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2010 Winter Olympics


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300pxvancouver2010logos.png

The 2010 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXI Olympic Winter Games or the 21st Winter Olympics, will be held on February 12?28, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with some events held in the resort town of Whistler and in Richmond, a Vancouver suburb. Both the Olympic and Paralympic Games are being organized by the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC). The 2010 Winter Olympics will be the third Olympics hosted by Canada, and the first by the province of British Columbia. Previously, Canada was home to the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta.

Following Olympic tradition, then Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan received the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. The flag was raised on February 28, 2006, in a special ceremony, and will be on display at Vancouver City Hall until the Olympic opening ceremony. The event will be officially opened by Governor General Micha?lle Jean.

The mascots for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games were introduced on November 27, 2007. Inspired by traditional First Nations creatures, the mascots include:

Miga ? A mythical sea bear, part orca and part kermode bear.

Quatchi ? A sasquatch, who wears boots and earmuffs.

Sumi ? An animal guardian spirit who wears the hat of the orca whale, flies with the wings of the mighty Thunderbird and runs on the strong furry legs of the black bear.

Mukmuk ? A Vancouver Island marmot.

Miga and Quatchi are mascots for the Olympic Games, while Sumi is the mascot for the Paralympic Games.

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mukmuk.jpg

15 winter sports events have been announced as part of the 2010 Winter Olympics. The eight sports categorized as ice sports are: bobsled, luge, skeleton, ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating, short track speed skating and curling. The three sports categorized as alpine skiing and snowboarding events are: alpine, freestyle and snowboarding. The four sports categorized as Nordic events are: biathlon, cross country skiing, ski jumping and nordic combined.

  1. Alpine skiing
  2. Biathlon
  3. Bobsleigh
  4. Cross-country skiing
  5. Curling
  6. Figure skating
  7. Freestyle skiing
  8. Ice hockey
  9. Luge
  10. Nordic combined
  11. Short track speed skating
  12. Skeleton
  13. Ski jumping
  14. Snowboarding
  15. Speed skating

Last time in Turin, Italy, it was Germany who finished on top with a total of 29 medals which included 11 golds. Can they do it again this time or will some other country power ahead and take home the most medals in Vancouver?

Crazysah

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Ill only be watching this for the location (I love Vancouver, I wanna live there) and the fact that I love watching Ice Hockey. Not interested in the Olympics at all otherwise :p

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For those who care to watch the olympic events online [streaming], they can do so for free at these web sites [Flash and/or Silverlight free plug-in(s) must be installed on the client computers]:

Canada:

http://www.cbc.ca/olympics/

UK:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/olympic_games/vancouver_2010/

USA:

http://www.nbcolympics.com/

Viewers may have to use a computer IP located physically in their respective country [or at least their ISP's] to be allowed to stream.

Flash:

http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/alternates/

Silverlight:

http://www.silverlight.net/

HTH

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Vancouver transforms into Olympic wonderland

In the world of travel, I sell a "magical" place where it is said you can wish upon a star and every dream you have ever dared to dream really can come true.

Unfortunately, at this very moment, that place of dreams is not Vancouver. Their song is one of blood, sweat and tears, and it all started in 2003 at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee in Prague.

Would you believe it took two rounds of voting before a mere three-vote differential gave the world's greatest winter sporting event for the year 2010 to the amazing city of Vancouver instead of the little-known city of Pyeongchang, South Korea, a ski area just 60 miles from the demilitarized zone. In order to pressure the committee, Pyeongchang's supporters argued that winning the Olympic bid would help reunify the Koreas. How such a photo-finish decision was ever required seems incredible to me.

If you have ever been to Vancouver, the cold facts are there. It is one of the few cities in the world where you can go snow skiing and sailing on the same day. This vibrant, clean and sophisticated city, which is the gateway to the Pacific Rim, has everything necessary to host such a world venue, and for the last seven years, city leaders have worked diligently to prove just that and the stage seems to be set.

The city's transportation systems has been improved. Shops, restaurants and hotel staff have undergone extensive training. Security challenges have been addressed. New facilities have been built with additional signage added for the influx of international visitors. The BC Place Stadium, the first ever indoor arena for these winter games, has been completed to host the opening and closing ceremonies.

And right on cue, the Olympic Torch is almost there. After a 106-day journey that began in Athens, the torch is slowly making its way across Canada and rallying local support. It is set to make its debut in BC Place Stadium on Feb. 12, and the 2010 Winter Olympics will begin. The Olympics will primarily take place in two areas around Vancouver at Whistler.

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Mother Nature Not Cooperating at Olympics

Vancouver Officials Relying on Artificial Snow, Hay as Rain Pelts Ski Venue

As much of the American south copes with heavy snow, not to mention frigid temperatures, Olympic organizers in Vancouver, Canada, can only wish they were so lucky. Sandra Hughes reports.

What happens if you throw a Winter Olympics and the snow doesn't show up? Or worse yet it rains relentlessly? That's the problem facing officials in Vancouver, reports CBS News Correspondent Sandra Hughes.

With less than two weeks to go before the opening ceremonies, Olympic organizers in Vancouver are sweating. Warmer than average temperatures last month have produced more rain than snow at one of the main venues.

The problem is on Cypress Mountain just outside Vancouver where the free-style skiing and snow boarding events are planned and where it feels a lot like spring.

"You know, my garden has crocuses coming out already," said Douw Steyn, a meteorlogist at the University of British Columbia.

The warm weather has made a natural accumulation of snow at lower elevations impossible, so artificial snow from higher up is being brought in. So far more than 300 truckloads have arrived. Helicopters are being used to drop some 800 bales of hay which will be used under the snow to shape the slope. There's plenty of snow at nearby Whistler Mountain, which is at a higher elevation and is the site for most of the alpine skiing events.

"We have enough snow on the mountain to do what we need to do," said Tim Gayda of the Vancouver Olympic Organzing Committee.

Experts blame the wacky weather on el Ni?o.

"The temperatures have been higher than normal, so what falls does not fall as snow," Steyn said.

Forecasters measuring Pacific Ocean warming trends knew the el Ni?o effect was on its way back in july of last summer, but even then was too late to re-arrange venues.

"Historically you just never know with Winter Olympics weather," said Olympic historian David Wallechinsky.

At the 1964 Austrian games, the army had to be called in to haul snow down from the mountaintop. At the 1988 Nagano games there was too much snow.

"You're going to find the International Olympic Committee demanding of organizing committees for the Winter Olympics 'What's your contingency plan in case there's not enough snow?'" Wallechinsky said.

For now, no one is blaming global warming for Vancouver's water woes, and the athletes say they're ready to compete, even on a half pipe made of hay.

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Volunteer army in place for Vancouver Winter Olympics

VANCOUVER, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Much like Beijing Olympic Games two years ago, volunteers will be the "backbone"of the Vancouver Winter Olympics which is set to begin in less than two weeks.

Unlike Beijing which featured about 100,000 volunteers for its successful hosting of the Summer Olympics (70,000 volunteers) and the Paralympic Games (30,000 volunteers), the Canadian city's numbers are a modest 31,000 for its staging of the 21st Winter Olympics.

Allen Vansen, vice-president of workforce operations and integrations for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (Vanoc), said about 25,000 volunteers had been recruited for the Games beginning on February. 12, and another 6,000 for the Paralympics next month.

With about 77,000 applications received from volunteer hopefuls (as opposed to an Olympic record 560,000 in Beijing), a team of about 60 people had handled the interview process in a "collaborative team effort right across the (Vanoc) organization".

"The volunteers are absolutely the backbone of the Games. Without the volunteer community and the 25,000 strong that have confirmed roles for us the Games certainly wouldn't be possible," Vansen said. ?We are very fortunate to have had such a large interest in people wanting to volunteer."

According to Vanoc, 95 percent of the volunteers come from Canada, with the home province of British Columbia accounting for 83 percent. Unlike the thousands of youthful volunteers so prevalent around the streets of Beijing in 2008, 55 percent of Vancouver volunteers are 45 years old or older. Of the youngest, 13 percent are between 19 and 24 years old.

With women accounting for 55 percent of the volunteers, Vansen adds more than 20 percent of the recruits were fully bilingual in English and French. While the prevalence of Canada's two official languages among the recruits will undoubtedly please the International Olympic Committee, an organization with strong French ties, great attention has also gone into recruiting Mandarin speakers, a language that is increasingly on the rise in Vancouver, for years a Cantonese stronghold.

"It's one of the unique things of Canada, and particularly the Lower Mainland of B.C., that we have such a diverse and multicultural area that it has been relatively an easy pool of volunteers to pull from. We have been very fortunate from that perspective."

One volunteer assigned to help the China delegation and its team of 91 athletes is Kalene Lee Hui-tung (Li Xiaotong). Fresh out of the University of British Columbia where she earned a commerce degree majoring in transportation and logistics, the 24-year-old Hong Kong native, who has been living in Vancouver for five years, called the chance to volunteer a "once in a lifetime opportunity".

"The Olympics don't happen all the time when you are in the country. I really wanted to be a part of this experience and be involved in a big operation like this and see how it is organized."

Based in the ski resort of Whistler for the duration of the Games, Lee will be working as a National Olympic Committee (NOC) assistant for Team China.

"There are a lot of transportation logistics things going on with the Olympics, so it is a really good experience. I'm volunteering for the NOC services so it involves lot of logistical things I will be taking care of. I'll help (Team China) with their administration duties, errands they have to run, basically be their go-to person."

The native Cantonese speaker added the experience would also provide her with a valuable chance to improve her Mandarin.

"I'm very excited about being a host person to welcome the Chinese team. I'll try to do my best to help them so they can win more. I remember watching the Beijing Olympics and it was really exciting. It gave China the opportunity to welcome the world. I heard the Water Cube (aquatic venue) and the Bird's Nest (Olympic Stadium) were really nice and the architecture was spectacular."

"I'm looking forward to the Vancouver Games. I'm ready for it. I expect to be really busy."

Others looking forward to the Olympics include a unique group of about 4,000 international volunteers. With applications received from more than 120 countries and territories, this group accounts for about five percent of the total volunteers and they come at their own expense.

Among them are citizens from the United States, Switzerland, Russia, China, New Zealand, Mexico, Japan, Italy, Britain, Germany and Australia.

"This has become a bit of a hobby for them, if you will, and (they) have come from a number of different Games," Vansen said. "Some of them have done Salt Lake (2002), Turin (2006) and now Vancouver. There are others who have been around in Sydney (2000) and even before then."

This elite group of international volunteers is especially prominent in special roles, be it in having experience and knowledge of a particular sport, language skills, interpretation for athletes and national delegations, or in technology or anti-doping, among others.

"If you look at people who work in our Alpine courses, as an example, they are people who have experience and are used to working in a very controlled, strict environment that is a speed course, a downhill course they're used to. They know the protocols of when the competition is on, when they can and can't move on the hill, those sorts of things," Vansen said.

"While it may seem like it is a skiing role, it's actually a rather specialized role in understanding the implications of how that works, working with the team, clearing the snow in the right areas, how to slick down a very icy and tricky course. You can carry that through to most of our sports where there are very specialized skills required to operate those fields of play."

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Weatherwise, what can you expect from Vancouver? While the rest of Canada is buried in snow, we enjoy a rainy season. I think that we dipped below freezing a few times in December, but that is just unseasonable weather. Right now, it is roughly 9 degrees Celsius (at eight pm), which is a tad cold for Vancouverites. There was a couple days of snow, too, this year (a little more than normal), but luckily the rain washed it all away. What were they thinking? Yes, they do speak of record warm temperatures, but this is still a fairly normal winter. I remember January 2005 with temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius. Whistler may be different, but this is not a winter city.

In any case, I cannot wait until the Olympics are over. I do not care about them and I do not want them here. I will be doing what many Vancouverites are choosing to do: Leaving town and not hearing a word about the whole event.

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I'm a Canadian myself and the Beijing Olympics could still be fresh in everybody's mind. It's going to be tough to beat, let alone match, the spectacle that was the most recent summer Olympics.

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Can't wait for this. I love the Winter Olympics.

Yeah same here. Plus the Indian presence is at its best ever even though we have only 3 participants. Our luge guy is our best hope for a medal.

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out of all the sports i am only interested in:

1.Alpine skiing

2.Biathlon

4.Cross-country skiing

7.Freestyle skiing

10.Nordic combined

Cant wait for it :)

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hockey.(gold or nothing boys, GOLD) snowboarding, skying, skeleton and bobsleigh. speed skating is sweet too.

and i hope patrick chan kicks butt in figure skating, i love that kid. FFA500"][/color]

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Ill only be watching this for the location (I love Vancouver, I wanna live there) and the fact that I love watching Ice Hockey. Not interested in the Olympics at all otherwise :p

You should come live here, it's awesome :)

I can't wait for the Olympics, but there traffic here right now is INSANE!!! lol

I'm going to the Heineken Holland House and some dutch DJ's are playing for 4000 people free almost every night apparently.

Partayyy!! What a couple weeks of partying it's going to be here..

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