Thursday, March 26, 2009

Vancouver Olympics, Paralympics committee reports it has plenty of funds for winter 2010

From Reuters. Pictured is legendary U.S. Paralympian, Sarah Billmeier, winner of 13 Paralympic medals and six world championship titles before retiring from skiing in 2002 to focus on becoming a doctor.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Organizers of the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics have felt the pinch of the global credit crunch, but said on March 25 that will not pose a problem because they are currently flush with cash.

The Vancouver Organizing Committee agreed to a request from Royal Bank of Canada late last year to temporarily cut its line of credit to C$30 million from C$95 million -- an amount likely to be restored as the Games draw closer.

"The fact is we have lots of cash now, so it was an easy request to agree to," said David Cobb, VANOC's executive vice-president.

The committee said Royal Bank, which is also a sponsor, asked for the change as part of an effort to tighten its own books amid the economic slowdown, and it did not reflect any concern about VANOC's financial condition.

The 2010 Games organizers reported on Wednesday they ended their last financial quarter with a C$53 million ($43 million) surplus, buoyed by strong domestic ticket sales and a payment from the International Olympic

VANOC has a C$1.7 billion operating budget for the Olympics and 2010 Paralympics, and has vowed it will not run a deficit, even though the economic crisis has cut the amount of money available from sponsors around the world.

Organizers were unable to sign up any new sponsors in the last quarter, but said they still expect to meet their budget targets since 95 percent of planned deals have already been completed. The Games begin in February 2010.

VANOC also expects to have another domestic ticket sales program this summer using tickets that its international partners have decided not to buy or were made available because of changes in venue designs that increased seating.