Plan ahead for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics

All of the Greater Vancouver venues are approximately two hours driving time from Hope

The 2010 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXI Olympic Winter Games or the 21st Winter Olympics, will be held February 12-28, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia with some of the events to be held nearby in the resort town of Whistler.

The 2010 Winter Paralympics, officially known as the X Paralympic Winter Games, will be celebrated in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia between March 12 to March 21, 2010.

Eighty-six winter sports events have been announced as part of the 2010 Winter Olympics. The eight sports categorized as ice sports are: bobsled, luge, skeleton, ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating, short track speed skating, and curling. The three sports categorized as alpine, skiing and snowboarding events are: alpine, freestyle and snowboarding. The four sports categorized as Nordic events are: biathlon, cross country skiing, ski jumping, and nordic combined. Five sports will be on the Paralympic Games program: Alpine Skiing, Nordic Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, Wheelchair curling, and Sledge Hockey.

All of the Greater Vancouver venues are approximately two hours in driving time from Hope while Whistler is a further 74 km north of Vancouver.

Visitors to Hope during the duration of the 2010 Winter Olympics and the Paralympics Games should inquire about accommodation and transportation options at the Hope Visitor Centre located at 919 Water Avenue. Staff will be able to answer questions about local viewing opportunities and celebrations related to the 2010 Games and assist with travel plans to the venues in Vancouver and Whistler. They will also have information about the Cultural Olympiad 2010 which is 60 days of arts and culture celebrations from January 22, through to March 21, 2010.

Prior to the start of the 2010 Games the Olympic Torch Relay will make its way through the Hope region.

The sacred Olympic Flame will be lit in an ancient ritual in Olympia, Greece, site of the first Olympic Games. After a short run through Greece, the Olympic Flame arrives in Athens, where it is handed over to a representative from Canada. From there, the Olympic Flame will make a trans-Atlantic flight and arrive in Victoria, B.C. on October 30th, 2009 signaling the start of the longest Olympic Torch Relay to take place in a single country. The Olympic Flame will travel more than 45,000 kilometres across Canada — some by land, air and water; and some by other means. The national relay route will link together over 1,000 communities and places of interest.

The Olympic Flame passes through the Hope region on the 101st day of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay on Sunday, February 7th, 2010. The Torch begins its day in Merritt and then travels to Hope via Princeton and along Highway #3 though Manning Park, and past Sunshine Valley before entering Hope. From here it continues on to Seabird Island and Harrison Hot Springs plus Agassiz via Highway #7 before traveling on to Rosedale and Chilliwack, finishing its day in Abbotsford. Route details and celebration plans will be released closer to the flame’s arrival so check with the Hope Visitor Centre & Museum Complex at 604-869-2021 as this date approaches.

Throughout 2009 and the start of 2010, the Spirit of BC-Hope Region Committee will be holding a variety of events to mark the countdown to the 2010 Games so be sure to check with the staff at the Hope Visitor Centre & Museum Complex at 919 Water Avenue for details about memorable occasions that you can include in your visit to the Hope Region during this final countdown year to the 2010 Games.

See www.spiritofbc.com and www.vancouver2010.com for additional information.