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John Furlong OC, OBC

President and CEO

ORGANISATION: Vancouver 2010

John Furlong inspired the vision behind, and led the team that bid for, organised and staged, the highly successful Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010.

Furlong was there at the beginning of the candidature phase and went on to become CEO of the Vancouver Organising Committee (VANOC), leading the organisation through many trials and tribulations, all the way through to the closing ceremonies. He was relentless in his pursuit to deliver an edition of the Olympic Games that would touch the hearts and minds of every Canadian. 

Many urged Furlong to set the Vancouver 2010 goals at a more attainable level, saying his vision was unreachable. Furlong refused and, through an exhaustive 10-year journey, went on to deliver what has now been recognised as one of the most successful Winter Games editions ever.

Furlong has been described as a sports hero, nation builder and the ultimate crisis manager. Known for his masterful storytelling and innovative leadership style, he continues to inspire audiences with the many remarkable and fascinating untold stories behind the Games. 

For his leadership of the 2010 Games, Furlong was named an officer of the Order of Canada and member of the Order of British Columbia. He also received the IOC’s prestigious Olympic Order in Gold.


The speakers

Using the unique power of sport to bring people together, the Olympism in Action Forum sees a range of global players, including Olympic Movement stakeholders, athletes, private and public sector leaders, NGO representatives, academics, artists and the media come together to talk on topical contemporary issues. Chosen because of their ability to effect change and their wide range of sometimes differing opinions, the speakers will lead lively debates and seek to challenge received wisdom to inspire new ways of thinking.

Meet the speakers.
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