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A lingering golden glow

BEING part of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games has paid off for a number of WA companies.

At least eight WA companies were involved with the Games in some form.

Multiplex Constructions built the 110,000-seat stadium for the games. That project helped it make a successful bid to construct the new Wembley Stadium in London.

Multiplex WA director John Flecker said the $910 million Wembley contract had been the most tangible benefit from building the Olympic stadium.

Unfortunately the Wembley Stadium redevelopment has stalled due to a lack of money from British football clubs, but Multiplex is still hopeful the project will get off the ground.

Multiplex has done a lot of work outside of Australia, particularly in the Middle East, but that typically has been in the form of high rise office or residential developments.

“The Olympic stadium gave us an entree into civil infrastructure type projects,” Mr Flecker said.

Possibly highest profile corporate winner of the Olympic Games was WA powertool manufacturer Arbortech.

The company produced the hoverboards used in the opening ceremony.

Since the Games it has sold about 40 of them. They even retail in exclusive UK department store Harrods for £17,000.

Arbortech director Christine Inkster said the hoverboard’s appearance in the opening ceremony had meant ongoing worldwide exposure for the product.

“It’s meant joint venture companies have been formed to market the board,” Mrs Inkster said. “We’ve sold quite a few of the boards to popstars.”

Even the Fremantle Dockers and the Perth Glory have bought them for use as part of the pre-match entertainment at home games. A hoverboard is being built for National Soccer League team Newcastle United.

Perth-based flag maker Pennant House Flags won the $100,000-plus contract to supply more than 1,000 large Olympic banners to be hung in auditoriums and stadiums.

Pennant House owner Stewart Van Raalte said the Olympic contract had established his company nationally.

“We’ve certainly become a larger firm nationally and picked up more business,” Mr Van Raalte said.

He said the after effects of the Games were still being felt, with a Queensland businessman making contact recently interested in doing business with the company.

Even companies that had a distant involvement in the Olympics felt benefits.

East Perth company Embroidery Plus embroidered the souvenir towels that another WA company Canning Vale Weaving Mills was supplying to the Games.

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