The 2010 Vancouver Olympics Are Just Around The Corner

By John A Moore

The 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games are just around the corner. Worldwide excitement is starting to build. The Winter and Summer Olympics are some of the most watched sporting events in the world. The countdown has started and the opening ceremonies will commence in a little over two months from now. Vancouver was given the honor of these games over 5 years ago and has been busy getting ready ever since. Calgary 1988 was a huge success and everyone expects the same for Vancouver 2010.

The Winter Olympics are an international multi-sport event held every four years. They feature sports held on ice or snow. Events including alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, Nordic combined, ski jumping, and speed skating have been at every Winter Olympic Games since their inception. Other events such as luge, short track speed skating, bobsled, and freestyle skiing have been added over the years.

The Vancouver Olympic Games will be held in the City of Vancouver as well as a number of different places around Vancouver. Vancouver is located on the Pacific Ocean in the lower mainland portion of the province of British Columbia. The other British Columbia towns and villages that will assist in hosting the Winter Games are Richmond, Whistler, and West Vancouver.

The first ever Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix, France in 1924. These were the first Games dedicated solely to athletic pursuits on snow and ice. Prior to these games, hockey and figure skating had included as events in the Summer Olympics. Since that time, the Games have been held every four years with the exception of 1940-48 due to World War II. From 1924 until 1992, the Winter Games and Summer Olympics were always held in the same year. In 1992, in an attempt for a larger audience, the Winter Games split from the Summer Games.

The Winter Olympics are considerably smaller than the Summer Olympics. There are much fewer events in the Winter Games and there is a full week less of competition. There are also fewer countries participating. Fewer countries participating make sense as all of the completions take place on either ice or snow and there are many countries that naturally have neither of these surfaces. With that said there are a number of typically tropical countries that do participate. The most famous of these tropical competitors is the Jamaican bobsled team.

In anticipation of the Vancouver Olympics, the Canadian Olympic Association developed a program with the lofty goal of Canadian athletes achieving more Olympic medals than ever before. This program has been called "Own the Podium" and has been in effect over the past number of years. The results of this program will be seen at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. - 31496

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