Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Vancouver Olympics 2010

The City of Vancouver's bid to host the 2010 Winter Olympics began in 1998. It was at this point that the Canadian Olympic Association held two rounds of bidding to narrow down the Canadian options. Other contenders included Quebec City (Quebec lost a bid three years earlier to host the 2002 Olympics) and Calgary (Calgary had previously hosted the 1988 Winter Games)

On the first round of voting , Vancouver-Whistler had 26 votes, Quebec City with 25 and Calgary 21. The second and final round of voting included only the top two cities. Vancouver won with 40 votes compared to Quebec City's 32. This win allowed Vancouver to kick its bid into high gear and begin intense lobbying efforts around the world.

Historically, the choosing of Olympic Games venue was rife with allegations of corruption and vote buying. The bidding process had a lack of oversight and transparency. It was thought that countries with little interest in the Winter Olympics were being influenced. There was a tremendous bid bribing scandal that occurred with the 2002 Winter Olympics at Salt Lake City (which resulted in Quebec City asking for 8 million in compensation for their failed 2002 bid). The International Olympic Committee was embarrassed and therefore created the Evaluation Commission in 2002. The changes brought forth by the IOC tightened the bidding rules and attempted to focus on the more technical aspects of each candidate city. The Evaluation Commission analyzed each candidate city and provided its input back to the IOC.

In July 2003, the IOC awarded Vancouver the right to host the Olympics. In being awarded the 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver faced two other finalists: PyeongChang, South Korea, and Salzburg, Austria. Pyeongchang had the most votes of the three finalists in the first round of voting and Salzburg was eliminated. In the run-off, almost everyone who had voted for Salzburg now voted for Vancouver. It was a very close vote.

The Vancouver Olympics 2010 will start on February 12, 2010 with ski jumping.

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