25 Days to Vancouver
Some venues, including the Richmond Olympic Oval, are at sea level, a rarity for the Winter Games. The 2010 Games will also be the first – Winter or Summer – to have an Opening Ceremony held indoors. Vancouver, which will be the most populous city ever to hold the Winter Games, will also be the warmest: in February, when the Games will be held, Vancouver has an average temperature of 4.8 °C (40.6 °F).
The opening and closing ceremonies will be held at BC Place Stadium, which has received over $150 million in major renovations. Competition venues in Greater Vancouver include the Pacific Coliseum, the Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre, the UBC Winter Sports Centre, the Richmond Olympic Oval and Cypress Mountain. GM Place will play host to ice hockey events, but because corporate sponsorship is not allowed for an Olympic venue, it will be renamed Canada Hockey Place for the duration of the games. Competition venues in Whistler include the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort, the Whistler Olympic Park and the Whistler Sliding Centre.
Competitions at the Olympic Wintergames
Alpine skiing has been practiced in the European Alps for at least 150 years. In addition to adapting cross-country techniques to suit their steeper slopes, alpine skiers also found they needed slightly wider skis to go downhill safely, and developed different ways to use their poles and new turning techniques to match the more vertical terrain of the high mountains. Alpine skiing for both men and women debuted as an Olympic sport in 1936 at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. In 1948, separate downhill and slalom races were added. From that time, super combined was not contested at an Olympic Winter Games until 1988, in Calgary. The giant slalom was added in 1952, and the super-G in 1988.
Men’s Giant Slalom
Ladies’ Giant Slalom
Men’s Super Combined
Ladie's Super Combined
Biathlon — which combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting — did not start as a sport, but as a way for northern European hunters, as early as 2000 BC, to put food on the table. Beginning in the mid-16th century, however, Scandinavian countries began using troops on skis to defend against their enemies. The first world championships in biathlon were held in 1958 at Saalfelden, Austria. Biathlon became an Olympic sport (for men only) at the Squaw Valley 1960 Olympic Winter Games. Women’s biathlon joined the Olympic Games 30 years later, in 1992, at the Albertville Games, in France.
Men’s 4 x 7.5 km Relay
Women’s 4x6 km Relay
Men’s 10 km Sprint
Women’s 7.5 km Sprint
Men’s 12.5 km Pursuit
Women’s 10 km Pursuit
Men’s 15 km Mass Start
Women’s 12.5 km Mass Start
Men’s 20 km Individual
Women’s 15 km Individual
The three Olympic sliding sports are bobsleigh, skeleton and luge. All three grew out of the practice of using a sled or toboggan — a light, narrow wooden platform on runners — to slide on snow or ice. In winter, using a sled to travel and have fun dates back some 700 years. The four-man bobsleigh was on the program of the first Olympic Winter Games in 1924, in Chamonix, France. The two-man bobsleigh event joined the Olympic Games program in 1932. Women began competing in bobsleigh for the first time in 2002, at the Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games.
Paintings thought to be at least 6,000 years old, discovered in Russia in the 1930s, show a hunter alongside some reindeer. The hunter is wearing skis, clearly illustrating that using two wooden slats to travel quickly on snow has been central to survival in cold climates for centuries. Cross-country skiers competed at the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix, France, in 1924, in 18-kilometre and 50-kilometre races for men. Ladies’ cross-country skiing made its debut at the Oslo 1952 Olympic Winter Games. The cross-country skiing technique known as skating or free technique, became a separate Olympic competitive discipline at the Calgary 1988 Winter Games.
Men's 30 km Pursuit (15 Classic+15 Free)
Ladies' 15 km Pursuit (7.5 Classic+7.5 Free)
Men's Individual Sprint Classic
Ladies' Individual Sprint Classic
Men's Team Sprint Free
Ladies' Team Sprint Free
Men's 4x10 km Relay Classic/Free
Ladies' 4x5 km Relay Classic/Free
Men's 15 km Individual Free
Ladies' 10 km Individual Free
Men's 50 km, Mass Start Classic
Ladies' 30 km, Mass Start Classic
The game of curling is more than 500 years old. The earliest written record of curling — of groups of people sliding stones on frozen ponds and lochs (an arm of the sea that is similar to a fjord) in competition — are found at Scotland’s Paisley Abbey and date back to 1541. Curling for men was played at the first Olympic Winter Games at Chamonix, France, in 1924, but curling did not appear again as an official Olympic sport until the Nagano 1998 Winter Games with both men’s and women’s tournaments.
An American, Jackson Haines, is considered to be the founding father of modern figure skating in the 1860s — established not in his home country, but in Vienna, Austria, where audiences loved his carefully choreographed, ballet-influenced style. Figure skating was an Olympic sport before there was an Olympic Winter Games. Figure skating first appeared at the London 1908 Olympic Summer Games with events for pairs and singles (indoor ice rinks could be kept cold even in hot weather). Ice dancing joined the Olympic Winter Games in 1976, when the Games were held in Innsbruck, Austria. The compulsory figures competition was dropped from the figure skating program prior to the Albertville 1992 Olympic Winter Games.
In the United States, the 1960s were a time of revolution, of young people challenging authority and demanding change. Freestyle skiing began in that decade, when social change and freedom of expression led to new and exciting skiing techniques. Originally a mix of alpine skiing and acrobatics, the first freestyle skiing competition was held in Attitash, New Hampshire, in 1966. A relative newcomer to the Olympic Winter Games program, freestyle moguls became an Olympic medal discipline in 1992, at the Games in Albertville, France. Freestyle aerials were added for the Lillehammer 1994 Olympic Winter Games. Making its Olympic Winter Games debut in 2010, ski cross, an event within freestyle skiing, is based on a simple concept: first across the finish line wins.
The word hockey comes from the old French word “hocquet,” meaning “stick.” The British most likely brought the idea of using a stick to propel a snowball along the ice of a pond or lake to North America in the 1600 or 1700s. In 1879, college students at McGill University in Montreal organized competitions and developed the first known set of hockey rules. While men's ice hockey made its Olympic debut at the 1920 Summer Olympic Games in Antwerp, it was moved to the Winter Games since the inaugural 1924 Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix. Women’s ice hockey debuted at the Nagano 1998 Olympic Winter Games.
Two athletes — Peter Minsch of Switzerland and George Robertson of Australia — tied for first place in what was called “The Great International Sled Race” of February 12, 1883. Their time: 9 minutes and 15 seconds, to slide down a four kilometre track joining the Swiss villages of Klosters and Davos. Luge races have grown considerably faster since then with refrigerated luge tracks and aerodynamic equipment, so that speeds now regularly reach 140 kilometres an hour or more and G-forces reach over 5G. Luge for men, women and doubles made its Olympic debut at the 1964 Games in Innsbruck.
Throughout Norway in the 1800s, skiers gathered each winter for a series of ski carnivals consisting of small athletic competitions combined with some entertainment. Considered the best of all the carnival athletes, a small group specialized in both cross-country skiing, demanding endurance and strength, and ski jumping, requiring physical strength and technical control. Men have competed in Nordic combined individual events since the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix, France, in 1924. The team event was introduced at the Calgary 1988 Winter Games, while the sprint event joined the Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games in 2002.
Short track speed skating is only about 100 years old and a product of North America. Speed skating, however, dates back to 13th century Holland. Short track speed skating originated in Canada and the United States in 1905 with the first known competition having taken place in 1909. By the 1920s and 30s, the sport was gaining popularity in Great Britain, Japan, France, Belgium and Australia. In 1988, short track speed skating was a demonstration event at the Calgary Olympic Winter Games. Four years later, it was included as a full medal event at the Albertville 1992 Olympic Winter Games.
Men’s 500 m
Ladies’ 500 m
Men’s 1,000 m
Ladies’ 1,000 m
Men’s 1,500 m
Ladies’ 1,500 m
Ladies’ 3,000 m Relay
Men’s 5,000 m Relay
Like the other sliding sports of bobsleigh and luge, the start is crucial in skeleton — where a tenth of a second lead at the start can become three-tenths of a second by the bottom of the run. These athletes train much like sprinters to develop powerful legs they need to explode onto the track. But speed is not the only factor: they must also find the best line and steer smoothly through each turn to keep their speed high. Men’s skeleton was raced at the 1928 and 1948 Olympic Winter Games, both in St. Moritz. Skeleton then re-appeared as a permanent Olympic sport for both men and women at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
The first known ski jumper was a Norwegian lieutenant named Olaf Rye, who, in 1809, launched himself 9.5 metres in the air before an audience of other soldiers. By 1862, ski jumpers like Sondre Norheim were tackling much larger jumps travelling longer distances and competing in official ski jumping contests. The desire to jump longer led to the radical new development in 1985 of V-style, where a ski jumper holds his skis in a V-shaped position (instead of parallel) while in the air. Credited with this new style was Swedish ski jumper Jan Boklöv. At the time, most ski jumpers laughed at this innovation and Boklöv was penalized for his unorthodox style. Eventually sport science caught up with Boklöv’s advancement and realized that V-style produced 28 per cent more lift. Men’s ski jumping has been part of the Olympic Winter Games since the first Games in Chamonix, in 1924. The large hill competition was added for the Innsbruck 1964 Winter Games.
Combining elements of surfing, skateboarding and skiing, snowboard — one of the fastest growing sports — is a recent addition to the Olympic Winter Games. The first official snowboard competition was held in Colorado in 1981. Two snowboard events were introduced at the Nagano 1998 Winter Games — halfpipe and individual giant slalom. Parallel giant slalom replaced individual giant slalom at the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games and snowboard cross was introduced in 2006, at the Torino Olympic Winter Games.
Men’s Parallel Giant Slalom
Ladies’ Parallel Giant Slalom
Men’s Snowboard Cross
Ladies’ Snowboard Cross
Speed skating emerged on the canals of Holland as early as the 13th century — a time when iron skates on wooden soles served as a mode of transportation. Competitive racing is known to have been held in Holland as early as 1676. In the early 19th century, the Dutch shared the concept of speed skating with their European neighbors. Speed skating has been part of the Olympic Games since the first Winter Games were held in Chamonix in 1924. Originally, only men took part in competition. At the Lake Placid 1932 Games, however, women’s speed skating was a demonstration event and became a full medal event at the Squaw Valley 1960 Olympic Winter Games. Speed skating is the fastest human powered, non-mechanical aided sport in the world. Skaters can reach speeds of more than 60 kilometers per hour.
Men’s 500 m
Ladies’ 500 m
Men’s 1,000 m
Ladies’ 1,000 m
Men’s 1,500 m
Ladies’ 1,500 m
Ladies’ 3,000 m
Men’s 5,000 m
Ladies’ 5,000 m
Men’s 10,000 m
Men’s Team Pursuit
Ladies’ Team Pursuit
Quick Facts about the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games
· 17 days of Olympic Games events
· 10 days of Paralympic Games events
· 5,500 Olympic Games athletes and officials
· 1,350 Paralympic Games athletes and officials
· 80+ countries participating in Olympic Winter Games
· 40+ countries participating in Paralympic Winter Games
· 10,000 media representatives
· 3 billion worldwide television viewers
· 75 million visits worldwide to vancouver2010.com