Vancouver to study pros and cons of hosting 2030 Olympic Games

It wasn’t unanimous, but after several hours of debate Wednesday, city councillors voted in favour of asking staff to analyze the impacts of bringing the Olympics back to Vancouver.

Coun. Jean Swanson voiced her opposition to the idea, and asked council to abandon any work on future games altogether.

“We need a new normal coming out of COVID,” she told council members during the virtual meeting. “We need a normal where we stop greenhouse gas emissions. We need a new normal where we end homelessness, and have affordable housing for everybody.”

Councillors Colleen Hardwick and Christine Boyle joined Swanson in voting against the motion to study the benefits and shortfalls of hosting in 2030.

All others councillors backed the idea of researching future games, including Mayor Kennedy Stewart who argued Swanson’s motion would tell the world Vancouver isn’t interested.

“Essentially we can’t make the Olympics happen, but we can certainly kill them,” he said.

“I think when opportunity is knocking, we’re saying we don’t even want to open the door and hear what they have to say,” said Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung, who agreed not studying the impacts would be a mistake.

The motion passed with an amendment: if Vancouver is serious about hosting in 2030, it will first conduct a critical analysis of the last games the city hosted, in 2010.