Can you visit the Vancouver Olympics buildings, venues and monuments after the Winter Games? The 2010 Olympics took place in nine competition venues and 12 stadiums, spread over 120 km in downtown Vancouver, Whistler and Richmond, BC.
Yes, most of the Olympic venues are open for visitors. Better yet, you can ski, skate, snowboard and swim at the same ski runs, ice rinks and pools used by Olympic athletes.
Afterward, eat at restaurants where Olympic medal winners dined, party at the clubs where athletes celebrated their victories and stroll through the Olympic neighborhoods where they stayed during the Winter Games.
To relive the excitement of the Vancouver Olympics gold medal men's and women's hockey games, get Canucks tickets for an NHL game at Rogers Arena (formerly called GM Place). During the 2010 Winter Games, it was called Canada Hockey Place.
To see a major junior ice hockey game, watch the Vancouver Giants play at Pacific Coliseum, the location for figure skating and short track speed skating competitions during the Olympics.
You can also see the UBC Thunderbirds play hockey at Thunderbird Arena. University of British Columbia Thunderbird Arena added a new practice rink and a new competition arena with 7,500 seats for the Winter Games. It was used as a venue for Olympic hockey and Paralympic sledge hockey.
Richmond Olympic Oval was the location for Olympic speed skating competitions. The eco-friendly building has a wooden wave-shaped roof, which redirects rainwater for plumbing and landscaping. Surplus heat from making ice heats the Richmond Olympic Oval.
The Lower Mainland community centre has skating rinks, ball courts and a fitness centre. Richmond Olympic Oval is now a fitness center, open to the public for skating, soccer, basketball, pilates and yoga.
Olympic curling and Paralympic wheelchair curling competitions took place at the Vancouver Olympic Centre. Located in Riley-Hillcrest, south of downtown Vancouver, the Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre offers views of both downtown Vancouver and the North Shore mountains.
Solar energy powers the Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre, along with electricity and natural gas. An envelope insulates the eco-friendly building, which was built to LEED standards.
After the 2010 Winter Games, the Vancouver Olympic Centre became a community center. The public can swim in pools at the Aquatic Center. It also houses curling sheets, hockey rinks, a gym and a library.
Cypress Mountain was the location for 2010 Olympics and Paralympics mogul skiing events, aerials, ski cross, halfpipe (snowboard), parallel giant slalom (snowboard) and snowboard cross competitions. To get to Cypress Mountain, drive 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver to the North Shore.
Cypress Mountain offers views of Vancouver, the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountain range, from the 3,940-foot top of the Eagle Express chairlift. To follow the Olympic ski and snowboard cross runs, turn right and ski down the blue Fork run.
The Trumpeter black diamond run was the location of the snowboard parallel and giant slalom Olympic events. To ski this Olympic course, turn left after getting off the Eagle Express Chairlift at the top.
Olympic athletes stayed at the Vancouver Olympic Village, Millennium Water, located at Southeast False Creek Waterfront Park.
You can walk through the Olympic Village, from Science World toward Granville Island, by following the False Creek seawall. Highlights include the new community centre and the historic Vancouver Salt Building, which houses a restaurant, coffee shop and pub.
The Olympic Cauldron, located at Jack Poole Plaza in downtown Vancouver, and the inukshuk statue in English Bay are great spots for photos in front of Vancouver Olympics emblems.
After the Winter Games, it's easier to get reservations at Vancouver restaurants where Olympic medal winners and sports celebrities dined. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, gold medal-winning ice dancers, celebrated at Il Giardino.
The Canadian men's hockey team dined at DB Bistro Moderne, which is a Vancouver branch of the New York restaurant owned by Daniel Boulud. Stephen Colbert ate moule frites at Chambar Restaurant.
Wayne Gretzky and his wife, Janet, enjoyed brunch in the Shangri-La Hotel, at MARKET by Jean-Georges. Jamie Salé and David Pelletier, former Olympic gold medal skaters, partied at Opus Hotel.
According to Tourism Vancouver, US vice-president Joe Biden, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, actor George Clooney and supermodel Cindy Crawford most likely stayed at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
US snowboarder Shaun White and NBA star Steve Nash partied at Republic, a nightclub on Granville Street.
Although Vancouver has a population of 560,000 and 2.1 million in the metropolitan area, most Olympic sports venues are within walking and cycling distance of downtown.