The calm before the storm

10 Feb 2010

Vancouver Olympic venues to host explosive winter games

Speed is the essence of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver with bobsleigh, skeleton, speed skating, luge and snowboarding events each clocking up serious thrill points. Existing buildings have been modified and new buildings constructed to host this year’s Games which will take place in nine venues across four different areas of Vancouver: Whistler, the City of Richmond, the City of Surrey and the District of West Vancouver.

Cypress Mountain, located in the District of West Vancouver will host the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events. Modifications in preparation for the Games included the construction of a new in-ground half pipe, a snowmaking system and water reservoir, a new freestyle site for aerials and moguls, and a re-graded parallel slalom course. Building work on two temporary stadiums began in May 2006. In November 2006, the freestyle venue became the first 2010 Winter Games site to be ready for competition.

The 2010 Olympic Winter Games ice hockey tournaments will be staged in two venues — Canada Hockey Place and the UBC (University of British Columbia) Thunderbird Arena. Canada Hockey Place is one of the most active entertainment venues in North America. On June 7, 2006, VANOC (Vancouver Organising Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games) and the International Ice Hockey Federation announced that the 2010 ice hockey tournaments would be played on North American-size ice surfaces, rather than converting to the larger international size. This decision precluded any modifications to be made to the existing ice sheet.

VANOC secured an agreement with UBC to locate a new 7,200 capacity competition arena for the Olympic and Paralympic Games on the site of the existing Thunderbird Winter Sport Complex. The redevelopment included the refurbishment of the existing competition arena and the construction of two new ice sheets: one which will be used for the competition arena, and one that will be used for a future training ice sheet.

Located in a lively Vancouver community that boasts views of the local mountains, the Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre was constructed for the purpose of hosting the curling and wheelchair curling events. The new arena was constructed with temporary seating for 6,000 and an adjoining aquatic centre.

Key Facts

Sport in architecture

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