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  • VANOC Closes Books, Releases Final Financial Report


    The final financial report was released on Thursday, 11 years after Vancouver won Olympic hosting rights (Getty)
    (ATR) The organizing committee for Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics says it broke even on an operating budget of almost $1.9 billion.

    The four remaining directors of VANOC met June 27 to close the books. The final financial report was published on July 3, the day after the 11th anniversary of the IOC awarding Vancouver the 2010 Games.

    It was the first financial disclosure from VANOC since Dec. 17, 2010, when the organization released the results for the previous year ending July 31.

    VANOC reported balancing the operating budget of $1.894,718,000, which included the previously announced $188 million extra from the federal and British Columbia governments. VANOC sought help from the governments and IOC because of the 2008 global economic crisis.

    VANOC said the $90.5 million in assets and liabilities that existed on July 31, 2010 were extinguished and no funds are owing any creditor. Likewise, no assets remain.

    “Having completed its primary purpose of delivering the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and settling all of its financial matters, the company may now be dissolved,” said the report.

    Half the $10.6 million in additional revenue during the four-year dissolution was from the IOC, $3.6 million from licensees and $1.2 million from Canadian and TOP sponsors. The report said no government funds were requested or received during dissolution.

    Praise for VANOC

    In a prepared statement, Canadian Olympic Committee CEO Marcel Aubut congratulated VANOC for delivering the 2010 Games "in world-class style".

    “Without question, it was and remains still today, a special moment in our nation’s history,” said Aubut.

    Canada won a record 14 gold medals during the 2010 Games, which were seen by a global TV audience of 1.8 billion.

    VANOC did not explain why the dissolution took two years longer than anticipated. At the IOC session in Durban on July 7, 2011, CEO John
    Whistler Sliding Centre (Getty)
    Furlong said: “We’re very close to being no longer and, by this time next year, we will, in fact, be no longer.”

    VANOC chair Ken Dobell did not immediately respond to an interview request. Dobell was the last remaining original director from the September 2003-appointed board.

    VANOC claimed it collected 99.98% of the $200 million accounts receivable, and resolved all legal and insurance claims.

    The $7.6 million in dissolution funds through the services and Games operations function included funds for a British Columbia Coroner-ordered safety audit of the Whistler Sliding Centre after the accidental death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili on the Games’ opening day.

    VANOC and the IOC also funded the building of a new men’s start area, lower on the track, to reduce sliders’ speeds. VANOC had been warned almost a year before the Games by architect Udo Gurgel that athletes were reaching speeds faster that exceeded the track design.

    The report said VANOC spent nearly $2.13 million on staff during the dissolution. It had 60 full-and-part time personnel in 2011, but that was reduced to five part-timers this year. Executive vice-president Terry Wright is now a strategic advisor for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, while chief financial officer John McLaughlin is the only senior VANOC executive called on by the IOC to aid future Games. McLaughlin was the financial expert for the 2018 and 2020 evaluation commissions.

    Besides Dobell, the last VANOC board included Canadian Olympic Committee CEO Chris Overholt, Resort Municipality of Whistler lawyer Sharon Fugman and Vancouver city manager Penny Ballem. In the 2011 agreement transferring VANOC records to the City of Vancouver archives, Ballem agreed to seal board minutes, monthly financials and correspondence from the public until 2025.

    Written by Bob Mackin

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