New report details lasting legacies of Olympic Winter Games in North America

    VANCOUVER, April 26 /CNW/ - Olympic Winter Games in North America are
generally highly successful and leave a multitude of lasting legacies in their
host communities, according to a new report commissioned by the Vancouver
Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).
The report, which includes a chapter on each of the three previous North
American Olympic Winter Games, will be released over the next month as part of
a host of activities to mark the 1,000 day countdown on May 19 to the Opening
Ceremony of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
    The Legacies of North American Olympic Winter Games report, prepared by
an independent researcher, documents and illustrates the possible social and
economic trends that result from hosting Olympic Winter Games in North America
and the lasting impacts of hosting the Olympic Winter Games on a specific
community and region.
    The report examines the legacies of the three Olympic Winter Games held
in North America since 1980: in Lake Placid, Calgary and Salt Lake City.
Research sources include previous official Games reports, Games senior
leaders, studies, books, newspaper and magazine analyses, and original
interviews with individuals who have witnessed firsthand the effects of
hosting the Games in their communities. "Social and economic trends are often
left unidentified until the facts are pulled together and analyzed in one
place, through a common lens," said VANOC's Chief Executive Officer John
Furlong. "This report, summarizing the legacies of previous North American
Olympic Winter Games, outlines trends that should be encouraging to all
British Columbians, all Canadians and other North American cities considering
bidding for the Olympic Winter Games," he said.
    All three of the previous North American Olympic Winter Games examined in
the report were deemed a success in their time. The report shows how these
host communities continue to:

    -   increase tourism in their regions
    -   remind the world of their attractions at subsequent international
        competition hosted there
    -   build sports participation
    -   be national hubs for recreational and competitive sport
    -   help the country's top high performance athletes achieve their full
    -   attract major sports companies to locate there
    -   encourage local children to excel in sport and other areas of life

    "The best model for understanding the potential legacies of the Vancouver
2010 Olympic Winter Games is analysis of other Winter Games held within the
North American continent," said Furlong. "This report offers a frank look back
on the experiences of previous North American Olympic Winter Games hosts.
While each Games was unique with its own story, the findings clearly indicate
a pattern of positive opportunity."
    Due to the significant volume of each report, they will be released at on a staggered timeline: Lake Placid on April 30, Calgary on
May 7 and Salt Lake on May 14.
    The legacy of Winter Games can perhaps be easiest seen through high
performance sport. Lake Placid has hosted the Olympic Winter Games twice (1932
and 1980), and has produced 125 local medal-winners since the Olympic Winter
Games' inception in 1924. After Salt Lake staged the 2002 Olympic Winter
Games, 69 of the 211 athletes on the U.S. team in Torino in 2006 had trained
at the Olympic Games facilities in Salt Lake. At the 2006 Olympic Winter Games
in Torino, more than 25 per cent of the 196-member Canadian team was from the
Calgary area and trained on legacy facilities from the 1988 Olympic Winter
    Calgary, the only Canadian city that has hosted an Olympic Winter Games,
has a strong post-Games legacy. The Calgary Olympic Development Association
(CODA) is responsible for a financial legacy that makes it the largest private
funder of Olympic winter sport in Canada. Canada Olympic Park (COP) is a
multi-venue sports complex that is the second-largest tourist draw in Alberta,
attracting one million visitors a year - nearly 20 years after Calgary hosted
the Olympic Winter Games. Plans are well underway to further develop COP.
    The report shows a similar success story regarding New York State's
Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA). In the 2004-2005 fiscal year, a
quarter century after the 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Winter Games, the overall
economic impact of ORDA's operations to the village and the counties
surrounding it was an estimated $323.7 million USD.
    The Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) decided after the 2002 Games to
use its $100 million USD profit to turn Salt Lake City and Utah into "an elite
sports capital of the world." Since 2002, the Utah Sports Commission (USC) has
hosted almost 200 major sports events. In 2006 alone, the economic impact of
the events the USC helped organize was between $500-600 million USD. The state
has also enticed more than 10 major sports equipment companies to call it
    "The Legacies report shows that on a continent where enthusiasm for
recreational and high performance winter sport is widespread, hosting a
successful Winter Games can have numerous, multi-faceted benefits, many of
which last for generations," said Furlong.
    "VANOC is determined to continue this impressive trend, delivering an
outstanding Games experience in 2010 and legacies that continue to benefit the
community for many years into the future," he concluded.

    About VANOC

    VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging
of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The
2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from
February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic
Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010.

    About the Lasting Legacies Report and Author

    VANOC commissioned the research and writing of The Legacies of North
American Olympic Winter Games report in July 2006. The researcher and author,
Kate Zimmerman, has been a journalist in Canada for 27 years, writing for
numerous newspapers and magazines. She lives in North Vancouver, BC.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Chris Brumwell, Vancouver 2010,
(778) 328-6269

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