Vancouver 2010 Paralympics Guide

Comments 1 by Rebecca Bollwitt

The 2010 Winter Paralympic Games are coming to Vancouver, March 12th until the 21st, as our city hosts the world once again celebrating athletes who are the very best in their sport. In case you were wondering just what exactly the Paralympics entail, I thought I would put together this quick reference guide.

Paralympic History
“In 1948, Sir Ludwig Guttmann organized a sports competition involving World War II veterans with a spinal cord injury in Stoke Mandeville, England. Four years later, competitors from the Netherlands joined the games and an international movement was born. Olympic style games for athletes with a disability were organized for the first time in Rome in 1960, now called Paralympics.

In Toronto in 1976, other disability groups were added and the idea of merging together different disability groups for international sport competitions was born. In the same year, the first Paralympic Winter Games took place in Sweden.” – International Paralympic Committee

Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Cross-Country Skiing, Wheelchair Curling, Ice Sledge Hockey.


  • BC Place
  • Paralympic Village Vancouver
  • Paralympic Village Whistler
  • UBC Thunderbird Arena
  • Vancouver Paralympic Centre
  • Whistler Creekside
  • Whistler Media Centre
  • Whistler Medals Plaza
  • Whistler Paralympic Park
  • Events
    The Cultural Olympiad is still going strong as well, presenting performances until March 21st. Nightly medals ceremony concerts in Whistler are listed here.

    Pavilions & Attractions
    From my master list of pavilions the following will still be open:

  • Canada House: Until March 21st
  • LiveCity Downtown: Until March 21st
  • Canada’s Northern House: Until April 17th
  • Robson Square Ice Skating at GE Plaza: Until March 21st
  • CentrePlace Manitoba: Until March 21st
  • Olympic Line free streetcar: Until March 21st
  • Olympic cauldron in Coal Harbour
  • Cultural Olympiad: Until March 21st
  • Robson Square Zipline: Until March 21st (Daily 10am – 9pm)
  • Royal Canadian Mint: Until March 21st (at a new location, 350 W Georgia – Vancouver Public Library)
  • BC Hydro Power Smart Village: Until March 21st
  • BC Pavilion: Until March 21st
  • Transportation
    The following routes will continue to have “no stopping” regulations through March 21, 2010

  • Hastings St between Main St and Burrard
  • Smithe St between Expo St and Howe St
  • Nelson St between Thurlow St and Beatty St
  • King Edward Ave between Oak St and Sophia St
  • Cambie St between King Edward Ave and 37th Ave
  • 2nd/6th Ave between Hemlock St to Main St
  • Main St from 2nd Ave to Terminal Ave
  • There is a full Paralympics transportation plan available from the City of Vancouver.

    Event tickets start at around $15 or $20 so if you didn’t have the chance to go to an Olympic sporting event, this may be your chance to get in on some world-class athletic competition.

    Torch Relay
    The Paralympic Torch Relay will begin March 3, 2010 and conclude at the Opening Ceremony March 12th in Vancouver.

  • Ottawa, Ontario — Lighting Ceremony on March 3, 2010
  • Quebec City, Quebec — March 4, 2010
  • Toronto, Ontario — March 5, 2010
  • Esquimalt/Victoria, British Columbia — March 6, 2010
  • Squamish, British Columbia — March 7, 2010
  • Whistler, British Columbia — March 8, 2010
  • Lytton, British Columbia — March 9, 2010
  • Hope, British Columbia — March 9, 2010
  • Vancouver Paralympic Centre, British Columbia — March 10, 2010
  • Maple Ridge, British Columbia — March 10, 2010
  • UBC Thunderbird Arena, British Columbia — March 11, 2010
  • Vancouver (downtown), British Columbia — A 24-hour event will start around Robson Square in downtown Vancouver as the Paralympic Flame is continuously carried and passed between torchbearers — March 11, 2010
  • Vancouver (downtown), British Columbia — The 24-hour event continues and concludes around Robson Square, prior to the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games at BC Place — March 12, 2010
  • Torchbearers
    CBC’s Rick Mercer will represent the province of British Columbia as a torchbearer in the 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay Lighting Ceremony on March 3 in Ottawa. There will be other recognizable names along the way which you can look up online.

    The Opening Ceremony will not be aired live Friday night on CTV. According to their website: “The opening ceremonies will not be broadcast live. Instead, they’ll be tape-delayed by CTV until Saturday, and packaged with Canada’s first sledge-hockey match.”

    “The good news is that social media and the internet are picking up where traditional media is failing. Paralympic Sport TV — the Internet TV channel of the International Paralympic Committee — will offer free live broadcasts worldwide via Internet.” – Via Glenda Watson-Hyatt.

    Update There are some reports that the Opening Ceremony will air live only in BC. This is yet to be confirmed by CTV however News1130 has spoken with them. They have been assured that the Opening Ceremony will air live, locally.

    I have not been accredited to cover the Paralympics, due to late application, however this event will be a part of our city over the next month and anything that keeps the Olympic spirit alive is worth documenting and promoting in my books.

    Update: VANOC has approved my accreditation, so it looks like I’ll be able to cover this even more. Thanks for all the support!

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    1 Comment  —  Comments Are Closed

    1. disability aidsTuesday, May 18th, 2010 — 7:20am PDT

      This is a great post, not enough people understand the paralympic games and the history behind it. It’s pleasing that more TV coverage is now planned, particularly in England in 2012.

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