NSB Logo John Furlong John Furlong

John Furlong


Vancouver, BC, Canada

CEO Vancouver 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games

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.

Keynote Speeches

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. 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.

Audience reviews:

  • I have had the pleasure over my 20 year career of hearing and hiring many great speakers, but John Furlong stands out as one of the best. His message was outstanding and his passion is absolutely incredible. He is truly an inspiring individual and I would put my personal guarantee on it that an audience would not be disappointed no matter what part of the world you are from.

    - Assistant Vice-President, Corporate Meetings, Travel & Incentives Investors Group Financial Services
  • The Games have elevated Canada on the world stage. Mark my words, some day historians will look back at Canada's growing strength in the 21st century and they will say that it all began right here, on the West Coast, with the best Winter Olympic Games the world has ever seen.

    - Prime Minister Stephen Harper
  • Expectations were high, but John hit this way beyond expectations. This is not a group of people who get often to their feet...and many were in tears. It was perfect!

    - McCarthy Tetrault
  • A very inspiring and touching talk by Mr. Furlong - A great ambassador for Canada.

    - Manager, Political/Economic and Public Affairs, Canadian Consulate General
  • John’s speech truly touched our group. His words were both moving and motivational. I believe history will show John to be one of our most inspirational leaders and the most passionate Canadians of our time.

    - Terasen Gas, Director, Community, Aboriginal & Government Relations
  • John Furlong inspired us all with his eloquent address and has reinforced the purpose and importance of our organisation. He has definitely raised the bar for our next event.

    - Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians

Speaker Biography

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.