VANCOUVER – John Furlong, former head of the Vancouver Olympic organizing committee, says he “categorically” and “absolutely” denies allegations that he physically abused aboriginal students and says he will sue over the published accusations.
The allegations appeared in the Georgia Straight today, prompting Furlong to call a news conference with his lawyer to announce what was referred to as “significant” legal action.
Furlong was a teacher at two Catholic schools in northern B.C. the late 1960s and early 1970s, but although he has frequently spoken about his arrival as an immigrant to Canada in the 1970s, he has not been public about his earlier work at the schools.
In the Georgia Straight article, Furlong is accused of hitting and kicking students when he was a phys-ed teacher newly arrived from Ireland.
Furlong says he finds the abuse allegations very troubling and unfounded.
He suggested he didn’t include his time at the school in his book, Patriot Hearts, because the book was dedicated to the buildup and execution of the 2010 Winter Games.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version misspelled Straight.