VANCOUVER (February 12, 2020) – It has been 10 years to the day since Catriona Le May Doan, Steve Nash, Nancy Greene and Wayne Gretzky lit the Olympic cauldron inside BC Place Stadium at the Opening Ceremony to officially kick-off the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010.
Vancouver 2010 is seen as one of the most successful Games for a host country in Olympic history. From Team Canada’s 14 gold medals which were the most ever won by one country at a Winter Games and where the 26 total medals were a Canadian high, to a transformational legacy that included the creation of a new funding strategy for sport and infrastructure that continues to thrive, Vancouver 2010 was a true turning point for sport in Canada.
The Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Olympic Foundation, Canadian Paralympic Committee and the Paralympic Foundation of Canada are partnering to celebrate the legacy of those Games.
The Vancouver 2010 10th Anniversary Celebration presented by RBC, Bell, Hudson’s Bay and Petro Canada is set to take place on February 22, 2020, in Vancouver and Olympic legends from those Games are excited to join the festivities.
Already the only athlete to ever win multiple medals at both the Summer and Winter Games, Clara Hughes was given the honour of carrying the Canadian flag into the Opening Ceremony. She went on to earn her sixth career Olympic medal, a bronze in long track speed skating’s 5000m, tying her as Canada’s most decorated Olympian.
“It’s hard to describe that moment 10 years ago. Carrying the Canadian flag into the stadium, I felt a deep feeling of pride and honour,” said Hughes. “I think it’s great that many of us will be able to relive that moment in Vancouver and I’m really looking forward to the celebration.”
Figure skater Joannie Rochette was selected to carry the flag at the Closing Ceremony, having shown incredible fortitude in winning bronze just days after the sudden death of her mother, who had travelled to Vancouver to watch her compete.
“I can’t really put into words the range of emotions I was feeling that day but it was one of the defining moments of my life,” said Rochette of her bronze medal-winning performance at Vancouver 2010. “And to have the home crowd on my side, to give me the strength and courage to go out on the ice and give it my all, is something I will never ever forget. It will be very special to share those memories again with fans later this month.”
A free public fan festival will be held at Jack Poole Plaza, the site of the Olympic Cauldron and part of the Vancouver Convention Centre’s West Building, which was the International Broadcast Centre during the Games. The festivities will be held from 11 a.m. PT to 6 p.m. PT and programming will includea headliner performance, highlights reliving moments of Vancouver 2010, autograph signing sessions, sport demonstrations and lighting of the Olympic cauldron. Confirmed Olympians and to attend the festival include Heather Moyse, Clara Hughes, Denny Morrison and Kelsey Serwa.
For freestyle skiing legend Alex Bilodeau, who became the answer to a trivia question as Canada’s first-ever Olympic gold medallist on home soil, the opportunity to spend time with a Vancouver community that embraced him is something he is looking forward to.
“At Vancouver 2010 I dedicated my performance to my brother Frédéric,” said Bilodeau. “Those that know a little bit about me know that my family played an integral role throughout my athletic career. There really is nothing like competing at home. The support and love I received from the Vancouver community during the Games really felt like I had a large extended family behind me. My brother and I look forward to seeing everyone again.”
Following the fan festival, a Celebration Gala will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre to support the next generation of Olympic and Paralympic athletes with a focus on BC-based athletes, through National Sport Organizations, the Canadian Olympic Foundation, the Paralympic Foundation of Canada and other sport partners. Programming will feature iconic Vancouver 2010 athletes, CBC Sports’ Scott Russell and Marie-José Turcotte, a performance of the iconic song ‘I Believe’ by Nikki Yanovsky and more. Confirmed Olympians and Paralympians attendance include Alex Bilodeau, Andrea Brousseau, Chandra Crawford, Josh Dueck, Sonja Gaudet, Alex Gough, Matthew Hallat, Jennifer Heil, Clara Hughes, Catriona Le May Doan, Heather Moyse, Joannie Rochette, Karolina Wisniewska, Lauren Woolstencroft and Tessa Virtue.
Led by co-chairs Canadian Olympic Committee President and four-time Olympian Tricia Smith, Canadian Paralympic Committee President Marc-André Fabien, John Furlong, CEO, Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and Darlene Poole, this event will honour the legacy of these Games and what they continue to mean to all Canadians.
“The Vancouver 2010 Games united the country through the power of a positive collective experience and created a legacy of venues, facilities and partnerships to the benefit of all Canadians,” said Smith. “The tenth anniversary will celebrate what Canadians are able to achieve when we pull together to do great things. It will also be a terrific opportunity to get together and dream about what is next.”
The Celebration Gala will be open to the public with the purchase of a table or a single ticket which can be done through vancouver2010.ca. Information regarding the Celebration silent Auction presented by Bell can also be found on the same website.
Josh Su, Specialist, Public Relations
Canadian Olympic Committee
Photi Sotiropoulos, Director, Communications and Media Relations
Canadian Olympic Committee