Welcome Matt: Many reasons to get behind Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid

Feb 5 2022, 12:08 am

The Welcome Matt can be heard weekdays on Sekeres and Price. Stream the live show at SekeresAndPrice.com Monday to Friday, or download the latest podcast.

As we hit another Winter Olympics, the third since our Games in 2010, we are monitoring a bid unlike any other.

The first Indigenous-led Olympic bid has the backing of four local First Nations groups, the cities of Vancouver and Whistler, and the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committees.

This week, the partnership took the next step towards a formal bid by commissioning feasibility assessments.

As Blake Price has chronicled, this bid would have to catch the eye of conscientious members of the IOC (insert punchline here) who recognize the bad international actors they’re doing business with, including the Chinese state, and may be looking for a different story to peddle to sponsors and western citizens going forward.

A story this week on Daily Hive by Kenneth Chan lays out just how seamless, if we can use that word with such a big logistical effort, it would be when it comes to venues.

The biggest concern could well be a curling rink!

That’s right, Hillcrest centre hosted it in 2010, no putting that genie back in the bottle.

But the Richmond Oval could be converted back for long-track speed skating, the Coliseum could still do figure skating and short-track, and Rogers Arena and UBC Thunderbird Arena could host the hockey tournaments again.

And of course, the alpine at Whistler Creekside, the sliding at Blackcomb, and the ski jump and cross country in the Callaghan Valley.

The big problem is the freestyle at Cypress, with regrets to Alex Bilodeau, the site of Canada’s first gold medal on Canadian soil wouldn’t get a return affair.

It seems snow was a problem, and spectating was a problem. I covered aerials up there one day and it was fine, but freestyle and snowboarding would have to move.

Only, not to Whistler. The resort wouldn’t have the capacity to sustain those events on top of everything else going on there.

The partnership is looking at Big White or Sun Peaks as alternatives.

Security costs will always be enormous, and there are always other points of protest with an Olympics.

A Games that advances the cause of Indigenous peoples, taking advantage of existing venues, and as John Furlong told us a couple years back when reflecting on 2010 and plotting a return affair, there’s got to be a way to tackle affordable housing via the Athletes Village.

Maybe it’s because the torch is now lit in Beijing, but I find myself getting more and more behind Vancouver/Whistler 2030.


Matthew SekeresMatthew Sekeres

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