Vancouver Fun Facts

Santiago Herrador

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada will host the XXI Olympic Winter Games.  These will also be the first games to be held in an NHL market since the league allowed its players to participate starting in 1998 at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

Prior to the upcoming Vancouver, British Columbia Winter Olympics in February 2010, Canada has hosted the Winter Games just once. That was in Calgary, 1988.

For the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the Olympic Flame will first be lit in Olympia in late 2009. It will then travel from Greece, over the North Pole into Canada. The Olympic Torch will be carried by thousands of Canadians of all ages and cultural backgrounds: on foot, dog sled, snowmobile, horse, plane and virtually every means of transport known to the people of Canada.   The torch relay is said to be the longest in winter Olympic history and will travel across all of Canada on its journey to Vancouver.

For the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, some venues, including the Richmond Oval, site of the speed skating events, 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). 

Vancouver 2010 will be broadcast worldwide by a number of television broadcasters.   Since the rights for the 2010 games have been packaged with those for the 2012 Summer Olympics to be held in London, England, broadcasters for both events are likely to be the same.  Of course both events will be covered top to bottom in the United States by NBC Universal.  The Vancouver Winter Games will themselves feature 75 hours of 'Live' coverage on NBC!

For the first time in Olympic history the Olympic flame will be lit indoors, as Vancouver's BC Place Stadium is a covered stadium. This has caused some speculation on how this will be accomplished, as such a large flame burning for the required 17 days would cause environmental issues indoors. A possible solution to the problem includes installing a special ventilation system to house the flame. It has yet to be officially stated how this problem will be solved.  Stay tuned!

On November 28, 2006,  a proposal for a women's ski jumping event was rejected by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee. The reason for the rejection cited the low number of athletes as well as few participating countries in the sport. The Executive Board noted that women's ski jumping has yet to be fully established internationally. Subsequently, a group of 15 competitive female ski jumpers filed a suit against the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) claiming that conducting a men's ski jumping event without a women's event in the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 would be in direction violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A judgement came down on June 10, 2009 against the ski jumpers with the judge ruling that although the women were being discriminated against, the issue is a International Olympic Committee responsibility, and thus the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not apply to VANOC. In addition to women's ski jumping, events up for inclusion in 2010 Games but ultimately rejected by the IOC included:  Biathlon mixed relay, mixed doubles curling, team Alpine skiing, team: luge, bobsled & skeleton.

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