The Victoria 2022 Commonwealth Games bid committee added John Furlong, former Chief of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games organizing committee, to its team last week to help the city win a second Commonwealth Games.
Also added to the team were George Heller who headed the organizing committees for the previous Victoria Commonwealth Games in 1994, and Roger Jackson, an Olympian and CEO of the Own the Podium federal funding agency in Canada.
Former B.C. lieutenant-governor Iona Campagnolo and previously a federal sports minister was also appointed to the committee.
“John Furlong, George Heller, Dr. Roger Jackson and Iona Campagnolo add critical strengths to our Games bid,” said Victoria 2022 bid chairman David Black in a statement.
“They are all leaders in the development of a winning bid that will focus on great experiences for athletes, spectators and sponsors during the Games, and on the legacies left in Canada afterward.”
Victoria jumped into the 2022 Commonwealth Games bid race after Durban in South Africa was stripped of its hosting rights when it missed financial deadlines. Along with the Canadian city, four bids from Australia have considered entering the race along with Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Liverpool and Birmingham in the United Kingdom.
Toronto was investigating the opportunity to bid, and had already been inspected by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) before the city’s Economic Council advised against moving forward.
Both UK bids had already been preparing for a 2026 bid before Durban lost the 2022 Games, and are considered favorites in the race.
Black previously admitted that the two cities are have great plans, but he says Victoria offers a model allowing medium-sized cities to get involved in the Games. No details have been released, but the CGF inspected the city in May and the team is preparing a bid book for submission.
The bid books will be reviewed by the CGF before August 31 and the winning city will be announced this fall.
Though the city has received conditional approval from the municipal government, Victoria’s bid still requires provincial and federal approvals. The Canadian government previously supported an Edmonton 2022 bid and promised (CAD) $300 million to the project before it dropped from the race due to dropping oil prices and an uncertain city budget in the Alberta city.
The 2018 edition of the Commonwealth Games will be hosted in Gold Coast, Australia.