Inside Vancouver

I found this little diddy and thought it was interesting.

In the final days before the 2010 Olympic Winter Games begin, we’re taking you behind the scenes to show you what’s up in Vancouver. From fun facts to athletes to watch, we’ve got everything you’ll need to enjoy the action in February!

By the Numbers

* 80+ countries, approximately 2,500 total athletes, including about 220 U.S. athletes.
* 7 sports and 86 medal events will be contested in 4 locations: Vancouver, Whistler, Richmond and West Vancouver, at 9 venues.
* Heavy Medals: More than 600 gold, silver and bronze medals have been cast. Each one weighs over 1 pound and no 2 are alike.
* Green Games: An estimated 85% of waste from the Olympic Games will be diverted from landfills and reused, recycled or converted to energy.
* Carrying a Torch: The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay is the longest relay ever held within the borders of the host country. The Olympic Flame is visiting more than 1,000 communities as 12,000 torchbearers carry it on its nearly 28,000-mile journey.
* B.C. Hosts: The 2010 Olympic Winter Games are the 1st held by the province of British Columbia.
* Current Events: Ski cross was added as a winter sport to be contested for the 1st time at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
* Medal Count: At the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, the U.S. Olympic Team won a total of 25 medals: 9 gold, 9 silver and 7 bronze.
* Curling First: The relatively unknown sport of curling saw its 1st U.S. medal in 2006 when Pete Fenson led his team to bronze in Torino.
* Duality: The 2 official languages of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games are English and French – also the 2 official languages of the International Olympic Committee.
* Reduced Rink: The hockey rink at Canada Hockey Place will be the first National Hockey League-sized rink used in Olympic competition, measuring at 200 feet × 85 feet, as opposed to the international size of 200 feet × 98.5 feet.
* First and Last: The 1st medals won at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be awarded in men’s ski jumping on February 13. The last will be handed out in men’s hockey on February 28.

About the Host City:

Vancouver is the third largest Canadian city, after Toronto and Montreal, and the largest port city on the North American West Coast. The city is surrounded by water on three sides, and the mountains of the Coast Mountain Range. Vancouver has the mildest winters of any Olympic host city, but has ample snowfall at its Olympic ski venues Whistler Mountain and Cypress Mountain. The city was selected Host City for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games by a vote of the International Olympic Committee in July 2003, winning by three votes.

Vancouver Venues:

Canada Hockey Place
Sports Contested: Ice hockey
Venue Capacity: 19,300

Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre
Sports Contested: Curling
Venue Capacity: 5,600

The Pacific Coliseum
Sports Contested: Figure skating, short track speedskating
Venue Capacity: 14,200

The University of British Columbia (UBC) Thunderbird Arena
Sports Contested: Ice hockey
Venue Capacity: 6,800

Whistler Sliding Centre
Sports Contested: Luge, bobsled, skeleton
Venue Capacity: 12,000

Whistler Creekside
Sports Contested: Alpine skiing
Venue Capacity: 7,700

Whistler Olympic/Paralympic Park
Sports Contested: Biathlon, cross-country skiing, nordic combined, ski jumping
Venue Capacity: 12,000 in each of three stadiums

Richmond Olympic Oval
Sports Contested: Speedskating
Venue Capacity: 7,600

Cypress Mountain
Sports Contested: Freestyle skiing, snowboarding
Venue Capacity: 12,000

BC Place
Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies
Venue Capacity: 55,000

Athletes to Watch:

Lindsey Vonn
After a horrific crash during a practice run at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, Lindsey Vonn checked herself out of the hospital to race in her events, showing a pluck and grit that won her the Olympic Spirit award. Vonn, the most successful American woman skier in World Cup history, has added quite a few titles in the intervening years: two-time World Cup overall winner (2008 and 2009) and two-time World Championship gold medalist.

Shaun White
Coming off of an Olympic gold medal in 2006, the spotlight continued to shine on Shaun White. He shredded through the 2007 season taking podiums across the world, claiming snowboarding’s highest honors in 2007 with victories at the Winter X Games (superpipe), as well as the Burton Global Open Championship and the TTR Tour Championship. With another sweeping performance at the 2009 Winter X Games, he added two more gold medals to his pile in superpipe and slopestyle.

Apolo Anton Ohno
Apolo Anton Ohno is one of the most recognizable current American winter Olympians and perhaps of all time, thanks in part to his trademark soul patch, his victory on the television show Dancing with the Stars and, most importantly, his Olympic pedigree. Ohno is expected to add to his stash of medals from the last two Olympic Winter Games (five total) as he leads a strong U.S. Short Track Speedskating Team. He has won an Olympic medal in every distance, and with one more medal, he will join Bonnie Blair as the most decorated winter Olympians in U.S. history.

Erin Hamlin
Three years after finishing 12th in women’s singles in Torino, Erin Hamlin showed the German-dominated world of luge that she was just warming up. At the 2009 World Luge Championships in Lake Placid, N.Y., she won the gold medal in the women’s singles event – the first time in 99 international competitions that a German woman didn’t take home gold. Her gold medal was also the first won by an American female luger at the World Championship level.

Want to tune into your favorite events of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games? You’ll find a detailed schedule of all the competitions here. Enjoy the drama and the excitement as you cheer on your favorite team. Go USA!


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