SBD/Issue 19/Olympics

IOC Members Impressed As VANOC Details Preparations For '10 Games

Furlong Impresses IOC With
Vancouver's Preparations
VANOC CEO John Furlong yesterday "breezed through his final session with the IOC" in Copenhagen, and there was "little doubt they were impressed by what they'd seen" in Vancouver's preparations for the '10 Olympics, according to Ed Willes of the Vancouver PROVINCE. Furlong "has promised a memorable Olympics with a balanced budget and a transcendental setting and, as he worked his way through Vancouver's preparations yesterday, that's what he appeared to be offering." Furlong "gave the IOC an idea of what they can expect in four months when The Big Show comes to town and he painted an impressive picture." The venues are "complete and uniformly splendid," and the Canada Line and highway to Whistler "are ready." There also will be "concerts and ceremonies and enough other diversions to keep everyone wildly entertained." IOC Marketing Commission Chair Gerhard Heiberg told Furlong, "You have kept your word. I must say everything you've promised has been kept. You will deliver what you've promised." Heiberg afterward said, "I was the one saying this is the best place. We have full confidence in John and his team and they're going to be wonderful games." IOC Coordination Commission Chair Jean-Claude Killy: "Everyone knows that they will be great. What can go wrong? Nothing. That's my opinion and the opinion of most of my colleagues" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/8). Furlong during his presentation highlighted the "competition venues that he said were completed early and with minimal environmental disruption," and he "pledged the Games would break even." Furlong: "We will not spend what we don't have, ever." Meanwhile, Furlong added that another sponsor "would be announced in a week or more," but he said that it is "not a packaged goods supplier" (AROUNDTHERINGS.com, 10/8).

TICKET FEVER: Furlong said that the "appetite for tickets has been voracious" for the '10 Games. During the "last public offering of 150,000 tickets, VANOC's website experienced 1,500 hits every second for four hours -- making it the busiest website in the world during that period." Furlong said that a "further 150,000 tickets will be made available soon, mostly for preliminary-round hockey and curling contests." The GLOBE & MAIL's Gary Mason notes after VANOC's presentation yesterday, IOC members were "treated to a fashion show of Olympic gear designed by Mizuno that IOC members will be wearing in Vancouver" (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/8). Meanwhile, VANOC Exec VP & Deputy CEO Dave Cobb said that organizers "will decide in the next few weeks whether to allow resellers to make money if they use the official Vancouver 2010 resale site." Cobb: "We're concerned that if we don't allow people to post tickets at a price greater than face value, that they'll go somewhere else to do it and if they go somewhere else to do it, buyers will not know whether they're valid tickets or not." He said that there is a "balance between ensuring the official resale program is attractive and ensuring there are enough affordable tickets available to anyone who wants to come to the Games." Cobb: "We think we've done that because they've been sold at our pricing" (CP, 10/7).

IOC Member Expresses Concern Over
Level Of Security At '10 Vancouver Games
SECURITY OVERKILL? In Vancouver, Jeff Lee reports Israel IOC member Alex Gilady "has raised concerns about the 'unnecessary' level of security being planned" for the Vancouver Games. Gilady said that he is "worried that Vancouver's [C$900M] security plan -- with its extensive use of metal detectors -- is extreme." Gilady: "We have learned here in Copenhagen a magnificent lesson in security without harassment. You could see really excellent security, and yet no magnetometers and a very easy pass." Gilady referred to the "overwhelming levels of security" for the Beijing Games, saying, "I don't want Beijing again" (VANCOUVER SUN, 10/8).

GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN: In Vancouver, Ivens & Inwood report Univ. of British Columbia ophthalmology professor Chris Shaw "launched a lawsuit in the B.C. Supreme Court yesterday that asks a judge to strike down parts of the city of Vancouver's controversial Olympics bylaw." The bylaw "forbids anyone from displaying a sign not deemed to be 'celebratory' of the Winter Olympic Games on a number of major Vancouver streets or six city sites" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/8).

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