FEBRUARY 8 - PACIFIC COLISEUM, the venue to be used for the figure skating at next year's Winter Olympics, has been praised by international officials and competitors.



David Dore, the vice president of the International Skating Union (ISU), led the call after watching the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, which finished yesterday.


He said: "The success of this week's ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships heralds a thrilling Olympic event in this venue just 12 months from now.


"This was a week of top competition with exceptional skating, crowd enthusiasm and impeccable organisation.


"We are also pleased with the level of preparations for the Games which are well advanced and appear to be on schedule."


The singles, pairs and ice dance competitions were part of the event featured numerous Vancouver 2010 Olympic medal hopefuls at the venue originally built in 1968 but upgraded for the Olympics.


More 100 athletes from 15 countries such as Australia , Uzbekistan ,China, Mexico ,South Africa , the United States and Canada competed in the event.


Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette said:  "Skating here the past few days has been great.


"It's one last chance to compete here with the international skaters, use the same change rooms, just get familiar with the venue.


"I'm glad to be here and have this experience before next year."


Men's gold medalist Patrick Chan echoed those statements.


He said: "I took the time to walk around the whole building.


"The change rooms are comfortable and I know where everything is.


"I'll be prepared when the Olympics hit next year."


Vaoncouver's testing at the figure skating sport event focused primarily on two key function areas: field of play and overall venue operations. 


Kameron Kiland, the competition manager for figure skating and short track speed skating, said: "This competition was a realistic opportunity for the world's best to skate on the exact ice that will be replicated at Games time.


"This ice was specific to this venue and can be altered from figure skating to short
track with great results.



"We are ready for 2010."