Four years ago, Vancouver was preparing for the most exciting event in the city’s history. As Sochi gets ready to host the 2014 Winter Games from February 7 to 23, it’s time to recapture that Olympic spirit here at home

Four years ago, Vancouver was preparing for the most exciting event in the city’s history. As Sochi gets ready to host the 2014 Winter Games from February 7 to 23, it’s time to recapture that Olympic spirit here at home

Four years ago, Vancouver was preparing for the most exciting event in the city’s history. As Sochi gets ready to host the 2014 Winter Games from February 7 to 23, it’s time to recapture that Olympic spirit here at home. 

From Canada’s first gold medal won on home soil by mogul skier Alex Bilodeau to Sidney Crosby’s game-winning overtime goal, there are so many unforgettable moments from the 2010 Winter Olympics. National pride soared as Canada captured a total of 14 gold medals, the most ever held by a host country at the Winter Games. This month, reminisce about our 2010 Games and bring Sochi to life by taking part in these Olympic activities around town.

Biathlon

Biathlon

Now until March 9

Whistler Olympic Park is offering biathlon lessons to take the mystery out of the often-misunderstood sport that pairs cross-country skiing with rifle shooting. In competition, athletes ski a route, up to 20 km, that’s interspersed with target-shooting rounds, and the fastest time wins. Take advantage of a two-hour ski-and-shoot package or a shorter 30-minute shooting lesson available for ages 13 and up.

Curling

Curling

Available year-round

Hurry hard! Canada has a proud curling history and at the 2010 Olympics our men took home the gold while our women earned the silver. So take part in a Canadian pastime by shouting and hurling rocks down the ice during a group curling lesson. For your chance to learn how it’s done, check out the lessons available at the Vancouver Curling Club (the actual ice used in the 2010 competitions), North Shore Winter Club and the Marpole Curling Club.

24 Hours of Winter

24 Hours of Winter

February 8 and 9

To celebrate the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Grouse Mountain opens for 24 uninterrupted hours of winter fun. You’ll be able to ski, snowboard and snowshoe around the clock, which means having the opportunity to watch the sun rise over the city as you make your way down the mountain. Additionally, there will be a torch relay and a kids’ hockey tournament to enjoy as you reminisce about your best memories from our own Winter Games.

Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink

Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink

Now until February 28

Remember how cool it was when Robson Square Ice Rink re-opened after 10 years just in time for the 2010 Olympics? Well, you can still skate al fresco in the city centre until the end of February, and it’s free if you bring your own equipment. Cheap helmet and skate rentals for all ages are available on-site, along with toasty hot chocolate to warm you up off the ice. The rink is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Bobsleigh

Bobsleigh

Now until March 30

Thrill-seekers can make like an Olympian by hurtling themselves 125 km per hour down the bobsleigh track at the Whistler Sliding Centre. While the pilot-guided four-person ride takes less than one minute from the top of the track to the bottom, the entire activity takes about two hours including a safety orientation. If you’re feeling the need for speed, book online for $169 to experience the sleigh ride of your life.

Skeleton
Credit: Flickr / Johnny

Skeleton

Now until March 30

Athletes who compete in this daredevil sport lie headfirst on a sled going 100 km per hour, steering themselves down the track using just their body movements. In 2010, Canadian athlete (and current Amazing Race Canada TV host) Jon Montgomery won the gold medal for Skeleton by 0.07 seconds. He famously celebrated by chugging a pitcher of beer while marching through a crowd of national anthem-singing Canadians. For $169, you can steer yourself down the very same track as Montgomery – in about 30 seconds – at the Whistler Sliding Centre.

Freestyle Riding

Freestyle Riding

Now until mid-March

Always wanted to try ski or snowboard tricks on the mountain but have been too nervous? This season, Mount Seymour is offering Girls Night Out Freestyle, women-only classes in Seymour’s terrain park (rated one of the best in Western Canada by SBC Resort Guide). You do need to have previous ski or boarding experience, but the classes introduce newbies to the park in a safe way. There are also separate co-ed classes available for ages nine and up.

Cross-Country Skiing
Credit: Flickr / Jon

Cross-Country Skiing

Now until mid-March

Cross-country skiing became an Olympic sport in 1924. Cypress Mountain offers cross-country ski lessons in a one-day, 90-minute format, or a package with five once-a-week lessons for anyone over the age of six. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can make your way to the historic Hollyburn Lodge, located in the heart of Cypress’s cross-country ski area, for home-cooked meals, weekly live music and conversation with fellow ski bunnies.

Fire and Ice Show

Fire and Ice Show

Now until March 30

See some of Whistler Blackcomb Snow School’s best skiers and snowboarders (and future Olympians?) get major air as they jump through a blazing ring of fire in Whistler Village. This free event happens every Sunday all winter long between the Whistler and Blackcomb gondolas at 6:30 p.m. Afterwards, check out the live music at the “Afterburn Party” at Garibaldi Lift Co.

Olympic Collection Mittens
Credit: The Bay

Olympic Collection Mittens

The wildly popular Canadian red mittens have been updated for Sochi. Best of all, $3.33 of each mitten sale goes towards the Canadian Olympic Foundation to support our athletes.

$10, thebay.com

 

The Olympic Athlete's Hub Ap
Credit: Danielle Tsang

The Olympic Athlete's Hub Ap

This official and free app for iPhone and Android, gathers Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts from over 5,000 Olympic athletes from around the globe. Get even closer to athletes with live chats and more!