Vancouver still enjoying Games legacies

Four years on from Vancouver 2010, the Canadian city continues to enjoy the legacies created by hosting the Winter Games, from sustainable community centres to public art, community involvement and transportation infrastructure.

Vancouver still enjoying Games legacies
© © 2012 / Comité International Olympique (CIO) / FURLONG, Christopher

In particular, new facilities that were built for the Games have provided very tangible, long-term legacies for the city thanks to planning that saw them designed, constructed, and converted with specific post-Games uses in mind.

The Richmond Olympic Oval, for instance, which hosted speed skating during the Games, has since been transformed into a community facility that includes an indoor track, two ice rinks, 18 badminton courts, 13 FIVB regulation volleyball courts, 10 FIBA regulation basketball courts, three FIFA regulation indoor football pitches, 16 international sized table tennis tables and a 2,300-square-foot fitness centre with stunning views of the North Shore mountains and Fraser River.

The curling venue at the Vancouver Olympic Centre, meanwhile, is now part of a one of the city's newest community centres, with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a skating rink, a fitness centre and a branch of the public library.

Vancouver’s transport infrastructure also enjoyed a boost as a result of the Games, with the city’s transit agency launching an ambitious expansion plan before the Games that included 48 new SkyTrain cars, a new SeaBus and 180 diesel-electric hybrid buses. The new Canada Line, built in time for the Games, now speeds travellers between Vancouver’s airport and downtown areas, while improvements to the Sea-to-Sky highway have also made travel from Vancouver to Whistler safer and faster.

Thanks to the city’s Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Programme, Vancouver’s cultural scene has also enjoyed a post-Games boost, thanks to the commissioning of a collection of light-based artworks and sculptural installations at locations around the city.

Visitors to the city can also still visit the Olympic cauldron next to the Vancouver Convention Centre, which is lit on special occasions to provide yet another reminder of the city’s Olympic experience.