Friday, January 1, 2010

Timeline: VANOC's often-horrible 2009 in review

VANOC CEO John Furlong is probably the most satisfied person inside Vancouver 2010 to see 2009 disappear. It was a year of economic upheaval and the tragic cancer death of founding chairman Jack Poole. It also saw the start of the Olympic torch relay.

Feb. 12: One-year countdown. Torch unveiled in Whistler. Private ceremony in Richmond Olympic Oval featuring International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge.

Feb. 19: Olympic security budget increased to $900 million from $175 million.

March 26: IOC's only executive board meeting of 2009 in North America, but VANOC CEO John Furlong delivers update by teleconference instead of traveling to Denver. CFO John McLaughlin asks B.C. government for bailout in letter.

April 4: Vancouver Convention Centre opens. To be VANOC’s international broadcast centre.

July 30: VANOC makes a plea for companies and governments to donate free labour.

Aug. 17: Canada Line opens two months early. Sea-to-Sky Highway almost done.

Aug. 26: Last IOC coordination commission visit finishes with pledge of up to $22 million for VANOC to help balance books after failing to fill two empty global sponsor slots.

Oct. 22: Olympic flame lighting ceremony in Ancient Olympia, Greece.

Oct. 23: Founding chairman Jack Poole dies of after battle with cancer.

Oct. 30: Olympic torch relay begins in Victoria.

Nov. 4: Ceremonial handover of Vancouver Olympic Village from city to VANOC.

Nov. 7: Third phase of Canadian ticket sales postponed. fails to program virtual waiting room. Sales resume Nov. 14.

Dec. 3: City council amends controversial Olympic bylaws after businesses and civil libertarians complain.

Dec. 21: VANOC makes about-face on ticket scalping and opens ticket auction and trading website.

Dec. 22: Supreme Court of Canada refuses to hear appeal of B.C. court rulings against adding women's ski jumping to 2010 Games.

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