PULLMAN— John Furlong, the Canadian in charge of Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, will present an overview of the games and discuss their impact when he visits WSU Pullman on March 25 and 26.
 
“Having John Furlong on campus presents a unique opportunity for
students to learn about the inspiration and organization behind the Olympic movement, which highlights sports and culture on an international scale,” said Andrew Appleton, director of WSU’s Global Studies Program.
 
Furlong will speak and show a short film about the upcoming games during a public presentation at 9 a.m.  Wednesday, March 26, at the Student Recreation Center. His presentation, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Global Studies Speakers Series funded by The Henry M. Jackson Foundation.
 
Furlong’s visit is made possible by a grant from the Canadian Consulate General in Seattle. He was invited to the campus by WSU’s Sport Management Program, and will speak to sport management graduate students during a seminar on Tuesday, March 25, starting at 7:10 p.m. in Todd Hall room 430. Furlong will hold a question-and-answer session after discussing the lasting impact that Olympic have on host communities and countries.
 
Because of limited seating at the seminar on March 25, general public who would like to attend should contact Assistant Professor John Wong at 509-335-5450 or john_wong@wsu.edu.
 
Furlong became chief executive officer for the Olympics’ Vancouver Organizing Committee in 2004. Before that, he was president and chief operating officer for the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation. He logged more than 1.2 million miles in his efforts to bring the games to British Columbia.
 
Furlong has been involved in athletics all of his life. He captained Gaelic football teams, a well as national basketball and handball teams in his native Ireland. The Olympics first captivated him in 1964, when he watched the Tokyo Olympic Summer Games on television. “Being involved with the Olympic Games was all I could think of,” he recalls.
 
A long-time member of the Canadian Olympic Committee, he also served as chair of the BC Summer and Winter Games and Sport BC. He founded the Northern BC Winter Games Society.
 
Besides the Global Studies and Sport Management programs, other sponsors of Furlong’s visit include Canadian Studies and University Recreation.  To highlight Furlong’s visit, Holland Library will feature a special display about the Olympic Games and Canada.