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Business as usual for 2010 bid



Vancouver-Whistler bid corporation taking next steps after Toronto loses bid to host 2008

Although you would expect champagne corks to be flying at the Vancouver Whistler 2010 Bid Corporation headquarters when the International Olympic Committee announced on July 13 that Beijing would host the 2008 Summer Games, the atmosphere was actually quite subdued.

While there was a good chance that the Vancouver-Whistler bid would have been shelved if Toronto won the 2008 Olympics, with only two years to go until the IOC chooses the host city for the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, it’s time to get to work in earnest.

"Certainly the road was cleared for us on Friday," 2010 bid CEO Don Calder told participants at the most recent fireside chat at the Whistler Mountain Ski Club cabin on July 17.

"What would have been a major obstacle to our bid was removed, but it is clear that we have some work to do. As you may have noticed on Friday and yesterday, there are about 22 people in the International Olympic Committee who vote for Canada, and you need a majority to win. There are 108 members of the IOC, and you need at least 55 votes to win, and we don’t think it will be easy for us."

In only the second round of IOC voting on July 13, Beijing got the 56 votes it needed to host the games. On July 16, when the IOC members elected a new president, 46 people voted for Belgian delegate Jacques Rogge compared to 23 for Kim Un-Yong of South Korea, and 22 for Canadian delegate Dick Pound.

With the Canadian Olympic Association now putting its full support behind the Vancouver-Whistler bid, the 2010 Bid Corporation will have to follow a tight timeline up until the 2003 IOC congress in Prague, Czech Republic.

In September the world’s 200-plus national Olympic associations are invited to submit candidates for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and the candidate cities will have until February of 2002 to fill out a questionnaire with 22 questions dealing with everything from transportation, to athlete housing, to security, to ticket sales.

By August of 2002, the applicant cities will make their first submissions to the IOC, which will then release a short list of applicants. All cities on the short list become official "candidate cities" and are required to prepare detailed bid books covering every aspect of the Games.

The Toronto bid book was over 700 pages. If the Vancouver-Whistler bid is shortlisted, they will have until January 2003 to submit a bid book to the IOC. The IOC evaluation commission then visits candidate cities between February and April to evaluate the bids on their technical merits.