CTV News Vancouver
If success is measured by a surge in the number of international sporting events held at former Olympic facilities, they haven’t done well.
But those who foresaw the Winter 2010 venues becoming vibrant community hubs and tourist draws are delighted with what the past decade has brought.
Ten competition venues were built or upgraded for the Games, with several others available as practice facilities for athletes. They range from the sprawling Whistler Olympic Park, which was home to alpine events, to the Richmond Olympic Oval 120 km away on the banks of the Fraser River. …
“Last week we had an international world cup fencing championship that was right here. People from as far away as Italy, France and Russia came here to compete,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “There’s no way we could’ve generated that kind of interest without something very significant like the Oval.”
Richmond took the unusual step of accepting some funds from the International Olympic Committee, but built the rest of the long-track speed skating venue with civic funds, fundraised millions to own the venue in perpetuity and is completely in control of its future use.
“We designed the facility taking into account what would we do with it for the entire life span, so 60, 80, 100 years out,” Brodie explained. “That’s what we looked at and once we figured out what we wanted to do with it in the long run we said ‘ok, now we’ve got the first five years dedicated to the Olympics, how do we fit that in?’” …
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