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Vancouver 2030 bid team big on hopes, vague on specifics

Seven-person group studying feasibility of bringing Winter Olympics back to region is mum on details of recent visit of IOC experts.
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Meetings between International Olympic Committee experts and Canadian officials meetings "led to very positive and constructive discussion that left us feeling confident that we have the technical pieces necessary to host an incredible Games in 2030," a spokesman said

The Canadian Olympic Committee says its team studying the feasibility of Vancouver bidding to host the 2030 Winter Olympics met a trio of International Olympic Committee technical experts from May 2-4.

But it is not saying which venues they visited or who the IOC experts were.

“The feasibility team working in collaboration, coordination and under the leadership of the Host First Nations will provide the list of venues visited when we publicly release the proposed concept plan in June,” said Chris Dornan, spokesman and member of the seven-person feasibility team.

Three COC-affiliated feasibility team members — president Tricia Smith, vice-president Andrew Baker and lobbyist Mary Conibear — and ex-Vancouver 2010 Four Host First Nations executive director Tewanee Joseph did not respond for comment.

Dornan declined to set up an interview. But, in a prepared statement, said the COC used the visit to review the potential venue master plans and get expert feedback on specific sites.

“The meetings and site visits led to very positive and constructive discussion that left us feeling confident that we have the technical pieces necessary to host an incredible Games in 2030,” the statement said.

The visit was focused on technical aspects of a Games bid, but also included promotion of what the COC has called an Indigenous-led process that aligns with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call for international sporting events to respect and engage Indigenous communities in all aspects.

The visit came the week after Conibear registered to lobby the BC NDP government on behalf of the COC, which wants the government to provide staff resources to help create the conceptual plan.

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton signed a memorandum of understanding last December with leaders of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Lil’wat. Joseph and Skwah First Nation chief Lara Mussell Savage are the only Indigenous members of the feasibility team, but Dornan said the group was invited to work under leadership of the four bands.

The IOC has replaced costly bidding wars with a new process to encourage interested cities to negotiate behind closed doors through “continuous dialogue." The 2030 host is expected to be chosen by May 2023 at the IOC session in Mumbai, India.

The IOC delegation visited winter 2002 host Salt Lake before arriving in Vancouver. It is expected in winter 1972 host Sapporo later this month. The fourth potential bid is 1992 summer host Barcelona.