Vancouver to host 2010 Olympics
TSN.ca Staff w/files from CP
Vancouver staged a stunning rally to capture the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Vancouver, which was considered the favourite by many, trailed Pyeongchang, South Korea after the first vote of the International Olympic Committee members in Prague, Czech Republic. The South Koreans had 51 votes compared to 40 for Vancouver.
Salzburg, Austria, which was considered Vancouver's chief competition, only garnered 16 votes and was eliminated after the first ballot.
"We are very disappointed," former ski Austrian champion Franz Klammer told CBC, noting Pyeongchang doesn't even have a downhill ski course.
The results of the second ballot saw Vancouver pick up 16 votes while South Korea increased its total by just two. The final results gave Vancouver 56 votes and Pyeongchang 53.
Vancouver becomes the second Canadian city to host the Winter Games, joining Calgary in 1988.
It is only the third time Canada will play host to the Olympics. Montreal hosted this country's first and only Summer Games in 1976.
During its 45 minute final presentation, the Vancouver delegation said it would be "good partner" for the IOC.
"If you chose to trust us with your Winter Games we will nurture them and return them to you strong and healthy and ready for the next host city," said Jack Poole, chairman of the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corp.
Every member of the Vancouver delegation carried a $1 coin in their pocket for luck. Just as it did for the Canadian hockey team in Salt Lake City, the lucky Loonie did its job.
Wednesday's decision means Toronto, which failed in bids for the 1996 and 2008 Summer Games, will not make a run for the 2012 Summer Games. A marquee field featuring New York, Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow, among others, is already in the race for the 2012 Summer Games.
The next Summer Games are in Athens (2004), followed by the Winter Games in Turin, Italy (2006), with Beijing, China hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics.
The Canadian bid - which cost $35 million Cdn - pointed to a sophisticated urban centre on the shores of the Pacific Ocean with a world-class alpine resort just 125 kilometres north.
Under the Vancouver plan, hockey, curling, speed skating, freestyle skiing, plus the opening and closing ceremonies would be held in and around the city.
Alpine events, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, bobsled and luge will be staged in Whistler.
The final push in Prague, which included 45 official delegates and a multimedia presentation featuring hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, Olympic gold medallist speed skater Catriona Le May Doan, Prime Minister Jean Chretien and B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell, cost $875,000.
Bid organizers say a Vancouver Olympics will operate on a budget of $2 billion, with the provincial and federal governments evenly splitting $620 million in costs to build venues and another $200 million for security.
This doesn't include the $600 million the province h
as promised to upgrade the serpentine Sea-to-Sky Highway linking Vancouver with Whistler.
The Games are forecast to break even, with the B.C. government on the hook for any cost overruns. Any surplus would be used for Olympic legacy programs.
Those in favour of the Games say they will create up to 228,000 jobs and generate up to $10 billion in economic activity.
Critics argue the money would be better spent on health care and education and the Olympics will end up costing B.C. taxpayers around $1.2 billion.