With another Olympic Winter Games just on the horizon, hosted this year in Pyeongchang, South Korea, sports enthusiasts can emulate the athletes, and reawaken the Olympic vibe with these unique Olympic-themed activities from the 2010 Games, hosted in Vancouver:
- Ski and snowboard on Cypress Mountain. Cypress Mountain was the official Olympic freestyle skiing and snowboarding venue for the 2010 Winter Games. It was also the home of Canada’s first gold medal (Alexandre Bilodeau) and red-headed American snowboarder Shaun White’s gold medal and famous double McTwist 1260. Four runs have been re-named for Canadian medallists including “Alexandre Bilodeau’s Gold” (black mogul run) and “Maelle Ricker’s Gold” (a sweeping blue run). Or, for the less adventurous visitor, how about sipping a cup of hot chocolate in the same Grouse Mountain lodge where NBC’s Today show broadcasted for the duration of the Olympics.
- Skate at the Richmond Olympic Oval (www.richmondoval.ca). The Olympic speed skating venue has been transformed into a state-of-the-art public recreation facility with multiple skating rinks, ball courts and a first class fitness centre open to the public. Check the website for the drop-in skating schedule. Occasionally, the Richmond Oval even offers speed skating lessons.
- Watch a hockey game. You’ll feel just like you’re at the 2010 Winter Games when you attend an NHL Vancouver Canucks hockey game at Rogers Arena (renamed Canada Hockey Place during the 2010 Winter Games), site of the gold medal men’s and women’s hockey games. For a less expensive hockey night out, catch the Vancouver Giants at the Langley Events Centre or the UBC Thunderbirds at Thunderbird Arena (venue for Olympic women’s hockey and Paralympic sledge hockey).
- Head up to Whistler’s venues and try your hand cross-country skiing at the Whistler Olympic Park. Alternatively, speed fans should try the public skeleton and bobsleigh runs offered at the Whistler Sliding Centre.
- Pose for a photo at the Olympic Cauldron. First lit on February 12, 2010 by Canadian hockey legend Wayne Gretsky during the Opening Ceremonies, the Olympic Caldron stands proud at Jack Poole Plaza in downtown Vancouver. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and with the ocean just steps away, it is one of Vancouver’s most popular photo stops. The cauldron is lit on special occasions.
- Swim and skate like Olympic athletes. The former curling venue for the 2010 Winter Games, Hillcrest Centre offers a wide variety of recreational programs and services for all ages. Its features include an aquatic centre, fitness centre, ice rink and gymnasium. It also houses the Vancouver Public Library's Terry Salman Branch and the Vancouver Curling Club.
- Take the Canada Line to Olympic Village station and stroll east along the False Creek seawall. You’ll soon find the state-of-the-art Olympic Village development, now Vancouver’s newest waterfront community.
- Stroll Vancouver’s famous Seawall to see the Inukshuk statue. The Seawall that wraps around Stanley Park and continues up False Creek measures 22 km (13.7 miles). One of the landmarks enroute is the Inukshuk statue, are stone sculpture traditionally used by Canada's Inuit people as directional landmarks across the north that was adopted as Vancouver’s symbol for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
- Visit the BC Sports Hall of Fame. Open daily at Gate “A” of BC Place, at the BCSports Hall of Fame, you can relive the excitement of the 2010 Winter Games in the must-see Vancouver 2010 Gallery. Learn about BC's best athletes and teams in the Hall of Champions. Learn about Canadian heroes Terry Fox and Rick Hansen in their permanent galleries. Run, jump and play in the Participation Zone and see inside BC Place.
- Eat, drink and be merry where athletes and celebrities did. Celebrity and athlete sightings were constant in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Games.
- Stephen Colbert enjoyed moules frites at Chambar Restaurant.
- Gold medal-winning ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir celebrated their win with friends and family at Il Giardino.
- Wayne and Janet Gretzky brunched at MARKET by Jean-Georges in the Shangri-La Hotel.
- U.S. snowboarding god Shaun White and NBA star Steve Nash partied at Republic nightclub on Granville Street.
- Former Olympic gold medal skaters Jamie Salé and David Pelletier partied at Opus Hotel.
- And although Fairmont Hotel Vancouver staff wouldn’t confirm, it’s a good bet that Vancouver’s grand old hotel hosted U.S. VP Joe Biden, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, actor George Clooney and supermodel Cindy Crawford
- Hike the Olympic ski runs of Cypress Mountain (overlooking Vancouver) or nearby Grouse Mountain (home of Today show broadcast during the 2010 Winter Games)
- See the Vancouver Whitecaps (Major League Soccer) play at BC Place (venue for opening and closing ceremonies of Vancouver 2010 Winter Games)
Let the 2018 Winter Olympic games begin!