IOC keeps Vancouver visit a secret as delegation mulls venues for 2030 Winter Games

Bob Mackin

Scenes from Vancouver 2010 at BC Place Stadium (City of Vancouver Archives)

The mayors of Vancouver and Whistler and the British Columbia minister of sport had not planned to meet with International Olympic Committee inspectors visiting potential venues for the 2030 Winter Olympics.

A trio of IOC technical experts traveled to the 2002 host city, Salt Lake City, last week and arrived in Vancouver on May 1. The IOC called the visit a “service” provided to help potential hosts and their national Olympic committees. He refuses to identify the trio and will not comment on the itinerary.

“The IOC does not publish the agenda or the list of participants for these services,” read a statement prepared by the IOC headquarters in Switzerland. “The IOC respects the confidentiality of each potential host as it works to develop the public and private dimensions of its project. Each interested party is free to communicate with the national and regional media when they feel the time is right. »

None of the members of the future IOC Host Commission, which will ultimately recommend a host for 2030 to the IOC Executive Board, is on the trip.

“I do not intend to meet with the IOC technical team this week,” Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton said. “I expect city staff to meet with them. I don’t have details of those meetings.

“There is no plan for the mayor to meet with the IOC during the technical visit. I don’t know of anyone in the city who does either,” said Alvin Singh, spokesman for Mayor Kennedy Stewart.

Corinna Filion, communications director for Melanie Mark, Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, said ‘no one is meeting them’.

Com. Collen Hardwick (left) and Mayor Kennedy Stewart at the April 12 City Council meeting (City of Vancouver)

Richmond City Hall spokesman Clay Adams confirmed the IOC delegation will visit the Richmond Olympic Oval, but said he did not know when.

The IOC has replaced costly bidding wars with a new process to encourage interested cities to negotiate behind closed doors through “ongoing dialogue”. The 2030 host is expected to be chosen no later than the May 2023 IOC session in Mumbai, India.

The idea of ​​Vancouver 2030 was floated by former Vancouver 2010 CEO John Furlong at a 2020 Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce breakfast that celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Games. He suggested that most of the competition venues built for 2010 could be renovated and reused, along with additional venues elsewhere in British Columbia.

Last December, Stewart, Crompton and leaders of the four 2010 host First Nations (Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Lil’wat) signed a memorandum of understanding to explore a bid. In February, the COC announced its support for a feasibility study.

Vancouver County Colleen Hardwick has proposed a plebiscite on the bid for the October municipal election ballot, in part because of the lingering mystery of the true costs of Vancouver 2010; VANOC Board minutes and financial records in the City Archives will not be available to the public until fall 2025.

No one else from city council seconded his motion at the April 12 meeting. A day earlier, Stewart had suggested there could be a “community vote or other engagement with residents” after a feasibility study was completed in June.

IOC President Thomas Bach (left) and Xi Jinping in Beijing (PRC)

Besides Vancouver and Salt Lake City, there are two others exploring 2030: winter 1972 host Sapporo and a Spanish/French/Andorran bid led by summer 1992 host Barcelona.

Salt Lake City is the most aggressive. He was ahead of Vancouver by more than a year and has the support of the national Olympic committee and the state.

A month after Calgary voters rejected a 2026 bid in November 2018, the U.S. Olympic Committee chose Salt Lake City to bid for the 2030 or 2034 Winter Games. Last spring, the Salt Lake City committee -Utah for the Games said it has already raised $1.5 million for a bid budget of $3.8 million. Utah has already estimated that it would cost $2.2 billion to stage the 2030 Games.

On April 29, Salt Lake City’s Deseret News reported that Bid Committee CEO Fraser Bullock was delighted with the IOC’s visit: “This is exactly what we were hoping to receive from the IOC: a partnership (and) great contribution.”

Bullock was the chief operating officer of Salt Lake 2002 and a member of the IOC Coordination Commission that oversaw Vancouver 2010.

“Obviously I’m keeping my fingers crossed for 2030, but whenever we’re asked to house them, we’ll be ready,” Bullock told the newspaper.

Los Angeles will host the 2028 Summer Games – the first in the United States since Atlanta in 1996. NBC’s TV deal with the IOC is the biggest revenue earner and the 2030 Winter Games are the latest in the under its current 2021-2032 contract, worth $7.65 billion.

  • Meanwhile, the COC registered to lobby the BC government. Mary Conibear of Calla Strategies is requesting, on behalf of her client, that the provincial government commit staff resources to collaborate on the concept plan for the Games.

“If a Games concept were to become a successful bid, it could impact a host of government policies, including Indigenous relations, the environment, housing, economic development and others,” said the registration of Conibear on April 28.

Conibear was the General Manager of Games Operations for VANOC. Last year, she was hired under a no-tender contract from the Department of Health to help organize vaccination clinics under Penny Ballem, British Columbia’s vaccine czar, a former Director of VANOC.

Conibear’s lobbying targets include the Prime Minister’s Office; MPs ; BC Lottery Corp. and BC Pavilion Corp.; and the Ministries of Attorney General, Environment, Indigenous Relations; employment, economic recovery and innovation, and tourism.

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