VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - It took five years and six major revisions, but organizers of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada said on Wednesday they now know when each sporting event will take place in the 17-day competition.
Planners said the daily schedule had to weigh the competing needs of the various sporting federations and international broadcasters, along with expected weather conditions at venue locations near Vancouver.
The daily schedule, which has been approved by the International Olympic Committee, will see ski jumping as the kickoff sport on Feb 12, 2010, while the gold medal game of the men's hockey competition will be on the final day, February 28.
Games organizers have worked with weather forecasters for the past five years to measure hourly conditions at locations around the Pacific Coast city, and the data will be used to decide what time of the day some events are held.
The hourly competition schedule is not expected to be completed until next summer.
Vancouver is in the Pacific time zone, three hours behind major population centers in eastern North America and at least nine hours behind many parts of Europe where several Winter Olympic sports find their biggest audiences.
The IOC also requires venue locations to be tested by hosting competitions before the Games begin. The first test event, the 2008 Alpine World Cup, will be held in February in the mountain resort of Whistler.
Reporting by Allan Dowd, editing by Rob Wilson