There was mixed reaction to the results of a referendum on Berne’s Olympic bid which showed that Berne’s citizens were not in favour of the city hosting the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
According to the Toronto Star, Michael Schuen, public relations coordinator of Salzburg’s 2010 bid, said it might be a boost for Salzburg. “It could be an advantage for us to be the only European candidate. But I wouldn’t dare to say that for sure it’s an advantage”.
Vancouver bid executive John Furlong told the Star his group may have to put more effort into its European operations if Salzburg is the only European city on the ballot next July. But he also said Berne’s problems may make Vancouver’s bid look all the more solid in comparison.
Furlong told the Globe and Mail he was unsure how much Berne’s withdrawal would improve Vancouver’s chances. “I don’t see us as being ahead or behind now, but it’s a new race. We intend to tighten up and crystallize our bid even more to make sure we offer the best possible story”.
The Globe and Mail reports that Rob Livingstone of GamesBids.com said “this certainly improves Vancouver’s chances. Berne was a definite, legitimate competitor. I don’t think Pyeonchang is that strong, so Vancouver can now concentrate just on Salzburg”.
Bern’s 2010 bid director Dres von Weassensluh said, “this referendum result has wrecked us. It is so clear that we don’t seen any possibility of going on”.
The Province reports that Helen Lenskyj, writer of two books on the Olympic Games and a University of Toronto sociologist, wondered if typical European bloc voting will apply.
“They do tend to vote as a bloc. It probably does mean that many of the people who were previously voting for Berne will now vote for Salzburg.
“It’s so volatile – who knows what wheeling and dealing is going on”.