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2010 Olympic bid seeks new top gun



Successful candidate will ‘build to the world’

The Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Bid Corp. wants you. But only if you’re from B.C., have an outgoing personality, strong leadership skills, international business experience and like to travel and schmooze.

"This person will be selling the bid to the world," Sam Corea, the bid corporation’s media relations manager, said in an interview earlier this week.

The 2010 team is looking for a new president and CEO after current head honcho Don Calder indicated he would be stepping down at the end of September.

"(Calder) will be shifting roles and focusing his efforts on fund-raising here at home," said Corea.

According to Corea, the experiences of Toronto 2008 bid chairman John Bitove led Calder to believe he was not cut out for the position.

"The position involves tons of travel and he was not prepared to do that," Corea said.

But there has been good interest in the position after it was advertised last week in B.C. newspapers, including Pique Newsmagazine .

Corea said names like Rick Hansen, Jim Pattison and Nancy Greene Raine have already been thrown about by pundits and the media.

When contacted by Pique Newsmagazine , Raine said she was flattered but not interested.

Raine won two medals – gold and silver – at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France, and is internationally recognized for her exploits as ski racer and resort developer.

"It’s not in the cards," she said from Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops in a telephone interview.

Whistler residents Rob Boyd, Ross Rebagliati and Steve Podborski have also been mentioned as possibilities.

Boyd is the only Canadian male to ever win a World Cup ski race on home turf, the 1989 men’s downhill on Whistler Mountain.

Rebagliati won the first ever Olympic gold in snowboarding at the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan.

Podborski, who is already involved in the bid with marketing and public relations, won a bronze medal at the 1980 Games in Lake Placid, New York, and was the 1982 men’s World Cup downhill champion.

"They’re all welcome to apply," said Corea.

Arthur Griffiths, former owner of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks and NBA’s Vancouver Grizzlies, has already applied for the position.

Griffiths headed Vancouver-Whistler’s successful campaign to be chosen as Canada’s preferred site for the 2010 Games but then stepped down in February 2000 to pursue other business opportunities.

"We’d like to have someone in place for the start of October," said Corea.

There is, however, one drawback to the position: the job will be done in July 2003 when the International Olympic Committee announces the 2010 host city.

"It’s a year, year-and-a-half project," Corea said. "We’re not sure yet if that person will continue on with the project."