Biblitz delivers advise

ASK Biblitz about Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010.

... in every potential Olympic city, the actual Games drivers are real estate developers. How often is this true? Always.

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I say, old man, why are you so set against Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010? An excellent opportunity for, well, something or other, what?

Update May 18/10:

From Aboriginal Art Favorites:

Astute marketers among B.C. First Nations have proposed a wonderful way to capitalize on their excellent exposure during Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010: "The Stanley Park Miniature Train and surrounding property could be transformed this summer to recreate a Klahowya First Nations summer village. Klahowya is the Chinook word for welcome. The park board is considering (unanimously approved!) a proposal to allow the Aboriginal Tourism Association of B.C. to create the cultural showcase, which could become an annual event. Highlights of the summer village will include a healing stone pathway, an authentic teepee with interpretive features, a traditional canoe carving area and indigenous food." (From Central Park: Teepees, etc., by Sandara Thomas, Vancouver Courier May 14/10) With full interactive public access and FREE!

Olympic-sized Hangover. Update April 28/10

Olympic construction projects and their ramifications have added even more uncertainty and risk to the construction industry. The impact of delays and disputes on the viability of a project has been highlighted like never before. Combined with an unpredictable economy in 2010 - with budgets, delays, getting paid, and securing financing becoming larger issues - understanding the changing legal landscape and its impact on your business will help you mitigate risk, more effectively manage situations that arise, and prevent costly litigation. (From Construction Law: Practical Guidelines for Doing Business in 2010, a Pacific Law and Business Institute (PBLI) seminar May 7/10)

Biblitz replies:

An excellent commercial opportunity for the Jack Pooles perhaps. Olympics, forsooth!

Five Ring Circus

Myths and Realities of the Olympic Games

By Christopher A. Shaw, UBC professor of Ophthalmology with NO GAMES 2010

More of the book and celebrated Olympics 2010 combatants, including COLCO and Nancy Greene Raine over her bid along with her developer husband for yet another valley ski resort, this time on traditional First Nations lands.

More on the 'stunning' airport welcome awaiting Vancouver Olympics visitors.

I am always amazed when I hear people saying that sport creates goodwill between nations, and that if only the common peoples of the world could meet one another at football or cricket, they would have no inclination to meet on the battlefield. Even if they didn't know from concrete examples (the 1936 Olympics, for instance) that international sporting contests lead to orgies of hatred, one could deduce it from general principles. ... At the international level sport is frankly mimic warfare. (From The Sporting Spirit by George Orwell, Dec. 14/45 included in Shaw's excellent book)

In the Beginning

One of the enduring myths about the Olympic Games is that they are actually about sports. It shouldn't come as a surprise that much of the world - at least the part of it that depends on the corporate press for their information - accepts this as being basically true. Fifty years of saturation advertising tends to have a considerable impact, dulling the background drumbeat of scandals and misspent public funds, International Olympic Committee (IOC) members on the take, corrupt judges and doped-up athletes use drugs, but public funds are almost always misspent, and the hidden area where most of this money goes is into real estate projects for private developers. What sports has to do with the Olympic Games for the IOC beyond the television rights is a serious question, but there's no doubt that behind every Olympic Games of the last quarter century were real estate deals in the making. This may surprise many readers who suppose that the awarding of the 'privilege' to host the Games originates with the IOC. In fact, it originates with the candidate cities that will do virtually anything and everything to get the Games simply as a device to promote projects that taxpayers would otherwise refuse, usually those that have lurked in the wings for years, soundly rejected because they made little or no economic or social sense. And, in every potential Olympic city, the actual Games drivers are real estate developers. How often is this true? Always. Viewed in this light, the IOC is less the predator than the scavenger, a ravenous corporate vulture endlessly circling the globe, waiting for the local developers in the various countries to bring d own the prey, the local taxpaying citizenry. If enough magic Olympic pixie dust falls on the citizenry, the IOC and developers hope that the good burghers will abandon all reason and give their belssings and dollars willingly. Tying the Games to such projects suddenly imbues them with a different aura, and all previous rationality about real costs versus potential benefits goes out the window. The IOC and local bid boosters spend considerable funds to ensure that this occurs. If absolutely nothing else in this book takes hold, remember this: The Olympic Games at the local level are all about real estate.

Jack Poole's Smile


In the world of Vancouver real estate, there may be many players, but there is only one eminence grise, the legendary baron of Daon Corporation, Vancouver Land Corporation, Greystone Properties and now Concert Properties, holder of the Order of British Columbia and Order of Canada, none other than Mr. Jack W. Poole. ...

... He and his colleagues at VANOC have conned an anxiety-ridden Vancouver into bidding for and accepting the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. He and his insider group are going to make billions, and he knows it. Vancouverites and British Columbians, just like the citizens i n past Olympic cities, are going to lose billions but don't know it... yet. By the time they do, it will be a done deal, too far advanced to stop, with no paper trail, nothing concrete that could incrimate Poole and his friends in a scam of gargantuan proportions.

... Along the way he bankrolled the current premier of British Columbia, Gordon Campbell, first as mayor of Vancouver, later in the bid to become the leader of the Liberal Party of BC and finally into the Premier's office. Poole was chairman of the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Olympic Bid Corporation, the second stage of Vancouver's Olympic bid for the 2010 Games and now serves in the same role for VANOC, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the Games. (From The First Ring, The Cult of the Olympics, Vancouver 2010 and the Opposition, pgs. 4-6)


Old Biblitz likes nothing better than a cuddle and squeeze while tripping the light fantastic atop a set of ancient ice knives at the local rink, but not this year, it seems. That particular avenue of pleasure has been closed us. Competitors at these blasted Winter Olympic Games 2010 have demanded and obtained exclusive control of almost every available venue and charged poor Vanc-Hooverville a hefty fee for the privilege, the blighters! Will they succeed in passing their gender testing, one wonders?

A few other, ahem, glitches of interest to visitors:

Start with the spectacular collapse of the new Peak 2 Peak Gondola at Whistler-Blackcomb, injuring 13. ... Feeling lucky?

Then there is the funding disaster still shadowing the Athletes Olympic Village.

Yes, and then, of course, there are the usual rental scams that always accompany these spectacles.

And what about all the protests threatened by First Nations and housing activists concerned for the city's ever-increasing homeless population?

The final word goes to Prof. Shaw:

. The street where VANOC headquarters is located, Graveley Street in East Vancouver, recently had a facelift courtesy of the City.

. The City of Vancouver spent $368,941.03 for "road improvements."

. Property owners on the street were billed for the work.

. VANOC, however, merely rents the building from the City at a subsidized rate and hence will have paid nothing.

. Duke Energy, a US firm, had seconded one of their staff to the Bid Corp back in 2002/03 to work as the bid's media liaison. This act of generosity seemed odd at the time. We now know that Duke, along with numerous power generation companies, have been given free rein to the streams and rivers along the Sea to Sky corridor, just in time for all the new condo development sprouting along the highway.


It's too late for Vancouver. Because there is no end to Olympic rapacity, the IOC and the developers will continue to target cities worldwide until their citizens decide to stop it. ... The structure and promises of Bid Books and the other governing agreements not to mention all of the official and unofficial promises, are contracts in name only. Alas, they are not contracts in law since they are not enforceable, at least not by the political entities that allow the IOC and local organizers free rein. Imagine, however, that Olympic organizers had to keep promises for fear of monetary and/or civil penalties. How many future Jack Pooles would there be if the prospects of financial ruin or jail time were realistic? How often would the IOC sponsor fraudulent bids if it knew it could be held liable? (From The View from 2008 to 2010 and Beyond, pgs. 281-283)