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

Oak Bay Police Department briefs for May 3 to 9. (Black Press Media file photo)
Copper wire stolen after Oak Bay construction site targeted twice by thieves

Cop briefs include pair of impounded cars, swiped back medication

A partnership is looking to identify skeletal remains that were discovered by recreational divers in the Gorge Waterway this February. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Divers find partial human skull in Gorge Waterway

B.C. Coroner Service determines remains likely historical, not ancestral

Colwood council voted to give businesses less of a cut than planned and will look for more cuts this week. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood council gets back to work after voting against 9.3% property tax hike

Emergency meetings this week will find more cuts, finalize tax plan by Friday deadline

A man was arrested after allegedly threatening people downtown on May 10 while brandishing this knife. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Man armed with a knife arrested for allegedly threatening people in downtown Victoria

Officers used de-escalation techniques during afternoon arrest

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old bike rider on Vancouver Island already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Most Read