The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded on 23 June 1894 by the French educator Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who was inspired to revive the Olympic Games of Greek antiquity. The IOC is an international non-governmental non-profit organisation and the creator of the Olympic Movement. The IOC exists to serve as an umbrella organisation of the Olympic Movement. It owns all rights to the Olympic symbols, flag, motto, anthem and Olympic Games. Its primary responsibility is to supervise the organisation of the summer and winter Olympic Games.
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The 2010 Winter Olympics
and Paralympic Games
The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will take place in Vancouver from 12 to 28 February 2010. The Paralympic Games for athletes with disabilities will run from 5 to 14 March 2010.
How the City of Vancouver became involved
In February 1998, a group of local citizens formed the Olympic Bid Society, and approached Vancouver City Council for support of a Vancouver/Whistler bid for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Council approved a recommendation to support the concept in principle.
To address concerns about potential costs and liabilities involved in hosting the Games, the City of Vancouver and the Province of British Columbia entered into the Participation Agreement in November 1998. The Participation Agreement provides the City of Vancouver with an indemnity for any costs, losses, and liabilities related to the bid and the Winter Olympics other than those agreed upon by the City. On the basis of the Participation Agreement, the City agreed to act as host city and proceed with the bid.
In December 1998, the Vancouver bid was selected by the Canadian Olympic Association (now the Canadian Olympic Committee) to represent Canada in the international bidding competition to host the 2010 Games. The City, the COA and the bid group signed the Bid City Agreement. The Bid City Agreement authorized the City to present the bid to the International Olympic Committee, and set out the roles and responsibilities of the parties in presenting the Bid including: community consultation, intellectual property matters (trademarks and copyright), marketing, expenses, the signing of the IOC Host City Agreement, federal and provincial assistance and incorporation and operation of the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games. The terms of the Bid City Agreement require the City to work with the COC to ensure that all aspects of the bid are developed, managed and presented in the best possible manner and in compliance with the provisions of the Olympic Charter and the directions issued by the IOC to candidate cities.
In June 1999, the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation, a not-for-profit corporation, was incorporated to organize and develop plans to win the right to host the Games.
Now that Vancouver has been selected to host the 2010 Winter Games, a new company will be incorporated as the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (OCOG) to plan and present the Games.
Ice hockey, figure skating, curling and short track speed skating, along with the opening and closing ceremonies, will take place in the City of Vancouver. The University of British Columbia will also host some hockey events. Simon Fraser University will host the speed skating events, and Cypress Mountain will hold snowboarding and freestyle skiing. For Whistler, the events proposed are alpine skiing, biathlon, cross country skiing, Nordic combined, ski jumping, bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton, as well as all the Paralympic events. Athletes' villages and media centres will be built at both locations. The Vancouver organisers estimate that the Games will be attended by some 5,000 atheletes and Olympic officials, 10,000 media representatives, 14,000 volunteers and up to 2.3 million spectators.
Initial cost of Vancouvers bid
The Bid Corporation's budget for the bid was Can$34 million. Of the $34 million budget, the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia have each provided $9.1 million in financing. Government and public corporations financed 54 per cent of the Bid, and private companies provided 46 per cent of the funding. Corporate and other supporters included: Telus, Molson, Canadian Tourism Commission, BC Lottery Corporation, CIBC, ICBC, BC Association of Broadcasters, National Post, The Province; VanNet Newspapers, Vancouver Sun, and Viacom Outdoor. The City of Vancouver provided $300,000 to the Bid Corporation's Bid budget in 2000. In July 2002, Vancouver City Council approved another Can$450,000 in funding from the City's contingency reserve to support the City's participation in the Bid process to be used for security planning, cultural initiatives, and staffing and administration.
Estimated cost of hosting the Games
The budget for hosting the Games is broken down into two categories: the capital infrastructure budget and the Games operating budget.
The capital infrastructure budget covers the construction of new venues and the renovation of existing facilities. The federal and provincial governments would equally fund the Can$620 million (=US$402.5 million) budget.
The estimated total operating budget for hosting the Games is Can$1.3 billion (US$844 million), which is expected to be funded by television revenues, corporate sponsorships, ticket sales, licences and other private contributions. Government funding is not intended for the operating budget.
Can$86 million (US$55.7 million) of the OCOG's capital budget (funded by the provincial and federal governments) would be spent on upgrading or constructing City-owned facilities.
The City of Vancouver has committed itself to:
renovating an existing community ice arena to provide an international-size hockey arena (ice sheet only) at an estimated cost of $5 million, $2.5 million of which would be contributed by the OCOG.
developing the permanent facilities (to be sold or rented after the Games) for the Vancouver athletes' village. The estimated Can$167 million ($108 million US) cost would be funded from land sales, and the $30 million contribution by senior governments.
In keeping with the multi-party agreement, Vancouver will also:
provide those services that would normally be provided by the City within its jurisdiction and its normal budget.
provide a level of police service that would organize schedules to accommodate the maximum allowable deployment to the Games under the City's normal budget.
forgo any revenue lost by the City due to activities approved by the City relating to the Games, including rent for City-owned venues, and parking revenues for City parking lots and streets.
The Province of British Columbia will be responsible for any cost overruns from the Games. The Province has provided a written guarantee to this effect to the IOC. The Province has also provided an indemnity and release to the City of Vancouver in the form of the Participation Agreement.
Related story: 2012 Summer Olympics
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