XXI Olympic Winter Games Held in Vancouver, British Columbia
The 2010 Winter Olympics, officially the XXI Olympic Winter Games or the 21st Winter Olympics, were a major international multi-sport event held from February 12–28, 2010 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with some events held in the suburbs of Richmond, West Vancouver and the University Endowment Lands, and in the resort town of Whistler. Approximately 2,600 athletes from 82 nations participated in 86 events in fifteen disciplines. Both the Olympic and Paralympic Games were being organized by the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC). The 2010 Winter Olympics were the third Olympics hosted by Canada and the first by the province of British Columbia. Previously, Canada hosted the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta.
Following Olympic tradition, then-Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan received the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. The flag was raised on February 28, 2006 in a special ceremony and was on display at Vancouver City Hall until the Olympic opening ceremony. The event was officially opened by Governor General Michaëlle Jean.
For the first time, Canada won gold in an "official" sport at an Olympic Games hosted at home, having failed to do so at both the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary (although Canada won a gold medal in the "demonstration-sport" of curling in Calgary).
Canada clinched first overall in gold medal wins on the second to last day of competition and became the first host nation since Norway in 1952 to lead the gold medal count. With 14, Canada broke the record for the most gold medals won at a single Winter Olympics, which was 13, set by the former Soviet Union in 1976 and Norway in 2002. The United States won the most medals in total, their second time doing so at the Winter Olympics, and broke the record for the most medals won at a single Winter Olympics, with 37, which was previously held by Germany in 2002 at 36 medals. Athletes from Slovakia and Belarus won the first Winter Olympic gold medals for their nations.
Who knew? Canada has rocked the Vancouver Olympics in a way nobody anticipated.
The most medals, not the most gold, was the stated goal of the Own the Podium program. Canada fell well short in the first, but was nailing the second by the penultimate day of the Games on Saturday.
The home team was assured of winning the most gold medals in the 2010 Winter Games with 13, and had a chance at a 14th heading into Sunday's men's hockey final against the U.S. With three medal events remaining, Germany was second Saturday with 10 gold.
The three mascots and a sidekick for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver were inspired by traditional First Nations creatures, and introduced Tuesday to 800 schoolchildren at the Bell Performing Arts Centre in Surrey, B.C.
Miga is a mythical First Nations sea bear that is part killer whale and part Kermode spirit bear.
Miga was based on the legends of the Pacific Northwest First Nations of orca whales that transform into bears when they arrive on land, but is also a snowboarder.
Quatchi is a sasquatch, but a shy and gentle giant, that loves all winter sports, and is especially fond of hockey and dreams of becoming a world-famous goalie.
The third mascot, Sumi, is an animal-guardian spirit who wears the hat of the orca whale, flies with the wings of the mighty Thunderbird and runs on the furry legs of the black bear.
The three creatures' sidekick is Mukmuk, a rare Vancouver Island marmot.