An overview on the bid process for the 2010 Winter Olympics
While the XXI Winter Olympic Games will commence in February 2010, the process that earned Vancouver the privilege of hosting the Olympiad started in 2002. Through a long and arduous process, Vancouver was chosen and allowed to welcome the world to another Olympiad in Canada. Appearing more like a beauty pageant for countries, the Olympic bidding process is very much about commitment, support and advocacy.
INITIAL BID AND CRITERIA
Cities interested in hosting a future Olympiad must indicate interest and participate in the formal bidding processing with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). For the 2010 games, the process started with a deadline of application submissions due on February 2, 2002- 8 years prior to the games.
Vancouver, along with several cities, submitted bid and in February and by May 2002, submitted copies of the City Questionnaires and an initial fee of $ 100,000.00.
On August 8, 2002; the IOC announced the short-list of participant cities that met the minimum requirements to become the official candidate cities for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Those cities under consideration included:
Andorra la Vella, Andorra
Pyeongchang, South Korea
While the bidding process, formally called the Candidate Acceptance Procedure, is closely guarded, the IOC considers several factors, including the support of local citizenry. After more review and research, this list of eight cities was narrowed to three- PyeongChang, Salzburg, and Vancouver.
The Olympic Selection Committee considers several factors when rating whether a City will be selected. Public opinion, government support, general infrastructure, sports venues, transportation, experience with past major sporting events, security, and environmental conditions and impact are all some of the factors that the IOC considers.
At the first, preliminary vote of the 3 finalists, PyeongChang, South Korea was a points favorite, but Vancouver show many strong points in the area of transportation, infrastructure, accommodations, and security.
Following this round, finalist cities submitted Bid Booklets and their final participant city fees of $ 500,000.00. In addition, the finalist cities hosted visits from the IOC Evaluation Commission, made up of members from Norway, Germany, Argentina, USA, France, Japan, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands) between February 14, 2003, and March 16, 2003.
In the interim, Canadians began preparing for the possibility of hosting the games by seeking a number of referendums. Only 64% of Vancouver residents voted in favor of hosting the Winter Olympics; however, Washington (neighboring state) and the Legislature passed a resolution in support of Vancouver’s bid and sent it to the IOC.
The IOC weighed considerations such as whether it was North America’s turn to host the games again, financial support of governments, transportation, the status of the country as a winter sports power, and the absolute beauty of the hosting country. After considering all these and other issues, the Evaluation Commission issued a report.
On July 2, 2003, IOC voted on the 2010 host city in Prague, Czech Republic. And, the final vote remained guarded. The IOC made their announcements admit great formality and excitement. Vancouver, which had won by a close vote, would host the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Celebration rang through Prague and Canada. Canada would host the Games for the third time in less than four decades.
Vancouver’s successful bid did impact some of Canada’s sister cities, such as Calgary, Quebec, and Toronto’s future bids for the games. Also, some citizenry are concerned that the Games will have negative impact on the pristine landscapes.
While the final preparation are under way for the XXI Winter Olympiad., the bid process for the 2012 Summer Games, then 2014 Winter Games, and the 2016 Summer Games are complete. Congratulations to London, England, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Sochi, Russia!
Being selected to host the Olympic Games is an honor and a privilege for any city. While there are financial benefits to the host city, the other reward is extending the hand of peace and brotherhood to all the world citizens. The Vancouver Games, from all the planning and speculation, will be a memorable celebration of culture and Olympic spirit.