2010 Winter Games Bid Corporation releases mini bid book 

Public pressure to get the details outweighs competitive edge

Vancouver has released its mini bid book for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

"Releasing the bid book is going to put in front of British Columbians the facts," said the minister responsible for the 2010 Games Ted Nebbeling.

"I think that is what the public wants and I think once they know the facts, I think there is even more excitement to be had."

Until now applicant cities traditionally kept their mini bid books secret for as long as possible.

But last month Bern decided to put its mini bid book on the Web. This caused an almost domino—like effect amongst the seven other cities bidding for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Now the only two cities which have not released their mini bid books are Harbin, China, and Sarajevo, Bosnia.

Bern, Salzburg, Pyeongchang, Andorra la Vella and Jaca have all released their mini bid books.

"I think once Salzburg released theirs, and we do see them as our strongest competitor, there was really no reason not to put it on the table," said Nebbeling, who was in Whistler this week to unveil one of the countdown clocks the bid will use to mark the hours until the International Olympic Committee announces next July 2 the host city of the 2010 Games.

"I think it will really help us to clarify what the bid contains and how we think it will develop and I think that will help because up until now the media had to guess and that is not a healthy situation.

"Once the bid book is out there I think we will get a really good reaction because it really lays out how the costs are done and where and when and that I think will lead to getting even more supporters than we have had up until now."

Troy Assaly, co-founder of an information Web site on the 2010 Games bid welcomed the news. (www.whistlerolympicinfo.com)

"I think it is about time," he said.

"I’m glad they did this. By not doing it, it appeared as if they had something to hide."

Linda Mix of the Tenants’ Rights Coalition in Vancouver hopes the transparency displayed by this decision continues as the process goes forward.

"Lets hope at the next stage we are able to work with the bid to try and get some sustainable opportunities for tenants and protections for renters," she said.

"I think they have probably learned through all the criticism in the media and by the public that they do need to start talking with the community and have them there in a meaningful way.

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