John Furlong is the leader behind the team that organized and staged the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. From the very beginning of the project, Furlong envisioned that the Games could be a true nation builder, helping to improve the fabric of Canadian society. IOC President Jacques Rogge remarked in a Canadian Press interview at how Vancouver had taken on the Games in a way that was ``unheard of in the Olympic movement,'' and considered them as belonging to all of Canada, was not surprised that the Games had become a catalyst for national unity.
Prior to his appointment at VANOC in 2004, Furlong was the President and Chief Operating Officer for the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation. In his role, he became the Bid’s international face and key spokesperson, tirelessly clocking more than 1.2 million miles in his travels to promote the Bid.Furlong’s service to sport has landed him with numerous other forms of recognition - among them The IOC’s Olympic Order and the IPC’s Paralympic Order. He was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame as the 2004 W.A.C. Bennett Award winner.
Furlong has been involved with athletics all his life,having competed at the international level in Basketball, European handball and Squash. He became Canadian Squash Champion in 1986. Furlong has been a long time member of the Canadian Olympic Committee and has led many high profile sport organizations in Canada. On July 1, 2010, Furlong was named an Officer of the Order of Canada and on October 21st 2010, he became a Member of the Order of British Columbia.
He has been recognised by The Globe & Mail as Canada’s Nation Builder of 2010, as one of the top 25 most transformational living Canadians and has been named Canadian of the Year by The Canadian Club. He is Canada’s 2010 Marketer of the year and Sports Media Canada’s Sports Executive of the Year. In 2009 Furlong was names Canada’s Most influential Sport Figure by both the Globe and Mail and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Around the Rings Magazine has listed Furlong as one of the worlds top five most influential Olympic Officials in both 2009 and 2010. He is also Sport BC’s Sportsman of the Decade.
John was acclaimed as the 2004 Canadian Sport Awards’ Sport Leadership Winner for his service to sport in Canada over a lifetime. He has also won Vancouver’s most prestigious tourism award for the promotion of Vancouver around the world.
He has been awarded Honorary Doctorate Degrees in Laws (2) and Technology(1) from UBC, The Justice Institute of BC, and BCIT and an Honorary Doctorate in Tourism & Hospitality from Niagara University, New York, USA.
Born in Tipperary, Ireland, Furlong has five children and eleven grandchildren. His book Patriot Hearts – Inside the Olympics that changed a country became an instant national bestseller when it was launched in on February 12, 2011, the one year anniversary of the Games.
To book John Furlong call Executive Speakers Bureau at 901-754-9404.
"The Vision That Changed A Nation"
John Furlong’s keynote speeches can move you to tears, while inspiring you to reach higher, challenge traditional thinking and dig deeper to achieve your own goals. John Furlong has been described as a Sports Hero, Nation Builder and the Ultimate Crisis Manager. Known for his masterful storytelling and innovative leadership style, he continues to inspire, regaling audiences with the many remarkable and fascinating untold stories behind the Games. He is one of the longest serving leaders in Olympic history.
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