Vancouver 2010

Games History

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games were the second to be held in Canada, after Calgary in 1988.

Having hosted the 1988 Games and the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada had never won a gold medal on home-soil. Vancouver saw the breaking of this curse, with Alexandre Bilodeau pipping Australian Dale Begg-Smith for gold in the men's freestyle moguls.

This medal started a gold rush for the host nation, winning 14 golds and in doing so, breaking 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.

By far the most anticipated matching of the Games was the ice hockey gold medal match between the United States and Canada. Hockey is the nation's most popular sport, and the USA their biggest rival so when the two teams reached the final it was a match for the history books (neither made the final four years previously in Torino).

The game lived up to its billing as the teams traded opportunities throughout the game, finishing normal time with a 2-2 tie. It was superstar Sidney Crosby who scored the winning goal in overtime to give Canada their most sought-after gold of the Games. Their win was the first for a host nation in 30 years.

Fifteen disciplines across seven sports were contested at the 2010 Games. Ski cross was introduced as a discipline in freestyle skiing and was a successful crowd favourite with Swiss skier Michael Schmid taking out the men's event and Canadian Ashleigh McIvor, the women's.

One of the most heartfelt stories of the Games came from Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette. The 24-year-old from Quebec competed just days after her mother died of a heart attack. Her gutsy performance in the free skate event earned her the bronze medal behind gold medal favourite Kim Yu-Na of South Korea and silver medallist Mao Asada of Japan.

During the Games, the famous resort of Whistler was home to the alpine skiing, Nordic and sliding events. On the day of the Opening Ceremony, tragedy struck when Georgian luge athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili was killed during a training run, raising questions about the safety of the course and prompting organisers to implement quick modifications to the track.

More problems plagued the Games organisers as the other venue outside of Vancouver - Cypress Mountain - suffered from a serious lack of snow cover. Unseasonably warm weather conditions had meant that the picturesque venue was patchy at best. Snow was flown and trucked in from neighbouring mountains and all events went ahead at the venue although some tickets were cancelled when weather conditions made standing-room-only areas unsafe.

At the Opening Ceremony there were five final torchbearers: Rick Hansen, Catriona Le May Doan, Steve Nash, Nancy Greene and Wayne Gretzky.