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28 Sep 2005
IOC News

The 2014 Games: Unity And Partnership

Speaking to the seven applicant cities for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, John Furlong, the CEO of the Organising Committee for the XXI Olympic Winter Games – Vancouver 2010 (VANOC) and the former President and COO of the Vancouver 2010 bid corporation, discussed the importance of an organising committee’s structure and its partnership with public authorities.
Talking of his own experience of having followed the applicant cities seminar with Vancouver a few years ago, Furlong said, “We came here [to meet the IOC] thinking we knew everything but we didn’t know anything at all,” and it was this realisation that was one of the factors that contributed to Vancouver 2010 becoming a learning organisation right from the outset. He emphasised to the applicant cities the importance of learning from the Olympic movement because, he said, if you learn and you create a strong legacy from the bid, then even if you don’t win, you will at least have created a strong project that will help your country in years to come. As Furlong commented, “Only one city will go home a champion but everyone wants to go home a winner.”
Key Success Factor
Talking about the importance of the relationship between the organising committee and the public authorities of a host country, Furlong used the example of the Multi Party Agreement (MPA) that Vancouver 2010 had set-up with all of their local public authority partners, such as the Government of Canada,, the Province of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver and the resort municipality of Whistler. This critical document for the organising committee was a key success factor, said Furlong in bringing the Games to Vancouver, as it guaranteed the unity and partnership between all the principal stakeholder groups in Canada and laid the ground for a smooth transition from bid committee to organising committee.
One of the key elements of the close cooperation between the organising committee and the public authorities, in this case through the MPA, was that this close cooperation “created an environment where every partner was respectful for the legacies of the other.” Legacy is an important element of every Olympic Games, as the IOC has emphasised with its Olympic Games Study Commission report. Furlong described how legacy and sustainability are at VANOC’s very foundation, not simply in terms of construction and venues but also in terms of the social impacts that the Games will have on people. Staff working at the organising committee, for example, work under the fundamental principal that they are “contributing to nation building and contributing to something important to their country.”
The seven applicant cities for the XXII Olympic Winter Games 2014 are Almaty (Kazakhstan), Borjomi (Georgia), Jaca (Spain) PyeongChang (Republic of Korea), Salzburg (Austria), Sochi (Russia) and Sofia (Bulgaria). The decision on which cities should become candidate cities will be taken on 21 to 23 June 2006 by the IOC Executive Board and the final decision on the host city for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games will be taken by the IOC Session in July 2007 in Guatemala City.
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