2010 Olympic Winter Games at Vancouver
Both Vancouver and Whistler gained new facilities for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, including the Whistler Sliding Sports Centre (for bobsled, skeleton and luge), Whistler Olympic Park (ski jumping, Nordic combined, cross-country skiing and biathlon), the Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre (curling; now called the Hillcrest Centre) and the Richmond Olympic Oval (long track speed skating). The Games also spurred several important infrastructure projects, including the Sea-to-Sky Highway upgrade and the construction of the rapid transit Canada Line. In total, the Games cost about $7 billion, including $1.9 billion in operating costs for the Games themselves. It was one of the costliest Winter Games in history, although less expensive in terms of sports-related costs compared to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, the 2018 Games in PyeongChang and the 2006 Games in Torino.
The opening ceremonies, which took place at BC Place Stadium on 12 February 2010, began with a dedication to Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, who had died earlier in the day during a training run at the Whistler Sliding Sports Centre. Since the Games took place in the traditional territories of the Lil’wat, the Musqueam, the Squamish and the Tsleil-Waututh, the ceremonies included an official welcome from these Four Host First Nations.
The cultural segment included performances by Indigenous youth dancers and Canadian musicians Bryan Adams, Nelly Furtado, k.d. lang, Nikki Yanofsky, Ashley MacIsaac, Measha Brueggergosman, Sarah McLachlan and Joni Mitchell, as well as poetry by Shane Koyczan and narration by actor Donald Sutherland. The Olympic flag was carried in the opening ceremonies by a contingent of Canadian icons: Bobby Orr, Barbara Ann Scott-King, Anne Murray, Jacques Villeneuve, Betty Fox (mother of Terry Fox), Roméo Dallaire, Julie Payette and Sutherland. The Olympic torch was carried by Steve Nash, Nancy Greene Raine, Rick Hansen and Catriona Le May Doan, while Wayne Gretzky lit the Olympic cauldron. Speed skater Clara Hughes was the flag bearer for the Canadian team, while women’s hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser recited the Olympic Athletes’ Oath and Governor General Michaëlle Jean officially declared the Olympic Winter Games open.
Alexandre Bilodeau made Canadian sports history on 14 February 2010 when he became the first Canadian to win an Olympic gold medal in Canada. Bilodeau placed first in the men’s moguls competition, becoming the second Canadian men’s mogulist to win Olympic gold, following Jean-Luc Brassard at the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer. In women’s moguls, Jennifer Heil won silver, becoming the first Canadian freestyle skier to win multiple career Olympic medals. Heil had previously won gold at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino.
Ski cross made its Olympic debut at the 2010 Vancouver Games, with Canadian Ashleigh McIvor winning gold. She was the first of three consecutive Canadian Olympic gold medalists in women’s ski cross; Marielle Thompson won at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi and Kelsey Serwa at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang.
Speed Skating (Long Track and Short Track)
Canadians won 10 medals, including four gold, in long track and short track speed skating at the 2010 Games. This was over one third of the 26 medals Team Canada won in Vancouver.
In short track speed skating, Charles Hamelin and Franҫois-Louis Tremblay won gold and bronze respectively in the men’s 500m. They also teamed up with Franҫois Hamelin, Guillaume Bastille and Olivier Jean to win the men’s 5000m relay. Tremblay became the third Canadian male Olympian to win five career Olympic medals, following middle distance runner Phil Edwards and short track speed skater Marc Gagnon.
In women’s short track speed skating, Marianne St-Gelais won two Olympic silver medals, an individual medal in the women’s 500m and a team medal in the women’s 3000m relay with Jessica Gregg, Kalyna Roberge and Tania Vicent. Jessica Gregg was the daughter of five-time Edmonton Oilers Stanley Cup champion Randy Gregg and Canadian Olympic speed skater Kathy Vogt.
In men’s long track speed skating, Denny Morrison, Mathieu Giroux and Lucas Makowsky won a surprise gold medal for Canada in the men’s team pursuit. In women’s long track speed skating, Canadians won four medals, one gold, one silver and two bronze. In the women’s 1000m, Christine Nesbitt had a winning time of 1:16.56, beating Annette Gerritsen of the Netherlands by only two hundredths of a second.
Meanwhile, Kristina Groves made Canadian sports history by becoming the first Canadian long track speed skater to win multiple medals in two consecutive Olympic Winter Games. At the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Groves won silver in the women’s 1500m and bronze in the women’s 3000m. She previously won silver in the women’s 1500m and the women’s team pursuit at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino.
It was also a memorable Olympic Winter Games for Canadian flag bearer Clara Hughes, who made Canadian sports history by winning the bronze medal in the women’s 5000m. It was Hughes’s sixth career Olympic medal (four in speed skating and two in cycling), which tied her with speed skater Cindy Klassen for the most Olympic medals won by a Canadian.
On 16 February 2010, Maëlle Ricker won gold in women’s snowboard cross, becoming the first Canadian woman to win a gold medal at an Olympic Games in Canada and the first Canadian woman to win gold in snowboarding.
In men’s snowboarding, Jasey-Jay Anderson became the oldest gold medalist in Olympic snowboarding history when he won the men’s parallel giant slalom at age 34. Bronze medallist Mathieu Bozzetto of France was 36 years old, making him the oldest Olympic snowboarding medalist in history.
Mike Robertson won the Olympic silver medal in men’s snowboard cross. It was Robertson’s final major snowboarding competition (in September 2010, he suffered a concussion while training in New Zealand, ending his competitive career at age 25).
Sliding Sports (Bobsled and Skeleton)
For the first time in Olympic history, bobsledders from the same nation won gold and silver in women’s bobsled. Canadians Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse won gold, while Helen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown won silver. Moyse became the first woman from Prince Edward Island to win an Olympic medal. (Bobsledder Dave McEachern became the first Olympic champion from Prince Edward Island when he won a gold medal with Pierre Lueders in two-man bobsled at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano.)
In men’s bobsled, Lyndon Rush, David Bissett, Lascelles Brown and Chris le Bihan won bronze. It was Canada’s first four-man bobsled medal since the 1964 Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck, when Canada shocked the sports world and won Olympic gold.
Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir made figure skating history on 22 February 2010 by becoming the first ice dance team from North America to win Olympic gold. Performing to romantic music from Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, the 20-year-old Virtue and 22-year-old Moir also became the youngest figure skaters to win an Olympic gold medal in ice dance.
Canadian Joannie Rochette won bronze in the ladies’ event in what was a bittersweet triumph. Only two days before Rochette was set to compete her short program, her mother, Thérèse Rochette, died of a heart attack in Vancouver. Despite her loss, Rochette decided to compete, dedicating her performance to her mother. She delivered a career-best short program score of 71.36 points. Rochette won Olympic bronze comfortably by 12.49 points. She was later chosen as flag bearer for Team Canada in the Closing Ceremonies of the Games and received the 2010 Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as Canada’s top female athlete later in the year.
For the second consecutive Olympic Winter Games, Canada won the Olympic gold medal in men’s curling. The Edmonton-based team of skip Kevin Martin, third John Morris, second Marc Kennedy, lead Ben Hebert and fifth Adam Enright had a perfect record of 11 wins and zero losses and outscored their opposition 87–42. Canada defeated France 12–5, Denmark 10–3 and China 10–3 in the round robin and beat Sweden 6–3 in the semifinal and Norway 6–3 in the gold medal game.
In women’s curling, Canada won the silver medal. The Calgary-based team of skip Cheryl Bernard, third Susan O’Connor, second Carolyn Darbyshire-McRory, lead Cori Bartel and fifth Kristie Moore had a record of eight wins and one loss in the round robin with their only defeat to China by a score of 6–5. In the semifinals, Canada narrowly beat Switzerland 6–5 before losing 7–6 to Sweden in the gold medal game.
For the second time in three Olympic Winter Games, Canada won gold in men’s and women’s hockey. The Olympic women’s hockey tournament was very popular, with 162,419 fans attending — the highest attendance ever at an international women’s hockey tournament.
The Canadian women won all five of their games and outscored their opponents 48–2. In the elimination games, Team Canada played stellar defense as they defeated Finland 5–0 in the semifinal and the United States 2–0 in the gold medal game. Canadian Meghan Agosta led the tournament in scoring with 15 points (nine goals and six assists), and Hayley Wickenheiser and Caroline Ouellette each led the tournament in assists with nine. Agosta was named the tournament’s most valuable player and best forward, while Shannon Szabados (who gave up only one goal in 180 minutes) was the top goaltender.
The Olympic men’s hockey tournament generated massive interest. Canada went through the preliminary round with a record of two wins and one loss. They defeated Norway 8–0 and Switzerland 3–2 in a shootout before losing 5–3 to the United States. The loss to the Americans forced Canada to play in the qualification playoff, where they beat Germany 8–2. In the quarterfinals, Canada beat Russia 7–3 and in the semifinals, Canada narrowly beat Slovakia 3–2.
Canada defeated the United States 3–2 in the gold medal game, with Sidney Crosby scoring “The Golden Goal” in overtime. It was Canada’s 14th gold medal of the Games, setting a new record for the most gold medals at a single Olympic Winter Games. It also set a record in TV viewership, with 16.6 million Canadians watching the game — this made it the most watched television program in Canadian history.
The tournament’s top forward was Canada’s Jonathan Toews, who had one goal and seven assists for eight points. Crosby, Jarome Iginla, Dany Heatley and Ryan Getzlaf averaged a point per game for seven points each. It was also a strong tournament for Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo, who had a record of five wins and zero losses, with one shutout and a goals-against average of 1.76.
Like the gold medal game in men’s hockey, the closing ceremonies brought in huge television ratings. A total of 14.3 million Canadians watched the event, making it the second most watched program in Canadian television history. The ceremonies, held at BC Place Stadium, included musical performances by Neil Young and Michael Bublé, as well as appearances by William Shatner, Catherine O’Hara and Michael J. Fox.
Team Canada Statistics
Team: 202 athletes (114 men, 88 women)
Medals: 26 (14 gold, 7 silver, 5 bronze)
Rank: 3rd (overall medal count)
|Figure Skating (ice dance)||Gold|
|Alexandre Bilodeau||Freestyle Skiing (men’s moguls)||Gold|
|Ashleigh McIvor||Freestyle Skiing (women’s ski cross)||Gold|
|Ice Hockey (men)||Gold|
|Ice Hockey (women)||Gold|
|Short Track Speed Skating (men’s 5000m relay)||Gold|
|Charles Hamelin||Short Track Speed Skating (men’s 500m)||Gold|
|Jon Montgomery||Skeleton (men’s)||Gold|
|Jasey-Jay Anderson||Snowboarding (men’s parallel giant slalom)||Gold|
|Maëlle Ricker||Snowboarding (women’s snowboard cross)||Gold|
|Speed Skating (men’s team pursuit)||Gold|
|Christine Nesbitt||Speed Skating (women’s 1000m)||Gold|
|Jennifer Heil||Freestyle Skiing (women’s moguls)||Silver|
|Marianne St-Gelais||Short Track Speed Skating (women’s 500m)||Silver|
|Short Track Speed Skating (women’s 3000m relay)||Silver|
|Mike Robertson||Snowboarding (men’s snowboard cross)||Silver|
|Kristina Groves||Speed Skating (women’s 1500m)||Silver|
Chris le Bihan
|Joannie Rochette||Figure Skating (women’s singles)||Bronze|
|Franҫois Louis-Tremblay||Short Track Speed Skating (men’s 500m)||Bronze|
|Kristina Groves||Speed Skating (women’s 3000m)||Bronze|
|Clara Hughes||Speed Skating (women’s 5000m)||Bronze|