A prominent critic of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics is questioning a report from Vanoc claiming the organizing committee broke even on the Games.
Vanoc released financial statements today (December 17) indicating the Games stayed within budget at $1.884 billion in operations.
“As of today's date, VANOC has no debt remaining,” a news release from the committee indicated.
“The true measure of the 2010 Winter Games is not strictly financial, but a positive financial outcome is something we are very proud of in the story of the Games' success,” said John Furlong, Vanoc's chief executive officer, in a statement.
However, Chris Shaw called the budget a “shell game”.
“Right after the Games were awarded, they went back to the federal and provincial governments for $110 million,” said Shaw. “They said they weren’t going to go back again, but they did. Million, million, millions more went.
“To say they broke even, yeah broke even based on the last tranche of money they got, maybe.”
Shaw noted operating costs are separate from the total price tag, and don’t include things like overall security costs or all the costs to the province and the city.
“Where did the City of Vancouver break even on the [Olympic] Village?” he asked.
“They’re moving the pea around under the cups and pretending the debts aren’t there and the assets are.”
According to the committee, the Games delivered unprecedented corporate support and record public attendance, with over 97 percent of the 1.54 million tickets available sold.
In addition to releasing its financial statements, VANOC also released a final sustainability report today.