Vancouver 2010 chief Furlong makes case for 2030 Winter Olympics bid
John Furlong, the head of the organising committee for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, has urged the Canadian city to mount a bid for the 2030 edition, insisting there had been a positive legacy from the last event.
Furlong (pictured), the president and chief executive of Vancouver 2010, outlined his hopes in a speech to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade on Thursday.
He told Canadian Press: “I think the timing is actually very, very good. 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."
The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics were widely regarded as a success, and the organising committee claimed they broke even financially.
The International Olympic Committee is presently weighing up potential candidates for the 2030 games, and encouraging sustainable and low-cost bids as part of its Agenda 2020 reform programme.
Furlong said: “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. You can't lower the cost any more than not having to build any venues."
The Vancouver city authorities are cautious about a new bid, with mayor Kennedy Stewart insisting it would depend on support from the federal government and the province of British Columbia, and he would want a public referendum before going forward.
Stewart said: "I'm sure if senior governments threw enough money at this, it could all work. Really, that's why it's their decision whether or not to move ahead with something like this."
Another Canadian city Calgary, the host of the 1988 Winter Olympics, withdrew from the bidding for the 2026 edition following an adverse referendum result, and the games were ultimately awarded to Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy.
Last month, the IOC confirmed it was in talks with Salt Lake City in USA, Barcelona in Spain and Sapporo in Japan over future editions of the Winter Olympics.
Salt Lake City, which staged the games in 2002, has now set up a joint committee to prepare a bid for the 2030 games, but has said it could switch its focus to the 2034 edition, if it feels this offers a better chance of success.
The next Winter Olympics are in the Chinese capital Beijing in 2022.