Patriot Hearts: Inside the Olympics That Changed a Country
A riveting behind-the-scenes account of the transformative 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games—an extraordinary story of visionary leadership, love of country and the ability to dream boldly.
When John Furlong emigrated from Ireland in 1974, the customs officer greeted him with “Welcome to Canada. Make us better”—an imperative that has defined Furlong’s life ever since. A passionate, accomplished athlete with a track record of community service, Furlong was a volunteer for Vancouver’s Olympic bid movement when it began in 1996 and then spent the next 14 years living and breathing the Olympics. Furlong and his organizing team, including 25,000 volunteers and many partners, orchestrated a remarkable Winter Games. Patriot Hearts is the story of how they did it.
Working with Globe & Mail columnist Gary Mason, Furlong recounts the leadup to the Games and describes how he handled seemingly insurmountable setbacks—such as the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, a global recession and the washedout snow at Cypress Bowl — to achieve a runaway success and, ultimately, a pivotal moment of nationhood.
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An interesting read. As this is a biography one wonders why Mr. Furlong's time as a physical education instructor at Immaculata school is not even mentioned. All his other coaching experiences are treated in great detail. However his time coaching First Nations children is completely absent. A strange ommision.
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