Programming details released in January
Ten years ago the Whistler community of adventure seekers and sports enthusiasts came together for an unparalleled opportunity on the global stage as Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Now, it is time for the community to again pull out their red mittens, blue volunteer jackets, white torch bearer suits, and cow bells. Whistler will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the 2010 Games this February and March.
Throughout the two-month period, exciting programming will be underway at Whistler Public Library to bring the entire community together and provide a reunion for all who participated in the Games – from organizers, to volunteers, to torch bearers to the athletes who competed, to athletes who were inspired, to enthusiastic spectators and more.
“The magic that came to our mountain town during the incredible 27 days of the 2010 Games continues to permeate everything we do in both tangible and intangible ways,” said Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton. “We lived the dream, and history was made when the world came to our doorstep – it was a once in a lifetime opportunity that surpassed all expectations. Now, let’s celebrate as a community what the Games meant for Whistler, and reunite to relive that magic.”
Exact dates for the programming are February 12 to 28 and March 12 to 21, 2020.
Living the dream
During the 2010 Games, Whistler hosted Olympic and Paralympic Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and biathlon, as well as Olympic Nordic combined, ski jumping, bobsleigh, luge and skeleton.
As a small and diverse community of passionate people, Whistler was committed to making Canada proud. We wanted to see Canadian athletes on the podium, but we also wanted to celebrate as a global community.
Whistler embraced the 2010 Games as a community, inspired by the excellence of the athletes, the commitment of the volunteers and the amazing spirit in the hearts and minds of Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast.
From state-of the-art sporting venues that hosted nail-biting events to boisterous crowds celebrating, the 2010 Games saw residents and guests from around the globe come together to revel in the magic of winter sports. Pop stars rocked the crowd night after night, performers entertained in the streets and local artists played amid big name acts at medal ceremonies.
Records were shattered – history was made
3,500 Olympic and Paralympic athletes and officials called the Whistler Athletes Village home
26 Canadian Olympic medals – 14 Gold, 7 Silver and 5 Bronze
19 Canadian Paralympic medals – 10 Gold, 5 Silver and 4 Bronze
34 of 86 Olympic competition events hosted in Whistler
62 of 64 Paralympic competition events hosted in Whistler
Once in a lifetime memories
“Having the Winter Olympics in your own backyard is something special. To be an athlete competing in those Games was something else. Not many Olympians get to say that they competed at the Olympics on home soil and not many will get the chance. The experience was unforgettable: the country banding together to cheer us all on and the community fully made the 2010 Winter Olympics so very special. You can’t wipe the smile off my face when I think back to those Games. I can’t believe it was 10 years ago!”
— Mercedes Nicoll, four-time Olympian
“The build up to the 2010 Olympics got the whole town together as we watched Tyler Allison light the Olympic Flame in Whistler. Every day brought another highlight. The excitement in Whistler Olympic Plaza as athletes from all over the world received the medals that they worked a lifetime to achieve. The shows that went on almost every night to accompany the presentations. Standing at the side of the course as a member of the Medical Team for the Downhill skiing events and feeling the speed firsthand. Being touched by the beauty of the Callaghan when we watched Biathlon. And being in Vancouver at Granville and Georgia when Canada won the Gold Medal for Hockey, which was the final event, then carrying that excitement to the Closing Ceremony. Whenever I ski through the Timing Flats past the Olympic Rings on the Dave Murray Downhill, I think of being there for the events, and how lucky we were to experience the Olympics in Whistler.”
— Cathy Jewett, Chief Of Patrol for the Women’s Alpine Skiing
“Running the torch through Whistler Village was a magical moment that marks my lifeline. There is a pause when two torches meet – a fraction of silence before the ‘boom’ and the fire – and then you run! I ran, skipped, twirled and leapt. I was pregnant, fulfilled, and yet light on my feet, carried by the crowds and buoyant with the honour to represent that moment. Throwing high fives and high kicks, while stressing the security detail, I ran through an unruly path fueled by the human spirit of ten thousand new neighbours and joy. That night began the reality of what was to come, and it was the mystical Olympic spirit that journalists have woven into our living rooms through television and typewriters since we were kids. It started with one light. It was the awakening of the Games in the place we call home.”
— Heather Paul, Olympic torch bearer
Although the Games may be over, the magic and legacies it brought to this mountain town will last for generations to come. The legacies of the Games are both tangible and intangible. Among the many noteworthy legacies are:
- Olympic Venues: Whistler Olympic Plaza and Whistler Creekside are used today for the enjoyment of residents, visitors and high performance athletes.
- Sports Venues: Whistler Sliding Centre, Whistler Olympic Park, and Whistler Athletes' Centre, that provides training facilities and accommodation for athletes, operated by Whistler Sports Legacies Society.
- Cheakamus Crossing: 800 locals now call the former Athletes’ Village home. Plans are in place to expand Cheakamus Crossing to build more employee-restricted housing for the permanent resident workforce.
- First Nation partnerships with the Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation as two of the four Host First Nations were involved in planning and hosting the 2010 Games.
- Accessibility improvements: To host the Games, Whistler enhanced accessibility throughout the resort for people with all abilities.
- Lost Lake PassivHaus: Team Austria’s home base during the Games, the PassivHaus was donated by the Australian Passive House Group to the community of Whistler.
- Enhanced snow-making is available on Whistler Mountain as a result of Games investment.
- Transportation improvements: Sea to Sky Highway safety upgrades and capacity improvements were accelerated for the Games. During the Games, an incredible public transit system allowed everyone to experience just how reliable and accessible public transit can be.
- Whistler Olympic Plaza was developed to host performances and celebrations during the Games, including the Paralympic Closing Ceremony. Post-Games, the venue was transformed into a state-of-the-art outdoor performance facility and community space with a park and playground. It hosts Whistler’s Olympic Rings, Paralympic Agitos, Olympic Cauldron, panels commemorating every athlete who participated in the 2010 Winter Games and a special memorial for Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili.
- Community-wide knowledge and pride that Whistler residents’ entrepreneurial spirit, diverse skill-set and “can-do” attitude will help enable the community to achieve anything it sets out to accomplish.
Anniversary programming details to be revealed in January
Details on the programming for the 10th anniversary of the 2010 Games will be released in January.
The all-ages programming will be designed to bring the community together. The hub for the festivities will be Whistler Public Library, which was the Canada Whistler Olympic House / Paralympic House during the Games.
The celebrations will be made possible by the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) with support from Tourism Whistler, the Whistler Public Library and the Province of British Columbia’s Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT Hotel Tax.)
For more information on the 2010 Games in Whistler, visit whistler.ca/2010Games.