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Vancouver to Host  2010  Winter Olympic Games

The 2010 Winter Olympics have been awarded to Vancouver, Canada. While the announcement was made in Prague thousands celebrated the news in Vancouver.

Gathered in front of giant video screens, the 10,000 people gathered in Vancouver's main hockey arena went wild when they heard the news.

The awarding of the 2010 Winter Olympics to this west coast Canadian town of two million finished a more than five-year campaign to secure the games. Many of the events will be held in nearby Whistler, a ski resort about two hours north of Vancouver.

After the announcement, the crowd poured onto the streets of downtown, joining other revelers that watched the live telecast from Prague in hotels and restaurants.

Delegates at the meeting of the International Olympic Committee voted in favor of Vancouver on the second ballot, beating Pyeongchang, South Korea by only three votes. In a surprise upset, believed frontrunner Salzburg, Austria was eliminated on the first ballot with only sixteen initial votes.

The Vancouver Bid Corporation that arranged the presentation to the IOC will now dissolve and a local organizing committee will form. It has cost over $25-million so far.

The total costs are estimated to be about $1 billion. The bid committee estimates that will be offset by an estimated $1 billion in revenues, mostly from selling broadcasters the right to televise the games. Major construction and infrastructure improvements, such as improved highway access, will begin within two years.

The last time the Olympics were held in Canada was the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary. The only other time was in Montreal for the 1976 Summer Olympics.