2010 Winter Games united Canada
8 July 2011
As the newly elected Korean city of Pyeongchang looks forward to hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics, Canada reflected on the 2010 Vancouver Games saying they united the country.
500 days after Vancouver 2010 ended, Games’ boss John Furlong presented his final report to the International Olympic Committee Session in Durban, South Africa.
He said his proudest achievement was the way the Olympics and Paralympics united his nation. “We achieved our goals, our vision, the Games united Canada to deliver an exceptional result”.
“Aboriginal Canada were a full partner and involved in all aspects of staging the Games. The Games brought the country together”.
“The effect on aboriginal Canada was remarkable,” he said.
“They look back on the Games as very positive”.
“The Games had a profound effect on the country, Canada is stronger as a result,” he said.
Furlong spoke about the legacy of the Games.
He said Vancouver is attracting major events because of the new venues built for the Games.
“The Convention Centre is attracting massive overseas interest,” he said.
“As well the legacy of the infrastructure Vancouver had a complete makeover, new rail, a new and safer highway and new airport all as a result of the Games.
“They will serve the needs in Canada for many years to come.”
He praised the 50,000 volunteers saying there is now a national respect for volunteerism.
In 2010 Canada ran a program called “Own the Podium”. It started slowly but attracted enormous support once the local athletes started winning medals.
Furlong said today “our athletes are very positive and convinced they can now win in Sochi and Pyeongchang as a result of Own The Podium”.
Furlong said 80% of Canadians stopped and watched the ice hockey final between USA and Canada on television. He knew then the vision was achieved.
“The whole country had stopped to watch the Olympic Games,” he said. “It proved the Games were for the entire country, not just a special few.”
AOC - Durban