Was hosting the 2010 Games worth it? Most B.C. residents think so, according to new poll
VANCOUVER -- It's been a decade since Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, but many people still look back fondly at the city's time in the global spotlight.
And while some continue to question the wisdom of spending billions of dollars on the Games – particularly in light of Vancouver's ongoing housing problems – a new poll has found the majority of British Columbians see hosting as a worthwhile endeavor.
More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of respondents in the Research Co. poll said it was either "definitely" or "probably" worth it to host the 2010 Olympics.
There were significant tensions surrounding the event, from protesters chanting "Homes not Games" to the violence that briefly broke out in downtown Vancouver. Considering the complicated history, Research Co. president Mario Canseco said he found the level of support 10 years later somewhat surprising.
"I wasn't expecting a number as high as that. I thought it was going to be maybe scratching 50 per cent," Canseco said. "People seem to be happy with the legacy projects, they are definitely satisfied with the things they have after the Olympics happened."
Four-in-five respondents said they're satisfied with infrastructure such as the Canada Line, while 72 per cent said the same about former Olympic venues like the Richmond Oval.
Nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) of respondents said the Games were "mostly positive" for Canada, and about 70 per cent said the same was true for B.C. as a province.
Even Mosi Alvand, who endured years of stress in the run-up to the Olympics, has some warm memories of the event.
Alvand's Olympia Restaurant in Vancouver's West End came under fire from Olympic officials over its sign, which features the iconic – and trademarked – Olympic rings and torch. The Vancouver Olympic Committee repeatedly pressured him to pull it down, but he refused.
"I was under siege for six years, from 2004 to 2010," Alvand said. "But after 2010, when they were gone, I felt so good."
But Alvand also remembers the sense of community that developed during the Games: "It's the spirit. It's in everyone's blood."
Canseco said beyond the positive memories, there's an appetite to prove Vancouver's hosting prowess again by throwing a future Summer Olympics. Resesarch Co. found 62 per cent of respondents in favour of a potential Summer Games bid, compared to 31 per cent who weren't.
The survey was conducted online from Jan. 28 to 31 among 800 B.C. adults. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Scott Roberts