Chairman of 2010 Vancouver Olympics dies

Jack Poole, the man who brought the 2010 Winter Olympics to Vancouver, has died. He was 76.

Vancouver Olympic officials said he died Friday in hospital following a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.

Poole spearheaded the city’s bid for the Olympics, working for a decade to bring the games to British Columbia. He was also chairman of the Vancouver Olympic organizing committee’s board of directors.

His death comes one day after the flame for the Vancouver Games was lit in Greece.

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge paid tribute to Poole’s efforts to bring the games to Vancouver.

“Jack was a truly exceptional human being and a great ambassador for the Olympic Movement,” Rogge said in a statement Friday. “His belief in the good that the Olympic Games would bring to Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada was second to none.”

Poole was one of British Columbia’s top real estate developers and known for his philanthropy. He was awarded the order of Canada in 2006, one of the country’s highest honors.

“This is such sad news for us all. Jack was a man of great passion and drive, and we had all hoped and prayed that he would live to experience the games he played such a major role in securing for Canada,” Vancouver Organizing Committee CEO John Furlong said in a statement.

Poole leaves behind his wife Darlene, five children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.