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.
In April 2012, John Furlong accepted a new position with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC soccer team, where he serves as Executive Chair.
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.
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 named 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.
- The Vision that Changed Canada
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. 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. John Furlong continues to bring the same level of passion & focus to each keynote address, working hard to craft a speech that will resonate with each audience. Following a pre-event telephone briefing, John will carefully select the most powerful stories to illustrate the lessons learned throughout his incredible ten year Olympic Journey. Whether your goal is, to better understand the importance of a compelling vision, finding the courage to stay the course in times of adversity, values based leadership, effective teambuilding, community engagement, deeper partnerships, understanding sustainability, crisis management or you simply wish to gain a glimpse behind the Games to hear some of the remarkably inspiring human stories, you can be certain that John Furlong will has the depth of material and speaking skills to powerfully connect with your group.