Olympic official says scale-back a positive sign



rafe arnott/metro vancouver


Vancouver police and RCMP officers form a perimeter outside the Vancouver Convention Centre entrance yesterday In anticipation of a massive protest— that never took place — to coincide with IOC president Jacques Rogge’s address to the Board of Trade. Only about 10 protesters showed up.


Smaller and smaller groups of protesters at Olympic events is a sign that organizers are hitting the mark when it comes to planning the 2010 Winter Games, VANOC CEO John Furlong said yesterday.

"I think it is encouraging for us that the number of people protesting is falling," said Furlong, following a speech by IOC president Jacques Rogge at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday.

"But," he added, "that’s a fairly recent phenomenon."

Outside, a small group of anti-Olympic demonstrators held signs and protested quietly.

Their numbers were dwarfed by a heavy police presence. Officers stood watching behind barricades while others rode by on horseback.

Furlong said he’d like to think the smaller number of protesters is a result of "living up to a lot of our promises where people said we wouldn’t.

"The project is moving along quite well and the community feels good about it."


  • Recent rallies, like the Feb. 17 protest at the Olympic clock drew less than 50 demonstrators.