (celebrating 30 years since his gold medal on the ice at Lake Placid) covers figure skating with Sue Barker; Steve Cram will be joined in following the stones by curling legend and gold medallist from Salt Lake, Rhona Martin; Rob Walker will cover biathlon, nordic combined and cross country; and Bob Ballard and Brent Pope follow the ice hockey.

The BBC TV team of roving reporters – Sir Matt Pinsent and Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes – will prove indispensable as they get under the skin of the man or woman of the moment.

Notes to Editors

As Britain's Winter Olympic and Winter Paralympic broadcaster, the BBC holds exclusive terrestrial TV, radio, online, mobile and iPlayer rights in the UK. Coverage includes several main strands across BBC Two, as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and up to six additional streams of coverage (four live) available via the red button.

Full day-by-day listings (including interactive listings) will be available from the BBC Winter Olympic and Paralympic Press Office.

Please note: All transmission times are subject to change.

The Winter Olympics, 12-28 February

There will be continuous live/as live coverage of the Games on BBC Red Button, BBC Sport Online and BBC iPlayer, 24-hours a day.

1.30-3.30pm, BBC Two and BBC HD (start times vary) – Hazel Irvine and Sue Barker present highlights of the best of the overnight action.

7.00-9.00pm, BBC Two and BBC HD – Clare Balding brings live coverage from the slopes as we look at the best of the action from the alpine skiing and snowboarding. This will incorporate national and regional news and weather.

11.20pm-5.00am, BBC Two and BBC HD (start times vary) – Hazel Irvine presents live coverage of the best of the day's events.

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