2010 Winter Games
The Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games may be over, but there are still plenty of related things to do in Vancouver, Whistler and Richmond.
Olympic Cauldron in Vancouver
Take a photo in front of the 2010 Olympic Cauldron, which stands in its original location near Canada Place. The glass and steel cauldron – meant to symbolize “fire and ice” – is nearly 10m/33ft tall, and is backed by the scenic North Shore mountains. This is a good starting point for walking around the seawall, taking the SeaBus to Lonsdale Quay Market, or travelling to Victoria by floatplane.
Inukshuk in English Bay
The official emblem of the Winter Games was a stylized inukshuk known as Ilanaaq. Conveniently, there was already an enormous inukshuk standing in Vancouver’s English Bay. Snap a picture of the stone inukshuk (sunset photos are especially nice), and explore the beach and restaurants nearby.
Robson Street and Granville Street
During the Games, Robson and Granville streets were celebration central, and were filled with thousands of cheering fans. These days, Robson and Granville are still bustling. Robson Street has incredible shopping, while Granville Street transforms into an entertainment district flush with neon and nightclub patrons after dark.
Four Host First Nations
The 2010 Olympic Winter Games were the first in history to recognize the local First Nations as official hosting partners. Learn about Aboriginal culture and artwork, including carvings by Bill Reid, at the Museum of Anthropology. In Stanley Park, see a collection of totem poles at Brockton Point.
The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler has impressive Aboriginal exhibits, artwork, and live performances. Grab a bite to eat at the cafe, which dishes up indigineous-inspired items such as venison chili, salmon chowder and bannock.
Ski at Whistler and Cypress Mountain
Ski Whistler Blackcomb to experience the same slopes as Olympians. Whistler’s Dave Murray Downhill run was the site of the alpine skiing events during the Games. Non-skiers can enjoy Whistler’s mountain views (winter and summer) on the world-record breaking PEAK 2 PEAK gondola.
Prefer Nordic sports? Explore a huge network of forested cross-country ski or snowshoe trails in Whistler at the Whistler Olympic Park in Callaghan Valley, which was home to Nordic events during the Games.
Cypress Mountain is only about 30 minutes by car from downtown Vancouver, so it’s a popular place for locals to ski and snowboard. During the Olympic Winter Games, it was the freeskiing and snowboard venue.
Whistler Sliding Centre
In summer and winter, the Whistler Sliding Centre offers self-guided walking tours of the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton facility. Plans are in place to begin a public sliding experience program in winter 2010. Prefer a more wide-open sliding track? Zip down the tube park on Blackcomb Mountain.
Sea-to-Sky Highway and Whistler Village
Follow the ultra-scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway driving route between Vancouver and Whistler. Point to point, it’s about a two-hour drive – but it’s worth it to take a day (or more) to explore the waterfalls, hiking trails, Britannia Mine Museum, parks and viewpoints.
Whistler Village, known for its shopping and dining, has an Olympic Legacy Cauldron, Olympic Rings and the Paralympic Agitos on display. Pop into the Whistler Museum for a look at Whistler’s Olympic Journey exhibit and to learn about the ski town’s roots.
Richmond Olympic Oval
The Richmond Olympic Oval was built to host speed skating events during the Games. Now, it’s been transformed into an impressive community facility with ice rinks, courts, track and fitness studios. Stop in for a workout, then fill up on dim sum in the Golden Village or fish and chips in Steveston.