Furlong thanks Whistler for Bid participation 

There was only one question the Olympic Bid had not prepared for when the International Olympic Committee came to Whistler and Vancouver last winter, said former Bid president John Furlong, speaking at Monday’s council meeting.

What if people coming to see the Games fell in love with Whistler and didn’t want to go back to Vancouver?

The answer is that Whistler just doesn’t have the capacity to house all the Olympic spectators. But more importantly, the question highlighted the special magic that grips visitors when they come to the mountains.

Most of the IOC members had never been to Whistler and they were surprised and impressed by they saw said Furlong.

"You made our bid much stronger," he said at Monday’s meeting where he thanked council for their support in the quest for the 2010 Olympic Games.

"You’ve done a great service to the country and the province."

The five years leading up to the Olympic announcement was a challenging time for everyone involved said Furlong. Putting that in personal terms he said he had no grandchildren at the beginning of the Bid process and now he has six.

Throughout that time one of the toughest challenges was preparing the Whistler portion of the Bid.

Things like the resort’s commitment to sustainability are valued highly in Whistler but they aren’t valued quite so highly in other places.

"You did this Bid an extraordinary service by making us get involved with you the way we did," said Furlong.

Furlong went on to thank Mayor Hugh O’Reilly for all the times he went in front of cameras and rallied support for the Bid. He thanked Municipal Administrator Jim Godfrey, calling him a "relentless supporter in every way to try to make the Bid successful."

Since winning the Games, Godfrey has been named as one of the two Whistler representatives to sit on the 20-member board of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games.

Furlong said everyone was responsible for a piece of the Bid, which was made up of thousand moving pieces. Each person worked the hardest on his or her own piece.

"The piece you did may (have been) the piece to make the difference," he said.

"And there’s no better way to win than that."

Speaking of winning, Furlong took council on a trip down memory lane showing a new video capturing the tense moments just before the July 2 announcement from Prague followed by the moments of jubilation afterwards.

The video simultaneously shows footage from BC Place in Vancouver, Whistler Village and the Hilton Hotel in Prague where IOC President Jacques Rogge announced the winner of the 2010 Games.

The emotional video captures the nail-biting anticipation followed by cheers and jumps of joy from all three places.

"Everyone’s that’s looked at it has been bawling their eyes out," said Furlong.

After the video Councillor Caroline Lamont asked Furlong what the first step was to commit to the promises we made throughout the Bid.

Furlong said the work has already begun with the transition team.

The first formal exchange between the IOC and the Vancouver OCOG will take place in mid-November and that will jumpstart the whole process.

Furlong said: "You’ll be hearing a lot quite soon."

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