Sports fans visiting Vancouver have a unique opportunity to visit and, in some cases, use some of the same facilities that their favorite sports stars did at the 2010 Winter Games. Whether you’re a hockey fan or love to ski or snowboard, Vancouver and surrounds offer unusual sightseeing opportunities for visitors. Hit these highlights to enjoy an Olympic-themed sightseeing experience.
The first place any true Olympic fan should begin their journey in Vancouver is at the ROX: The Olympic Experience at the Richmond Oval. There, you not only learn about the history of the Games and view firsthand a collection of torches and medals, but you can test your athleticism in sport simulators and interactive challenges, as well as leave a message of hope for your current favourite athletes. This is often the highlight of Olympic things to do in Vancouver for many.
Next up, catch an NHL game at Rogers Arena (also known as the Canada Hockey Place), the home ice of the Vancouver Canucks. In the 2010 games, the ice hockey competition occurred here, marking the first time the Olympics used an NHL-sized ice rink (200 ft × 85 ft) rather than an international-sized rink (200 ft × 98 ft) for the games.
If skiing or snowboarding is more up your alley, visit Whistler Creekside to ski the same slopes they used for the alpine skiing competitions. Enjoy lunch at a homey cafe, then take the gondola up and swoosh your way back down on a powdery cloud.
Fans of freestyle skiing and snowboarding events will want to check out Cypress Mountain to tackle the same slopes as their heroes. The downhill area features 53 runs, six chair lifts and 600 skiable acres with 2010 vertical feet, while the nordic area on Hollyburn Mountain provides more than 19 km of cross-country ski trails. If you’re a night owl, then have no fear as the resort lights 7.5 km of the trails for night skiing as well.
The courageous and bold may want to try the fastest sliding track in the world at Whistler Sliding Centre. The Whistler Sliding Centre hosted the 2010 bobsled, skeleton, and luge events, but also was the site of an Olympic tragedy on February 12, 2010, when Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili experienced a fatal crash in a training run. His accident spawned two new safety measures: an extra 100 feet of wall added after the end of Turn 16, and a new ice profile. You can slide it yourself on a passenger bobsled in winter and summer, or on a skeleton ride in the winter.
For the un-athletic in your group, they can enjoy a little Olympic adventure in the village that housed the athletes and coaches. Olympic Village is now a mixed-use development featuring some of the greenest construction in the world – it offers apartment and condo living, as well as various shopping areas.
So what are you waiting for? Enjoy Vancouver from the perspective of an Olympic aficionado and begin the most epic adventure of your life!