Vancouver has been preparing for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games for years. When I moved here in 2006, construction was well underway, and road closures were frustrating, making commuting challenging for many residents. One of the main routes into the city, Cambie Street, was closed to build a new subway, running between the airport and downtown. Granville St., one of the main downtown streets, was also closed to traffic while it was upgraded. Now the city boasts new and upgraded venues, a much-needed upgraded highway to Whistler, and a new convention centre.
As I write this, the Olympics are about half way done and have been a great success so far. There have been some problems – the major one being the weather. Vancouver had the warmest January since records were kept, which meant the Cypress Mountain venue for many skiing and snowboarding did not have enough snow! Snow had to be transported from other mountains to make sure the games could continue. It has been great for the fans though – mostly sunny and warm weather. Unprecedented numbers of people have been pouring into downtown to watch the many free concerts and cultural events, visit the pavilions, Olympic Cauldron, or just to hang out and party. There are huge celebrations going late into the night whenever Canada wins a medal!
The cost for putting on the games is unbelievable and many locals question whether it was a wise thing to do, while supporters point out that the long term benefits will outweigh the costs. Only time will resolve this debate. One thing is for sure, it is a great party – so if you are in Vancouver, you might as well get into the Olympic Spirit and enjoy the fun!
There have been some great photographic opportunities too!
Here are some more shots that I have taken during the Olympic Games: