Has it really been 10 years?
If you’re in British Columbia, you’re likely to hear those six words this month when the 10th anniversary of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics is observed and the legacies pondered.
One of the few who followed the Vancouver Olympics organization from bid to dissolution was George Orr, a veteran broadcaster. The product of his years of following the biggest and most-expensive peacetime event in Canadian history is his documentary, Chasing the Dream: The Real Story Behind Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic Games. It premieres Feb. 13 on CHEK TV at 8 p.m.
Chasing the Dream follows the three men who drove the Games, Premier Gordon Campbell, Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee chair Jack Poole and CEO John Furlong.
“Everything they did was kept pretty well secret,” Orr said. “What they wanted was for people to see the Games at the end, not the process throughout. I was not welcome with my camera, it took me six years to convince Poole to talk to me. Eventually he did sit down, we talked about everything, including his cancer.” (Poole eventually succumbed to pancreatic cancer in a Vancouver hospital, after the Olympic torch relay began in Greece.)
Orr said the trio had good intentions to do a grand event to transform British Columbia. While the Games were a catalyst for a boom in B.C. real estate and tourism, Orr said the overall benefits are debatable.
“I don’t think it worked,” Orr said. “It did in the moment, in the long run, no.”
Listen to part 1 of Bob Mackin’s two-part interview with George Orr about the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.
Also on this edition, commentaries and headlines from the Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest.
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