Bid to host 2030 Olympics in Vancouver has been in the works for 18 months, Furlong says
Published Friday, February 26, 2021 5:34PM PST Last Updated Friday, February 26, 2021 7:32PM PST
VANCOUVER -- Work on a bid to host the 2030 Olympic Games in Vancouver has been underway for a year and a half already, according to John Furlong.
“It’s something we know we can do,” the former CEO of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Organizing Committee told CTV News this week.
“I do think it’s a possibility. We’re actually hard at work, we have been for 18 months.”
It may seem like a long way off, but in order to be a serious contender it takes many years of planning to form a proper bid with the International Olympic Committee for the right to host the Winter Olympic Games. Beijing, China is next in line to host the Winter Games in 2022, followed by a joint bid by Milan and Cortina, Italy in 2026, but 2030 has still not been decided.
“It would bring a hopeful sign," said Furlong. “It would inject some light into the tourism industry. It would give businesses a lift. It would give us something down the road that we first of all know is positive, and give the community the kind of lift it badly needs right now.”
Of course, the pandemic has created extraordinary challenges across the globe. The Tokyo Olympic Summer Games has already been postponed and there is still speculation as to whether it can even go ahead as the pandemic continues to cause massive logistical issues. Also, recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic will take billions of dollars in public and private investment just to stabilize economies around the world.
Vancouver itself has many of its own issues that require a lot of attention right now, including homelessness, the opioid crisis, environmental and climate change issues and a housing affordability crisis.
However, those behind the potential bid argue the 2030 Winter Games would provide a beacon of hope and an opportunity to reignite the tourism industry, create jobs and help the province rebound. The bid would strive to be the most sustainable Games by using many of the existing venues from Vancouver 2010 and set a goal of requiring no capital expenditures from government for sport facilities. The potential bid would look to rely heavily on corporate partnerships and strive to be diverse and inclusive.
“Basically, the theory is we have everything we need to do it. So we don’t need new venues, new facilities and we don’t need capital investment,” said Furlong. “This could be one of those events that helps the community rebound from (COVID-19) as an economic driver.”
Vancouver City Council was set to vote on a motion to explore the possibility back in November but the vote was put off until early 2021. According to the City of Vancouver media department, there’s no timeline for when that vote will happen.
If successful, the date of the Games would coincide with the 20th anniversary of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and those behind the current push to bring the event back to our city believe Vancouver has the "winning conditions" to put together a successful bid to play host once more.