Friday, August 12, 2016

Vancouver 2010 Legacy Lives On

More than four years after it hosted the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver is still benefitting from being an Olympic city thanks to the legacy plans that were put in place by the Vancouver 2010 Organising Committee (VANOC), local stakeholders, and with the support of the IOC.

Vancouver 2010
12th February - 28th February
NOCs: 82.

Athletes: 2566 (1522 men, 1044 women)
Sports: 7
Events: 86. Alpine skiing, Freestyle Skiing, Snowboarding, Nordic combined, Cross-country skiing, Ski jumping, Biathlon, Bobsleigh, Skeleton, Luge, Ice hockey, Curling, Figure skating, Short Track Speed Skating and Speed Skating.

The 2010 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXI Olympic Winter Games, were a major international multi-sport event held from February 12 to February 28, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with some events held in the suburbs of Richmond, West Vancouver and the University Endowment Lands, and in the resort town of Whistler.The city of Vancouver
When Vancouverites returned from the Squaw Valley Olympic Winter Games in 1960 they only had one thought in mind: Why not host the Winter Games in Vancouver?. All they needed was a mountain and they chose Whistler Mountain – a mining claim at Mile 40 on the Pacific Great Eastern Railway. Based on the potential they saw, the Garibaldi Olympic Development Association (GODA) was formed and in 1961 an audacious bid was put forward for Whistler to be the Canadian nominee for the 1968 Olympic Winter Games. A long journey to host the Winter Olympic Games just started. After six attempts Vancouver was elected host city of the XXI Olympic Winter Games in 2010 at the 115th IOC Session in Prague on 2 July 2003.
The 2010 Winter Olympics were the third Olympics hosted by Canada and the first by the province of British Columbia. Previously, Canada hosted the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta.

Venues (source: 2010 Winter Olympics official report):

The venues for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games stretched over a 120-kilometre zone from Richmond, through downtown Vancouver and north to the mountain resort of Whistler.
The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games events in Vancouver included curling, figure skating, ice hockey, sledge hockey, short-track speed skating and wheelchair curling.
Speed skating took place in Richmond, while the snowboard and freestyle skiing events were hosted at Cypress Mountain in the District of West Vancouver. The Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony, were staged indoors at BC Place in Vancouver city centre.
For the 2010 Winter Games, Whistler hosted Olympic and Paralympic Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and biathlon, as well as Olympic Nordic combined, ski jumping, bobsleigh, luge and skeleton. Olympic and Paralympic Villages and media facilities were located in Vancouver and Whistler.
In its 2002 evaluation of Vancouver's bid during the bidding process for the 2010 Games, the Evaluation Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) highlighted the number and quality of existing competition and training facilities as one of the bid's strengths. Of the competition venues that the bid proposed for use during the Games, six required new construction, with the remainder already built in Vancouver and Whistler.

  • Canada Hockey Place (Vancouver). Ice hockey.
  • Cypress Mountain (West Vancouver). Freestyle skiing, Snowboarding.
  • Pacific Coliseum (Vancouver). Figure skating, short track speed skating.
  • Richmond Olympic Oval (Richmond). Speed skating.
  • UBC Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre (University Endowment Lands, UBC). Ice hockey.
  • Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre (Vancouver). Curling.
  • Whistler Creekside (Whistler). Alpine skiing.
  • Whistler Olympic Park (Whistler). Biathlon, Cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, Ski jumping.
  • Whistler Sliding Centre (Whistler). Bobsleigh, Luge, Skeleton.
  • BC Place Stadium (Vancouver). Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
  • Main Media Centre (Vancouver). Media centre.
  • Vancouver Olympic Village. Athlete accommodation.
  • Whistler Media Centre (Whistler). Media centre.
  • Whistler Olympic and Paralympic Village. Athlete accommodation.
  • Whistler Olympic Celebration Plaza. Ceremonies and Presentations.

From new sporting venues and infrastructure improvements to environmental and economic benefits, the city used the Winter Games as a catalyst to create a number of lasting legacies.
Perhaps the most evident is the sporting legacy that the Games provided. As well as the construction of new facilities – such as the Richmond Olympic Oval – Vancouver 2010 also helped get more young people involved in sport, thanks, in part, to the successful performance of the Canadian Olympic team.
"After the Games, kids were on their way to skating rinks the next day and signing up for curling and skiing and ski jumping, and this is what the Olympics can do", said John Furlong, VANOC CEO, in an interview in February 2011. "Ultimately you hope that, as a result of the Games, every child will get a chance to experience sports".
Thanks to the Games, numerous recreational and high performance sports programmes were created for young people through the not-for-profit organisation 2010 Legacies Now, which has worked with more than 2,000 organisations in the host region to ensure this legacy lives on. An Aboriginal Youth Sports Legacy Fund was also created, supporting high school students, elite athletes and community groups.
The Richmond Olympic Oval skating track, meanwhile, has since been transformed into a community facility that includes an indoor track, two ice rinks, badminton courts, volleyball courts and a 2,300-square-foot fitness centre.
Other venues have also been adapted to further benefit the local community following the Games. These include the Vancouver Olympic Centre – used for curling during the Games – which is part of a complex that includes a community centre, an ice rink, a curling club, a pre-school, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools.
Vancouver’s transport infrastructure also enjoyed a boost as a result of the Games, with the city’s transit agency launching an ambitious expansion plan before the Games that included 48 new SkyTrain cars, a new SeaBus and 180 diesel-electric hybrid buses. The new Canada Line, built in time for the Games, now speeds travellers between Vancouver’s airport and downtown areas, while improvements to the Sea-to-Sky highway have also made travel from Vancouver to Whistler safer and faster.
Thanks to the city’s Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Programme, Vancouver’s cultural scene has also enjoyed a post-Games boost, thanks to the commissioning of a collection of light-based artworks and sculptural installations at locations around the city.
Visitors to the city can also still visit the Olympic cauldron next to the Vancouver Convention Centre, which is lit on special occasions to provide yet another reminder of the city’s Olympic experience.

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