FILE – VANOC CEO John Furlong smiles during a news conference in Vancouver on February 3, 2006. While Vancouver celebrates the 10th anniversary of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, the man who co-led the bid and headed the organizing committee wants the city to do it again in 2030. John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade in a speech Thursday he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody

2010 leader John Furlong urges Vancouver to bid for 2030 Winter Games

VANOC said the 2010 games broke even financially

While Vancouver celebrates the 10th anniversary of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, the man who co-led the bid and headed the organizing committee wants the city to do it again in 2030.

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade in a speech Thursday he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games.

“I think the timing is actually very, very good,” Furlong told The Canadian Press. “We have the venues. We could effectively be the only city ever to use exactly the same footprint.

“We have this opportunity. Eventually, these venues will get tired and get old and the timing will go away.”

Furlong and the late Jack Poole led the successful bid for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C.

Furlong served as president and chief executive officer of the Vancouver organizing committee (VANOC).

VANOC said those games broke even financially.

The cost of hosting was roughly $4 billion.

The B.C. government’s spending on a rail line to the airport and a convention centre completed for those games brought the total to $7.7 billion.

“When you look at Vancouver and the message the IOC has been trying to present for future games about using existing facilities, lowering the cost, this is a perfect case,” Furlong said.

“You can’t lower the cost any more than not having to build any venues.”

Furlong believes the games could be transformational again for Vancouver because of the current problems the city faces.

“There are housing costs, homelessness, unaffordable housing and transportation infrastructure that’s not really complete,” he said. “We have some very good transportation infrastructure, but not enough.”

“Our young people would rather not be driving. They’d rather be taking the train or the bus. I have five adult children. Four have moved away.

“Standing back and looking at the city and the region that we’re in and the challenges that we have and how difficult it has been to get ahead of some of these challenges, I thought maybe a bid for 2030 could in actual fact bring people around a new vision.”

The 69-year-old says he isn’t putting his name forward to lead another bid.

“If I reach 80 years of age, I’ll be the oldest person ever in my family,” he said. “I will do what I can to help move this along.

“I think there are very talented people that came out of VANOC who are young and will be able to do this.”

The host Canadian team won 26 medals in 2010.

Fourteen gold was a record for the most by any country at a single Winter Olympics, since equalled by Germany and Norway in 2018.

ALSO READ: Coronavirus fears similar to what Vancouver Olympic organizers faced with H1N1

Furlong believes there is public appetite for B.C. to throw its hat in the Olympic rings again.

He pointed to an online poll recently conducted in the province indicating 68 per cent of those asked felt the 2010 games were worth the money.

“How expensive could a bid be, given that you have all the tools and the experience is fairly recent?” he asked.

“I think the potential to put a bid in place that is not outrageously costly is staring us in the face.”

Calgary contemplated a bid for the 2026 Winter Games.

The estimated cost of hosting was $5.1 billion, but 56 per cent of those who voted in a 2018 plebiscite said ‘no’ to pursuing a bid.

Calgary was the first Canadian city to host the Winter Olympics in 1988.

A drag on VANOC’s preparations for 2010 was the ballooning cost of security to over $900 million.

Calgary estimated a budget of $610 million for security.

“Calgary opened the door to a conversation about security,” Furlong said.

“I think there is a security model that’s quite a bit less expensive than the one we had in 2010. It’ll be up to us to flesh that out.”

The Olympic Games landscape has altered dramatically in the decade since Vancouver and Whistler.

Fewer cities line up to bid. Beijing won a two-horse race for the 2022 Winter Olympics just 14 years after hosting the Summer Games.

“Every one of these races for the Olympics is a competition between cities,” Furlong said. “I like our chances against anyone.”

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

winter olympics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fernie real estate market sees effects of COVID-19

The way Elk Valley realtors work amidst COVID-19 is constantly evolving

COVID-19 greatly impacts future of seasonal workers

Faced with job loss and lack of financial support, many overseas workers were forced to return home

Fernie Rotary supports Days for Girls

The Rotary club donated $250 towards the Fernie chapter of the international organization

The importance of staying active during self isolation

Maintaining an exercise regime is critical to mental health during stressful times

Elk Valley holds on to hope while pandemic ensues

Weeks into the COVID-19 crisis, communities in the Elk Valley continue to find ways to spread joy

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Blasting through the West Kootenay

80 years ago; ‘Pretty near all the people from Fruitvale were working on it’

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

Most Read