Top 10 Vancouver/Whistler Venues 2010

The 2010 Winter Olympics will feature a unique design of an inukshuk, a traditional stone sculpture used by Canada's Inuit people, as its official logo. The winning logo, called Ilanaaq (el la nawk), was designed by local graphic designers Elena Rive
The 2010 Winter Olympics will feature a unique design of an inukshuk, a traditional stone sculpture used by Canada's Inuit people, as its official logo. The winning logo, called Ilanaaq (el la nawk), was designed by local graphic designers Elena Rive

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 

 

BC Place Stadium, site of Opening and Closing Ceremonies (courtesy vancouver2010.com)
BC Place Stadium, site of Opening and Closing Ceremonies (courtesy vancouver2010.com)

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.

 

With 15 volunteer ice makers assisting two specialized technicians and a sensor system in place to monitor ice conditions everything is set for smooth play. (courtesy vancouver.com)
With 15 volunteer ice makers assisting two specialized technicians and a sensor system in place to monitor ice conditions everything is set for smooth play. (courtesy vancouver.com)

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.

The Olypmic Villiage is located adjacent to Granville Island Market
The Olypmic Villiage is located adjacent to Granville Island Market

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 in the heart of downtown Vancouver (courtesy vancouver 2010.com)
Canada Hockey Place in the heart of downtown Vancouver (courtesy vancouver 2010.com)

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.

The newly renovated Thunderbird Arena at UBC in Vancouver.  (courtesy Richard Lam/The Canadian Press)
The newly renovated Thunderbird Arena at UBC in Vancouver. (courtesy Richard Lam/The Canadian Press)

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.

The Pacific Coliseum, with a spectacular view of Vancouver in the background, has a seating capacity of 14,200
The Pacific Coliseum, with a spectacular view of Vancouver in the background, has a seating capacity of 14,200

Pacific Coliseum

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.

The Richmond Olympic Oval shows the expanse of ice under an elaborate lighting system      (courtesy VANOC)
The Richmond Olympic Oval shows the expanse of ice under an elaborate lighting system (courtesy VANOC)

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.

Whistler Creekside

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..

At dusk the Whistler Sliding Centre's vibrant hues light up the mountain side (courtesy vancouver 2010.com)
At dusk the Whistler Sliding Centre's vibrant hues light up the mountain side (courtesy vancouver 2010.com)

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.

A view from the top of the ski jump in Olympic Park. It takes nerves of steel and years of skill to push off (courtesy vancouver 2010.com)
A view from the top of the ski jump in Olympic Park. It takes nerves of steel and years of skill to push off (courtesy vancouver 2010.com)

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.

The lights of the course light up more than just the mountain side (courtesy vancouver2010.com)
The lights of the course light up more than just the mountain side (courtesy vancouver2010.com)

Cypress Mountain

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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Comments 16 comments

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 7 years ago from USA

CB - Surely do wish I could attend. This should be a great event. Gus


Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 7 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C. Author

Thanks for being the first to drop by. I'd really like to go, too. Especially considering its almost at my back door.


Godslittlechild profile image

Godslittlechild 7 years ago

Looks very cool! Wish I could be there!


Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 7 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C. Author

It will definately be cool LOL.


QuirkyPearl profile image

QuirkyPearl 7 years ago from England - UK

Whistler is a fantastic place, i stayed here last year with a friend for one week during a 6 week trek from East to West. I would love to take my yongest son here.


Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 7 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C. Author

It is truly a place of tranquility and beauty.


KellyEngaldo 7 years ago

I love Whistler. I was dragged - went kicking and screaming and have been in love with Whistler ever since. Returned shortly thereafter. In Whislter, I have no altitude sickness there - unlike Colorado. The skiing is awesome. The resorts amazing and the restaurants. Truly one of my favorite places in the world!


Lee Thacker profile image

Lee Thacker 7 years ago

Let it Snow! Great pictures..Wow! You really put a lot of thought and positive thought into your hub article! Honestly I think I need to re-read it again to pick-up all the gems that you shared, as always...THANKS! Keep writing...you know I'm a fan!


DeeBee3 profile image

DeeBee3 7 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi Carmen.

Once worked in Vancouver for a few weeks, it's a great place.

Good luck, for it's big event.

Regards Dee.


Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 7 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C. Author

Hi DB, sorry it took so long to acknowledge your comment. It seems to have been suspended in cyberspace. I hope you liked our beautiful city! Yes, the event will be huge and I'm actually glad to live just far enough away to miss the craziness that will be happening.


nettech profile image

nettech 6 years ago from London (UK)

Hi Carmen,

I bet you can't wait, the venues look amazing. We've only got 2 years until the 2012 Olympics here in London so understand all the excitement.

Great hub, looking forward to reading all your others too.

Regards,

Zaheer


chadboskie profile image

chadboskie 6 years ago

I have been counting down the days until Feb 12. Sometimes I wish the winter olympics were every year, but then I know that would take away from the excitement. The world series gets tiresome some years, but the olympics never will.


KellyEngaldo 6 years ago

Whistler is magic! I went kicking and screaming - I didn't want to go skiing to Whistler! I loved Colorado! But when I got there I wanted to return every year. I took my best friend the following year - wow! The altitude sickness doesn't affect me there like Colorado - what at wonderful place - skiing and no altitude sickness! Great hub!


Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 6 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C. Author

Thanks for the visit Kelly, right now we're hoping the cold snap that arrived today will continue so we can have some fresh snow for the Olympics.


Resolver2009 profile image

Resolver2009 6 years ago from Bournemouth, UK / Oslo, Norway

Thanks for the information Carmen, very well written and very extensive. I am following the Olympics in Vancouver intensly. Have not been a good olympics for my norwegian half yet though, but my swedish counterpart has had a better run. By the way, just published the seventh episode of my thriller series; Three Minutes to Midnight, would love it if you checked it out. See you around! //Alex


Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 6 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C. Author

Hey Alex, congrats on the episode! I'm headed downtown today to take in some of the activities. Thanks for stopping by.

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