Friday, July 8, 2011

Exclusive: VANOC and winter in South Africa

From one port city popular with tourists to another. From the southwest corner of Canada to the southeast coast of Africa.

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics chief executive John Furlong took a break from his recent appointment as co-chairman of the Stanley Cup Riot Review for a previously scheduled engagement in Durban, South Africa to attend the International Olympic Committee’s 123rd session. Furlong was there to present the official report of the Vancouver Winter Olympics on July 7, exactly 494 days since the Games closed at B.C. Place Stadium.

The last, major act of VANOC -- in public view, at least -- finished just after 1:30 a.m. PDT, while most Vancouverites slept. More than 12 hours earlier, PyeongChang, South Korea's third consecutive bid for the Winter Games won the 2018 hosting rights.

“It seems fitting that with the arrival of a new Olympic region, PyeongChang, that it's time for us to say goodbye,” said Furlong, pictured above right with International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel. “We could feel all the emotions they were feeling throughout the day, having lived that experience ourselves.”

Furlong called the wind-up of VANOC “substantially complete."

“We’re very close to being no longer and by this time next year, we will, in fact, be no longer.”

Furlong summarized the main achievements of the Games to the IOC members at their first annual general meeting since the Feb. 9-11, 2010 session hosted at the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver.

Furlong was joined by executive vice-president Terry Wright, chief financial officer John McLaughlin, marketing vice-president Andrea Shaw and legal vice-president Dorothy Byrne to deliver “With Glowing Hearts/Des plus brilliants exploits -- VANOC Official Games Report/Rapport Officiel des Jeux -- COVAN.” That report has not been published back home, but the IOC has released an abbreviated version called Staging the Olympic Winter Games.

"We had much heartbreak and happiness, lots of adversity and celebration, but somehow we managed to achieve the vision that we set out for ourselves,” Furlong said.

As an aside, Furlong told the IOC members that B.C. Place Stadium reopens “in October”. (Does he know something we don’t or is it still truly on track for the Sept. 30 B.C. Lions meeting with the Edmonton Eskimos?)

Oddly, VANOC's Staging the Games report was created Nov. 4, 2010 but withheld from the media last fall when only the post-Games financial report and sustainability report were published simultaneously on Dec. 17. Read the Staging the Games report below.

Statistics from Staging the Olympic Winter Games:

12,033 Olympic hotel rooms in Vancouver
2,959 Olympic hotel rooms in Whistler
151 Paralympic hotel rooms in Vancouver
544 Paralympic hotel rooms in Whistler
2,850 Whistler Olympic Village population
2,730 Vancouver Olympic Village population

96,428 pass-holders for the Olympics
26,931 pass-holders for the Paralympics
2,803 Olympic writers, photographers and non-rights holding broadcasters
483 Paralympic writers, photographers and non-rights holding broadcasters

B.C. Place Stadium
100,000 kilograms of gear suspended from the air-supported fabric roof
360 rigging points
1.8 kilometres of trussing

Media relations
645 news releases issued 2005-2009
330 issues notes/key messages documents created 2005-2009

63 kilometres fence fabric
550 trailers
250 sea containers
39,000 minor signs
550 major signs
600 road signs
2,016 contracts
5,452 purchase orders
$1,585,006,424 value

4,629 auto fleet
1,259 buses and vans
9,704,537 litres of fuel
25,851 vehicle access and/or parking passes
65 kilometres of Olympic lanes in Vancouver

Staging the Olympic Winter Games Knowledge Report

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