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WikiLeaks docs detail U.S. take on Olympic prep

Preoccupied with the unprecedented costs and logistics of hosting one of the planet’s largest celebrations, Vancouver’s entire political, legal, and economic order largely revolved around the 2010 Olympics in the lead-up to the Games, a leaked document from the city’s U.S. consulate claims.

Preoccupied with the unprecedented costs and logistics of hosting one of the planet’s largest celebrations, Vancouver’s entire political, legal, and economic order largely revolved around the 2010 Olympics in the lead-up to the Games, a leaked document from the city’s U.S. consulate claims.

The February 2009 memo, released by Wikileaks and authored by U.S. Consul-General Phillip Chicola, paints an image of a city with police and politicians thoroughly subordinated to Olympic-related concerns — sometimes at the expense of other issues.

Outrage over the costs of Vancouver’s athletes’ village was “probably the determining factor” in the 2008 mayoral election, Chicola writes, noting the city’s controversial management of the waterfront properties contrasted sharply with the “remarkable financial astuteness” of VANOC.

The subsequent removal of longtime city manager Judy Rogers is likewise blamed on village fallout, while a lackadaisical approach to drug enforcement is attributed to a redirection of RCMP resources to Olympic security.

Much is also made of Canada’s unsuccessful efforts to secure President Barack Obama’s presence at the Games’ opening ceremonies, a matter Chicola says he was asked about at “every meeting” with Canadian officials.

 
 
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