2010 Winter Olympics no longer expected to leave a financial surplus for future sport development

The organizers of the 2010 Winter Olympics no longer expect to leave a financial surplus for future sport development.

It seems that the same worldwide economic downturn that has bankrupted companies and left tens of thousands of people without jobs has also eaten up — for now — any potential Olympic profit, John Furlong, the head of the Vancouver Organizing Committee, said Wednesday, stating “Vanoc is struggling just to make sure it breaks even when the Games end next year”.

“It is not business as usual. It is not like it was. We will be very happy to get to break even, and if we get beyond that, well, we will have thought we did far more than anyone thought possible. To leave a financial legacy against everything that is going on today would be quite an achievement. We want to, but nobody is going to be running around today predicting that,” Furlong said.

Vanoc’s financial problems are complicated by the fact the IOC still has not signed the last two of 11 promised top sponsors. As a result, Vanoc is $30 million short in its $1.7 billion budget. Gilbert Felli, the IOC’s executive director of Olympic Games, said he still hopes to find sponsors in the life insurance and health products categories, but suggested Vanoc would have to live within its means if they don’t materialize.

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