- Associated Press - Thursday, February 20, 2020

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - The leader of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics is urging the city to go for the 2030 Winter Games.

John Furlong, who co-led the Vancouver bid and headed the organizing committee, made his pitch Thursday in a speech to the Vancouver Board of Trade.

“I think the timing is actually very, very good,” Furlong told The Canadian Press. “We have the venues. We could effectively be the only city ever to use exactly the same footprint. We have this opportunity. Eventually, these venues will get tired and get old and the timing will go away.”

The Vancouver organizing committee said the games broke even financially. The cost was about $4 billion.

“When you look at Vancouver and the message the IOC has been trying to present for future games about using existing facilities, lowering the cost, this is a perfect case,” Furlong said. “You can’t lower the cost any more than not having to build any venues.”

The host Canadian team won 26 medals in 2010. The 14 gold medals set a record for the most by any country at a single Winter Olympics, since equaled by Germany and Norway in 2018.

Furlong believes there is public appetite for British Columbia to throw its hat in the Olympic rings again. He points to a recent online poll in the province indicating 68% of those asked felt the 2010 Games were worth the money.

The next Winter Olympics are in Beijing, which won a two-city race for 2022. Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo is set for 2026. Calgary was the first Canadian city to host the Winter Olympics in 1988 and contemplated a bid for 2026.

“Every one of these races for the Olympics is a competition between cities,” Furlong said. “I like our chances against anyone.”

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