John Furlong led the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics organising committee ©Getty Images

John Furlong and George Heller are among four appointments made to the Victoria 2022 bid committee for the Commonwealth Games.

The pair are set to add crucial experience to the Committee, with their additions having been announced by bid chairman David Black, who hopes they will aid Victoria 2022’s efforts to secure hosting rights for the multi-sport event. 

"John Furlong, George Heller, Dr Roger Jackson and Iona Campagnolo add critical strengths to our Games bid," Black, a businessman and owner of Canada's largest private publisher Black Press, said according to the Times Colonist newspaper.

"They are all leaders in the development of a winning bid that will focus on great experiences for athletes, spectators and sponsors during the Games, and on the legacies left in Canada afterward."

Heller previously led the Victoria 1994 Commonwealth Games organising committee, which was the last occasion Canada staged the event.

Experience has also been added through Furlong, who led preparations for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

He currently acts as the chairman of the Vancouver Whitecaps football club.

Canada’s Tokyo 1964 Olympic rowing gold medallist Roger Jackson has also been added to the committee.

Jackson has become a leader in sports administration following his retirement and had been the chief executive of the Own the Podium organisation from 2005 to 2010.

Own the Podium was established to help fund and boost Canada’s chance of medal success at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, with the programme having since been expanded to summer sports.

Iona Campagnolo, a former federal sports minister, has also been added to the Committee.

Victoria last hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1994, when George Heller acted as the organising committee chairman ©Getty Images
Victoria last hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1994, when George Heller acted as the organising committee chairman ©Getty Images

The quartet join Black and Suzanne Weckend, who represented Canada at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria.

Victoria has sent a letter of support to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) signed by most of the region’s Mayors, and the British Columbia Liberal Party last month included the Games in their election manifesto.

The bid process for the 2022 Commonwealth Games was re-opened in March following the decision to strip Durban of the event after they failed to provide the necessary financial guarantees.

Toronto, who had already expressed an interest in replacing the South African city, withdrew after a report prepared by the city's Economic Development Committee warned about a supposed lack of support from Federal and Provincial authorities.

Birmingham and Liverpool in England have both announced bids for the Games, while Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital which staged the Commonwealth Games in 1998 are also interested.

Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney in Australia have also revealed they may be interested.

Black claimed that Victoria would use the Games as an opportunity to improve sport facilities and build new housing in the city.

He promised they would propose a practical and modest budget.

The majority of funding would come from the Federal and Provincial Governments, with the rest generated from advertising, sponsorship and sales.

A delegation from the CGF visited Victoria in May to carry out a preliminary inspection of its facilities.