Vancouver-Whistler to host 2010 Winter Olympics

Vancouver-Whistler wins 2010 Games

Thousands of Canadians cheered on Wednesday morning as they heard that the International Olympic Committee has selected Vancouver and Whistler to host the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

"It's the second Canada Day in a row," said John Furlong, president of the Vancouver-Whistler bid.

"We're going to party all night."

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge announced the winner in Prague, Czech Republic.

Vancouver-Whistler beat Pyeongchang, South Korea, on a second ballot. Salzburg, Austria, was eliminated on the first vote.

The win is the result of an effort lasting five years and costing $34 million to bring the Games to Vancouver and Whistler.

Thousands of Canadians gathered at GM Place in Vancouver and in Whistler exploded into jubilation with the announcement.

The final result was very close.

Canadian IOC member Paul Henderson, who couldn't vote because he represents a bid country, told the CBC that Pyeongchang had a large lead on the first ballot, but most of Salzburg's support went to Canada's bid on the second ballot.

Olympic decision quotes
  • "It now appears our opposition must shift to its next phase, that of a watchdog organization." Chris Shaw, 2010 No Games Coalition

  • "We will try again in 2014." Cho Myung-soo, South Korean vice-governor

  • "You always need more funding, but for athletes it's a great day." Nancy Drolet, Olympic hockey medalist

  • "I thought Vancouver would be a slam-dunk and it wasn't." Canadian IOC member Paul Henderson

  • "Pyeongchang is now on the map and that was not the case before." IOC president Jacques Rogge

  • "The next seven years are going to fly by." Kevin Wamsley, International Centre for Olympic Studies

The final tally was 56-53 for Vancouver-Whistler over Pyeongchang.

"It was as the Olympics of today. It was a photo finish," said Prime Minister Jean Chrtien.

But in a strange twist, some IOC members didn't vote at all. All members had an electronic voting device in front of them, but a handful didn't use theirs for some reason.

Canadian IOC member Dick Pound says no one knows for sure why they decided to abstain, but in such a close race, their votes could have sent the 2010 Winter Olympics to South Korea.