Tag Archives: bill demong

The pricey (and icy) road to Vancouver

Olympic Torch relay/ Credit: Flickr user jp1958

Olympic Torch relay/ Credit: Flickr user jp1958

It’ll cost a lot to host the Winter Olympics — over $6 billion CDN, to be exact. Will the Olympics pay off for Vancouver? The World’s Jason Margolis looks at the numbers behind the games in the first of a series of pieces.

While the Vancouver Olympics are costing a pretty Canadian penny, the Globe and Mail reported this week that the games will actually help lead the economic recovery in Canada.

The city is expected to tally economic growth of 4.5 per cent this year, the biggest expansion among all 27 cities in the report’s metropolitan outlook. It’s a reversal for the city that saw a 1.8-per-cent contraction last year amid factory and construction woes.

But there are still some question marks for the games. KUOW in Seattle reported that one of the main skiing venues, Blackcomb, in Whistler, Britsh Columbia, is on the auction block, but Olympics officials insist there’s little risk in relying on those slopes.

Lenders have moved to sell the assets of struggling ski resort operator Intrawest, including the Winter Olympics venue at Whistler. The creditors filed notice that they intend to auction off the ski resort in the middle of the Olympics next month.

Economics aside, there are hundreds of inspiring stories of athletes from around the U.S. competing later this month. In “From Vermontville to Vancouver”, North Country Public Radio’s Brian Mann profiles Bill Demong, who suffered a fractured skull in 2002 and recovered to continue competing.

Vancouver is a little bigger than tiny Lake Placid, New York, near where Demong is from, and played host to the Olympics thirty years ago. NPR’s Melissa Block found out about the past and present of Olympic tradition in upstate New York.