CIPRA representatives:

Personal tools

  Search filter  

Vancouver 2010: The post-Olympic day of reckoning

The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver were meant to cost two billion Canadian dollars; in the end, they cost between seven and eight billion. For decades to come, Canadians will be picking up the tab – all for 17 days of celebrations.

© birgit pauli /flickr.com

According to Vancouver’s 2010 candidature, the Winter Olympics were meant to cost two billion Canadian dollars and return a profit of 51 million. But that was without the costs for infrastructure and security, which rose from an initial 117 million to 712 million dollars. The official total costs were between seven and eight billion Canadian dollars (around six billion euros).

Overall, six billion Canadian dollars were invested in the Winter Games held from February 12th-28th 2010 and in its infrastructure – capital that is now lacking for important tasks. According to the Finance Minister of British Columbia the deficit amounts to 925 million Canadian dollars (around 713 million euros). The indebted city will be footing the bill for decades to come.

With 80 participating nations, 2,632 competitors and 86 events, the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver were far larger than the previous Olympics in Turin. And while several facilities were built from scratch, some of them were immediately pulled down again straight after the Games. Thousands of trees were felled for two-and-a-half hours of Alpine ski competition. Whether the course will ever be used again is a matter of debate.

During the Games the athletes lived in the “ecologically sustainable” Olympic Village, in apartments that were to have been sold on as affordable housing after the Games. The construction company behind the Olympic Village has gone bust. Rent levels and property prices that were already high beforehand have continued to rise. The vast majority of contracts for the Olympics went to large corporations at home and abroad. For the TV rights, broadcasters in America and Europe paid more than one billion dollars, a large chunk of which went to the IOC, tax-free.

Sources: www.nolympia.de/archiv/vancouver/ (de), www.olympia-nein.ch/go/argumente/wunsch-oder-wirklichkeit.php (de)