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Geography of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

British Columbia's Largest City Plays Host to the Winter Olympics


Geography of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

A Canadian flag and the Olympic rings are seen during the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at BC Place on February 12, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Updated May 15, 2014

The 2010 Winter Olympics began in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on February 12, 2010 with some of the sports taking place in nearby Whistler and the Vancouver suburbs of Richmond, West Vancouver and the University Endowment lands near the University of British Columbia. The 2010 Winter Olympics are the third Olympics hosted by Canada and the previous games include the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta.

Vancouver was chosen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in July 2003 and spent the years between 2003 and 2010 building venues, athlete villages and marking the games. The Winter Olympic game mascots were introduced in 2007 and represent British Columbia's Native American heritage as each of the four characters was inspired by the traditional animals of the First Nations people.

Although the mountains near Vancouver often have a large amount of snow and have a cold climate, the city of Vancouver itself is different from other Winter Olympic sites because it is considered one of the warmest cities to ever host the Winter Olympics. Vancouver has an average February temperature of 40.6°F (4.8°C). In addition to being the warmest Winter Olympic city, Vancouver is also one of the most populous to ever host the games as the greater Vancouver area has over two million residents.

As with other Olympic games, athletes from countries all over the world traveled to Vancouver to participate in the games and at their start, 82 nations had representatives in the Olympics. Some of the participating nations include large countries such as the United States, Russia and France, but smaller nations like Monaco, Iceland and Cyprus had participating athletes as well.

The countries participating in the Winter Olympics feature a variety of sports which include the following:

• Alpine Skiing
• Biathlon
• Bobsled
• Cross Country Skiing
• Curling
• Figure Skating
• Freestyle Skiing
• Ice Hockey
• Luge
• Nordic Combined
• Short Track Speed Skating
• Skeleton
• Ski Jumping
• Snow Boarding
• Speed Skating

To learn more about the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, visit the official Vancouver Olympics website and the IOC's Vancouver 2010 page.


Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. (n.d.). Olympic Games Medals, Results, Sports: Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Retrieved from: http://www.vancouver2010.com/

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