John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Economic recovery from the pandemic, a transformational legacy that extends into the province and a cheaper privately-funded Winter Games were elements of John Furlong’s “B.C. 2030” presentation to the Vancouver Board of Trade on Friday.

The president and chief executive officer of the organizing committee for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., offered his vision for pursuing another Winter Games two decades later.

The heavy-lifting done for 2010 and the big-project expertise it bestowed should save money in certain areas, and free up resources to extend the impact of a Winter Games into the province, he said.

The Canadian Press obtained a copy of Furlong’s speech to the VBT.

Cutting and pasting 2010 into a 2030 proposal was considered, but that option wasn’t compelling, Furlong said.

“Cost, structure and scope — all very different,” Furlong said.

“The compact plan of 2010 abandoned and replaced by a regional, more inclusive plan, that focuses on delivering a province-wide experience and advantage.

“From three B.C. communities, as was the case in 2010, to as many as eight or nine provided minimum venue and hosting requirements can be achieved.”

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational, such as the speedskating oval in Richmond, and the sliding track and ski jumps in Whistler.

“There will be no taxpayer money requested for venue construction,” Furlong said.

“The premise for a 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Bid is rooted in the fundamental notion that we can and will use existing facilities and venues and involve new communities.

“The idea here is that the 2030 Games, would be funded entirely by the private sector.”

B.C. communities wanting to be Games communities can obtain funds for their projects from government infrastructure programs, Furlong said.

Games revenues from television, ticket sales, sponsorship and International Olympic Committee marketing adding up to just over $2 billion would cover Games operations, Furlong said.

The cost of 2010 was roughly $4 billion when the expansion of the highway from Vancouver to Whistler is included. Those Winter Games essentially broke even, according to VANOC, the Vancouver Games’ organizing committee.

The B.C. government built a downtown rail line to the airport and a convention centre in Vancouver with the Winter Games the deadline for their completion.

Municipal and provincial governments could leverage 2030 if they choose for projects such as social housing and public transportation, Furlong said.

The cost of bidding for 2030 would be a fraction of the $36 million it cost to bid for 2030, he said.

“In 2010, we started at ground zero,” Furlong said. “With the experience that exists, we do not have to learn the process again, we can bring on experienced people as and when they are needed.”

Calgary contemplated hosting the 2026 Winter Games for $5.1 billion, but 56 per cent of those who voted in a 2018 plebiscite said “no” to pursuing a bid.

Calgary initially budgeted $610 million for security before dropping that forecast to $495 million.

Security costs for 2010 went over well over budget and ballooned to $900 million.

“With the advantage of experience and existing practices and new technology many of those early costly procedures can be avoided,” Furlong said.

The bidding landscape has changed dramatically since Vancouver and Whistler fought off seven other contenders for 2010.

The reported $50-billion cost of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and the financial overruns of Rio’s 2016 Summer Games have fewer cities are stepping up to the plate to bid.

Beijing won a two-horse race for the 2022 Winter Games.

The IOC has been forced to pivot and give cities more control over how Games are staged.

The IOC also committed US$925 million of its own money to the winning 2026 bid city, which was Milan and Cortina, Italy.

“The biggest event in the world in 2030 is in need for an owner. I think we qualify,” Furlong said.

Furlong does not intend to be the face of a British Columbia Olympic Organizing Committee, or BCOOC.

“I’m not looking for a new job and have absolutely no anticipation of running the 2030 Olympic Games at all,” Furlong told The Canadian Press in an earlier interview.

“The goal here is to get this over the start line, to get to the point where we could possibly be given the opportunity to do this.

“I believe in the organization that we had in 2010 and the business community around it, we have an abundance of talent.

“I’d be 80 by then. It’s not happening.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

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

Just Posted

The Township of Spallumcheen collected an honourable mention in the 2020 UBCM Community Excellence Awards for its sustainable service delivery and water improvment district conversion plan. (Photo submitted)
Spallumcheen water district conversion plan gets recognition

Township collects UBCM Community Excellence Award honourable mention

Spallumcheen councillors (from left) Todd York, Gerry Popoff, Christine LeMaire, John Bakker, Joe Van Tienhoven and Andrew Casson join Mayor Christine Fraser (fourth from left) in helping to proclaim the township open for business with new signage off Highway 97A. (Township of Spallumcheen photo)
Being open for business paying dividends for Spallumcheen

Township wins provincial award, new business and building starts increase

John Pavelich’s 83rd birthday had an added surprise; members of Enderby City Council came by his residence to present him with a Lifetime Civic Merit award Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Contributed)
Enderby resident unwraps Lifetime Civic Merit award on 83rd birthday

John ‘JP’ Pavelich has been a pillar of volunteerism in Enderby since 1967

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Five properties have been added to the Lake Country fire protection zone, after council moved to expand the local service area Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Google Maps)
Lake Country expands fire protection zone, covering 5 exposed properties

The properties petitioned to join the local service area after being left out ‘for reasons unknown’

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Oliver Fire Department had to put out a fire on their own training ground, and it wasn’t one they set. (Facebook)
Vehicles torched at Oliver Fire Department training grounds

This suspected arson comes after the cars were vandalized earlier and suspicious fire the night before

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Tavis Stevenson, son of Pam and Bruce Stevenson, founders of The Book Shop on Main St, is the creator of the whimsical animal farm carts seen above The Book Shop. He also painted the book mural in the back alley behind the shop. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
The Book Shop in downtown Penticton is one of those rare gems

The Book Shop, like so many businesses, is wanting to turn the page to the end of this pandemic

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Salmon Arm Silverbacks forward Mathieu Bourgault (13) tries unsuccessfully to deflect past West Kelowna goalie Johnny Derrick during the Warriors’ come-from-behind 7-6 BC Hockey Leaguje pod shootout victory Saturday, May 8, at Vernon’s Kal Tire Place. (Tami Quan Photography)
West Kelowna Warriors rally to edge Salmon Arm in shootout

Warriors overcome three significant deficits to post 7-6 BCHL pod win in Vernon; Silverbacks finish pod 9-7-2-2

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

Most Read