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10 years later: Vancouver looks back on its Olympic moment with mixed feelings – Daily Gaming Worlld

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VANCOUVER When Gregor Robertson took over as mayor of Vancouver, he said he had not anticipated the financial collapse of a planned home when the Winter Olympics and Paralymics approached in 2010.

Olympic Village, a community of around 1,100 condominium units along the edge of False Creek of the city, is expected to house 3,000 athletes and add much needed affordable housing supplies to the city.

But it didnt go as planned, he said in an interview.

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It took me more than 14 months before the Games started and the Olympic Village was in total financial decline, and that project was not on track to be completed for the Games, he said.

The 2010 Olympic Games coincided with the recession. The $ 1.1 billion project went under guardianship and the city raised $ 690 million in debt to keep it alive, but Robertson said it had paid off.

In the end it all worked out. Its a great neighborhood in Vancouver with a great legacy for the city.

The 10th anniversary of the Olympic Games is on Wednesday and Robertson is one of many public figures who, looking in the rear-view mirror, expressed mixed feelings about the experience, but ultimately said it was worth it.

The games came with significant infrastructure investments such as the Canada Line SkyTrain, a fast transit line that connects downtown Vancouver with the airport in Richmond. Athletic facilities built for the Games are now valued community and leisure centers. And the Sea-to-Sky Highway that winds to Whistler was considerably improved, giving the region north of Vancouver more tourism.

Ten years later, the legacy of those investments proves a blessing for the community, but some payouts took longer than expected.

I think the Vancouver Olympics really launched on the world stage and strengthened our reputation as a city that can host major events that had a dynamic economy and a varied population, said Robertson.

Quantifying the economic impact is virtually impossible, said James Raymond, senior research manager at the Vancouver Economic Commission.

An analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers was published in the year after the Olympic Games discovered that the Vancouver organizing committee continued to spend under $ 2 billion. It was estimated that the Games contributed $ 2.3 billion to GDP, resulted in $ 1.26 billion in local development projects, and attracted 650,000 visitors in one month alone.

The city said in April 2010 that it had spent $ 550 million and used another $ 174.9 million from other levels of government, and considered it an investment that a sustainable legacy of city assets for the use of our citizens for years to come. created .

Raymond said the benefits have gone far beyond those numbers. From his perspective, Vancouver has organized one of the most successful Olympic Games in recent history.

Unlike other host cities with ghost facilities that languish unused after the Games, the Vancouver Olympic infrastructure continues to flourish, said Raymond, whose visits to host cities include Seoul, Barcelona, Sidney and Athens.

He brings his own daughter to ballet class in a community center that organized curling events and now has a popular pool and farmers market.

It has only brought life and energy to that one neighborhood, he said.

The brand value of Vancouver also increased thanks to the Games and probably contributed to foreign investments by companies such as Amazon and MasterCard that are expanding their technology activities in the city and attracting international events to the Vancouver Convention Center, Raymond said.

He calls the Vancouver organizing committee the legacy in mind in his investment decision.

Vancouver has shown really well that the Olympics can be fantastic for your city, he said.

Its about scaling things the right way and the legacy as the most important thing to think about.

John Furlong, CEO of the committee, said that during planning, members made it a priority to consider how infrastructure fits into the long-term vision of the community.

There was only one project the ski jump location that the team determined was unlikely to sustain itself, so the committee said ongoing funding.

More important is his opinion that he calls the human legacy and how it contributed to Vancouvers reputation.

The Vancouver 2010 Games were confronted with extraordinary obstacles and hardships on the way and had to overcome many things. So in many ways it was important that the project was seen as a metaphor for what is possible, Furlong said.

The city has this kind of look in the eyes and the feeling that it can handle anything.

Leaders from two First Nations said they were enthusiastic and hopeful to participate in the Games.

Lilwat Chief Dean Nelson and Squamish Nations Gibby Jacob both said their communities were receiving land on which they still have not been able to build but are considering long-term investments.

Jacob said that a $ 30 million shared cultural center in Whistler was more of a financial burden than expected, but now operates in the black. Nelson added that many local youth are employed in the center and it allows them to share their history.

Nelson, who taught in 2010, said it was fun for his students to hold Olympic presentations in schools and a snowboard team that was formed in 2010 is still driving.

The Games also put forward anti-poverty lawyers who considered spending as frivolous.

Vancouver Coun. Jean Swanson helped the Poverty Olympics in the run-up to the Games to draw attention to inequality in the city.

We had our own mascots, we had our own national anthem, we had our own games. My favorite was the wide jump over the bed bugs-affected mattress, she said.

The message was clear then and she is now there, she said, If the money spent on the Olympics was spent on ending poverty, we could do it.

But the Games also came with some benefit for the poor, she said. Swanson endorses the pressure of lawyers with the decision of the provincial government to build 14 permanent supporting residential buildings with approximately 100 units each in the region.

On the other hand, Swanson said she believes the Olympic Games have strengthened Vancouvers international profile as a real estate destination, contributing to a housing crisis that peaked years after the Games.

Robertson also linked international attention to the misery of the townhouse, while the reputation boost it gave the city should not be underestimated.

We were previously seen as a non-fun city with limited economic prospects, known only for resources. And now we are known as one of the greenest, technically educated culturally diverse cities in the world, said Robertson.

That is a huge added value and I think it is easy to remember some of the real estate challenges or complications, but I think it was generally a big advantage for Vancouver and Canada.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on February 9, 2020.

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10 years later: Vancouver looks back on its Olympic moment with mixed feelings - Daily Gaming Worlld

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