Here are ten ways to relive the enthusiasm, excitement and national pride generated by hosting – or following – the Olympics.
Spend a day skiing or snowboarding with an Olympian, including mogals Gold Medalist Kristi Richards, following in their tracks down Whistler Blackcomb runs, learning expert techniques, and hearing their stories of success.
Brace for a dose of adrenaline at the Whistler Sliding Centre as you hop into a passenger bobsleigh or give skeleton a go. Race down part of the 1,450 metre-long (4,757 foot-long) ice track, the world’s fastest.
- I did this in Utah Olympic Park in Park City, site of the 2002 Winter Games (along with Salt Lake City), and it’s a once-in-a lifetime experience
Ski fast and shoot straight to test your biathlon multi-tasking skills of cross-country skiing and marksmanship—there are even biathlon classes for beginner’s at Whistler Olympic Park. Or simply enjoy cross-country skiing on nearly 90 kilometres (56 miles) of trails.
The Four Seasons Whistler’s SIDECUT Modern Steak + Bar is bringing back its popular 2010 “Torch Cocktail” to celebrate the 2018 Winter Games, but with a twist. It will be included in a trio of torch drinks including the absinthe cocktail launched for the Sochi 2014 Winter Games in Russia and a new creation to celebrate the upcoming PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games.
Sleep for cheap at the Whistler Athletes’ Centre, constructed for the Olympic and Paralympic athletes and officials. These days it offers affordable, hostel-style accommodation for groups and features a high-performance training centre and fitness classes.
Head to Cypress Mountain, Vancouver’s largest downhill resort. Cypress hosted all the freestyle skiing and snowboarding competitions—moguls, aerials, ski cross, half-pipe, snowboard cross, slopestyle, and giant parallel slalom—and is open for day, night, and cross-country skiing.
Explore Richmond’s Olympic Oval which hosted medal events in long track speed skating. Their Richmond Olympic Experience includes state-of-the-art Olympic sport simulators so you can feel the rush of flying off a ski jump, paddling a white-water kayak course, carving a line in a sit-ski, or zipping along a bobsleigh track.
Located in waterfront False Creek near downtown Vancouver, the Olympic Village initially housed athletes and Olympic officials. It’s now one of the world’s greenest communities and an increasingly trendy neighbourhood where a foodie walking tour was recently launched.
Also in downtown Vacouver, explore Stanley Park, with it’s spectacular collection of Native Peoples totem poles by the tribes of the Northwest, and be sure to dine on local fresh an smoked salmon.
The BC Sports Hall of Fame’s in BC Place Stadium—site of the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies—features the Vancouver 2010 Gallery with artefacts representing the nations who competed. Relive the excitement by standing on a real medal ceremonies podium and striking a medal-winning pose.
I love Vancouver, but I especially love skiing the slopes of Whistler and Blackcomb, and its wonderfully walkable resort village.
Read what I wrote about my favorite Canadian winter resorts for Orbitz.