VANOC selects Richmond proposal for 2010 Olympic Winter Games Speed Skating Oval

Venue plan features superior competition facilities, post Games sport legacies

The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) has named Richmond as the host site for the speed skating Oval for 2010 Games.

“This new oval in Richmond far exceeds the competition requirements for the 2010 Winter Games and will provide a superior sport legacy,” said John Furlong, chief executive officer of VANOC. “The Richmond oval will meet our goal of building a signature world-class Olympic venue within the $60 million budget originally outlined in the Vancouver 2010 Bid Book. Furthermore, through this partnership, the responsibility of delivering the venue has been transferred to Richmond, effectively reducing overall construction complexity for VANOC.”

As VANOC began to review its various venue plans, it became clear that the Simon Fraser University (SFU) venue proposed in the Bid Book might pose significant cost and construction challenges. Given VANOC’s budgetary implications, the Organizing Committee sought out proposals from interested parties for the speed skating oval. Several enquiries were made and two formal proposals were submitted. The proposals included one from the City of Richmond and an amended proposal from SFU.

An evaluation committee, which included three technical experts from VANOC’s senior management team, unanimously recommended Richmond as the preferred site of the oval. This recommendation was unanimously approved earlier today by the VANOC Board of Directors, which includes Catriona Le May Doan, one of Canada’s most celebrated speed skaters. VANOC today communicated its decision to The City of Richmond and SFU.

“This venue will present itself as a spectacular Olympic facility – much more than we could have hoped for,” added Furlong. “The oval will double as a major recreation and healthy lifestyle gathering place for Richmond while serving as a stunning future home for summer and winter sport for generations of Canadians.”

“This will be the world’s most impressive skating facility,” said Cathy Priestner Allinger, VANOC’s senior vice president for sport and former Olympic speed skater. “Our Olympic Games plan has improved dramatically. Canadians will be very proud of this venue.”

The VANOC contribution for the oval is part of the $620 million budget for 2010 Games venues and legacy funding provided by the Governments of Canada and British Columbia. Project planning is scheduled to begin immediately with construction to start in the fall of 2005.

The IOC selected Vancouver as the Host City of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games at its session in Prague on July 2, 2003. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. The Nominating Entities of the Vancouver 2010 Organizing Committee are the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee and the Lil'wat and Squamish First Nations.