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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 July, 2003, 15:44 GMT 16:44 UK
Vancouver wins Olympic vote
It feels great. We just won the first gold medal of the 2010 Games
Gordon Campbell, premier of the province of British Columbia
Vancouver has won the right to stage the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The decision was announced by the International Olympic Committee in Prague on Wednesday after two rounds of voting by IOC delegates.

The Canadian city saw off challenges from Austrian bidder Salzburg and South Korea's Pyeongchang.

But its margin of victory was narrow, with Vancouver getting 56 votes to Pyeongchang's 53 in the second round.

Its success boosts London's chances of winning the race to host the 2012 Summer Games.

If Salzburg - which went out in the first round of voting - had won, the chances of the 2012 Olympics coming to Europe would have been reduced.

Vancouver staged an unsuccessful bid for the 1976 Winter Games and saw Calgary host the 1988 Winter Olympics.

We are deeply disappointed
Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel

The city of 514,000, situated in British Columbia province in western Canada, will use the resort of Whistler, 90 miles away, for many of the events in 2010.

Seven sports venues are already in place, including the 50,000-capacity BC Place which should hold the opening and closing ceremonies indoors for the first time.

The General Motors arena, which is home to NHL side Vancouver Canucks, is expected to be another important venue, while another six venues will be built.

The 2010 Games are not the first time Vancouver and Whistler have hosted a major sporting event, after staging the 2001 world figure skating and freestyle championships.

However the main problem for Vancouver now is developing their transport links with critics arguing the area's current road network is not sufficient enough for the needs of the Games.

I am sad but I am also proud. We did our best and we got very close
South Korean IOC member Kim Un Yong

Organisers said a successful bid would bring $10bn in direct investment which would further develop the region's transport and tourist infrastructure.

Their bid presentation featured some high-profile athletes and politicians including ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

Chretien promised that the Games would be fully funded and guaranteed by the Canadian government.

Vancouver claimed that giving the 2010 Games in Canada "will ignite our passion for winter sports at all levels, from community ice rinks to the ski slopes".


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar
"There'll be relief among the British Olympic contingent"



SEE ALSO
London bid given Vancouver boost
03 Jul 03  |  Other Sport
Canada cheers Olympic decision
02 Jul 03  |  Sport Homepage


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