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  • Vancouver, Whistler Benefit from 2010 Olympics; Little Impact Nationwide


    The External Cauldron for the Vancouver Olympics (Getty Images)
    A study from the University of British Columbia examining the long-term impact of the Games found residents around Vancouver and Whistler saw the strongest return on the Olympics, specifically with improved infrastructure and athletics facilities.

    “This explains why cities aggressively pursue the opportunity to host these large-scale events,” read a statement from Rob VanWynsberghe, a professor in UBC’s Faculty of Education, who conducted this research through UBC’s Centre for Sport and Sustainability.

    While the two host cities saw a benefit, the rest of Canada “benefitted from a boost in pride and nationalism,” the statement said. VanWynsberghe called that the “red mitten effect,” referring to the wildly popular red mittens sold in support of Team Canada.

    The investment needed to upgrade infrastructure for the Games cost taxpayers very little, the study found.

    The Sea-to-Sky Highway was one of the main infrastructure projects for the 2010 Olympics. (Getty Images)
    According to the Olympic Games Impact study, for every $12 CDN spent by the province and Ottawa for the Sea-to-Sky Highway, Canada Line, and the Convention Centre, taxpayers only put $1 CDN toward the costs.

    “Residents paid little in direct taxes to get great infrastructure,” said VanWynsberghe. “If you use transit, ski, or work in tourism, it is a good deal.”

    Government infrastructure expenses totaled $7 billion CDN for the Games.

    The OGI is a four-part study into the Olympic Games’ impact, and was required by the IOC.

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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