Top 10 Vancouver/Whistler Venues 2010
A sneak peak at the top 10 plus Vancouver/Whistler Venues for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games
Eyes and ears worldwide will focus on Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia when more than 5,000 athletes from an estimated 80 countries descend to put their skills on the line and vie for Olympic medals in the 2010 Winter Games held February 12 to 28.
Following hot on the heels of the Olympics are the Paralympic Games from March 12 to 21 making Vancouver and Whistler the hotspots for winter sport enthusiasts young and not-so-young alike.
With the majestic Coast Mountains of Whistler as backdrop to a winter wonderland of events and the beauty offered up by the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver on the shores of the Pacific everyone is guaranteed to come out a winner. Whether you come for the Olympics, the shopping, the nightlife or just the scenery, beautiful B.C. will fulfill every visitor’s dreams and then some.
If you're planning a visit and love the outdoors check out http://hubpages.com/hub/Hike-Whistler-BC
The Olympic Flame ignites October 22... follow the route
- Olympic Torch Relay Interactive Map : Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics
Olympic Torch Relay Interactive Map
BC Place Stadium
Noted for being Canada’s first domed arena, in addition to the largest air-supported stadium in North America, BC Place Stadium will welcome athletes and spectators to the Opening Ceremonies and ultimately bid them farewell at the Closing Ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Opening Ceremonies for the Paralympic Winter Games will also take place at this venue with athletes arriving in March. Located on the north side of False Creek in downtown Vancouver BC Place Stadium will seat 55,000 spectators. Aside from providing protection from cold, winter elements the venue affords state-of-the-art lighting, projection, sound and special effects technology resulting in ceremonies destined to become a spectacular and intricate part of the 2010 Olympic events.
Vancouver Olympic Centre
Construction began February 23, 2007 on the Vancouver Olympic Centre, located in the Riley Park neighbourhood close to beautiful Queen Elizabeth Park. VOC will be the final curling competition venue for both Olympic and Paralympic events. The now completed stadium is a mere 4 km from Vancouver Olympic Village. The venue boasts 6,000 seats and the wheelchair seating capacity is one of the largest in Paralympic Games history and is a completely barrier-free venue for spectators as well as athletes. On January 5, 2009 VANOC will begin the sport event-fit-out. Attached to the venue (post-community centre) is a new aquatic centre housing a 50 metre pool.
Vancouver Olympic Village
Located on the southeast side of False Creek, adjacent to the popular shopping area of Granville Island Market, is the Vancouver Olympic Village. Featuring low and mid-rise housing for some 2,800 athletes and officials, it’s within 12 km of Vancouver city limits Olympic venues and minutes away from BC Place Stadium which will feature cultural celebrations and nightly medal ceremonies. With improvements and additional scheduling to the public transit systems athletes and visitors will have easy access to all Olympic events.
Canada Hockey Place
Ice hockey tournaments will be staged in two venues; Canada Hockey Place aka General Motors Place and the UBC Thunderbird Arena. General Motors Place is home to the Vancouver Canucks hockey team and one of the most active venues for entertainment in North America. Since it opened in September 1995 it has welcomed more than 10 million visitors and that number most certainly is expected to rise in February 2010. Located just 2 km from Vancouver Olympic Village the facility seats a whopping 19,300. Originally slotted for renovation to accommodate an international sized ice surface, in June 2006 VANOC and the International Ice Hockey Federation announced their decision to cancel renovation plans. For the first time Olympic hockey tournaments will be played on NHL sized ice. This history making decision not only saved VANOC $10 million big ones, but allowed for an addition 35,000 spectators into the venue over the duration of the tournaments.
UBC's Thunderbird Arena
University of B.C.’s newly renovated Thunderbird Arena, with a seating capacity of 7,200, will act as a secondary hockey venue for the majority of preliminary rounds of women’s hockey and two men’s hockey games. The arena will also stage Paralympic Sledge Hockey and the complex’s two additional new rinks will be utilized for team practice during the 2010 Games.
Initially opened in January 1968 the newly renovated Pacific Coliseum becomes host for all figure and short track speed skating events. The ice surface has been expanded to Olympic size to facilitate both events. A unique freestanding short track padding system was designed specifically for VANOC and the layout of the Coliseum. Precise engineering was a key factor in the full design, taking pad sizes, door locations, figure skating needs (broadcast cut-outs and kick plates) into account. It requires roughly 15 minutes for 50 people to achieve the changeovers between sports and another 30 to 45 minutes for additional perimeter changes. Drivers are trained for three years in sport- specific ice to operate the eight ice resurfacing machines that will be used to maintain the field of play throughout the duration of the Olympics.
Richmond Olympic Oval
Host to all speed skating events for the 2010 Games is The Richmond Olympic Oval located across the river from Vancouver International Airport and 14 km south of downtown Vancouver. A large arena with a seating capacity of 7,600, construction was completed on schedule and doors were opened to the public on December 12, 2008. The oval houses two international sized ice rinks, eight gyms, an indoor rowing tank, a 200 meter running track and a 23,000 square foot fitness centre. The Oval will be the location of the main anti-doping lab for the Winter Games as well as a complete range of wellness services and sports medicine.
Proud mother’s footnote; my son, Richard, was involved in installation of the lighting system.
Get all the latest news for 2010 Olympic Winter Games
Whistler attracts more than two million visitors a year from around the world and is consistently ranked the number one ski resort of North America. Dave Murray Downhill at Whistler Creekside added extra width to the course for the men’s Olympic alpine ski event to meet with up-to-date specifications. Franz’s Run, a new course, will host both the women’s and Paralympic alpine ski events. This upgrade doubles the snowmaking capacity, and installation of a new infrastructure to support safety nets with a larger width to the finish corral meets all the Olympic requirements. A spectacular jump into the finish, 'Hot Air', for both men’s and women's courses offers up a fantastic spectator thrill.
Whistler Olympic Village
Located in the CheakamusValley the Whistler Olympic Village is less than 20 minutes from all competition venues. Athletes will be taken on a short shuttle ride to the heart of Whistlers town centre and the CelebrationPlaza. The Olympic Village consists of a mixture of town homes, apartments and hostel accommodations to house 2,850 during the Winter Games and 1,200 for the Paralympic Games. All were designed to qualify as Gold Level certification under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system for Neighbourhood Development..
Whistler Sliding Centre
Bobsleigh (two man, four man and women’s), men’s and women’s luge for singles and doubles, and men’s and women’s skeleton competitions will be hosted by The Whistler Sliding Centre located on Blackcomb Mountain. The construction included a 1,450 metre concrete track, two athlete start buildings, track weather protection system, five facility support buildings, plus control and timing systems and a refrigeration plant. It will certainly be a busy place with a seating capacity of 12,000. Snowmaking and grooming begins October 2009 with the making of the race course base, the snow base will be built up through December.
Whistler Olympic Park
Whistler Olympic Park is a compact, one square meter core area for the 2010 Olympic Games. Included are three separate stadiums with a venue capacity of 12,000 each; cross country skiing, biathlon and ski jump, which are located roughly 400 meters apart. Approximately 15 km of competition trails for biathlon and cross country skiing were tested during the 2007/08 opening season. Two ski jumps, normal and large hill, feature sophisticated snow refrigeration and track setting systems considered to be world class. Range of the biathlon stadium boasts 30 lanes with a fully electronic target system capable of detecting and reporting precise times of hits or misses for each bullet fired.
Parts of two stadiums will be utilized for the Paralympic biathlon and cross country ski events. A 5 km course for standing classes, as well as a specially designed 3.75 km course for sit-ski classes is included in the Whistler Paralympic Park. For the biathlon events a 10 metre portable air and laser rifle range will be set up in the cross country stadium.
Located in Cypress Provincial Park, adjacent to West Vancouver, Cypress Mountain, will host all Freestyle Skiing events from men’s and women’s aerials to moguls to ski cross. This Freestyle venue was the first Winter Games site to be completed, November 2006, for the much anticipated Olympic competitions. This alpine venue’s ski and snowboard cross course length is 1,135 metres with a 208 metre vertical drop. With a venue capacity of 12,000 there will be plenty of room for spectators. Other Freestyle competitions held at Cypress include the men’s and women’s parallel giant slalom for snowboarding, the Halfpipe and snowboard cross competitions. Venue capacities are 12,000 and 8,000 respectively. Cypress Mountain has the most terrain, lifts and vertical drops of all courses on Vancouver’s North Shore.
Cypress Mountain is an alpine venue with limited shelter, visitors could be outside for several hours. Be prepared for extremely cold and/or wet weather and dress appropriately.
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