As the world turns its attention to the forthcoming Olympic Games of London 2012, Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016, Vancouver can look back proudly on what it achieved during 16 days of “excellent and very friendly” competition. However, the Vancouver 2010 story has not finished with the extinguishing of the Olympic flame. The work carried out by the organisers of these Games over the last seven years will leave a long-lasting legacy to the city, region and country.
The Vancouver Games have left a long-term legacy to Canadian sport, with a number of new or renovated venues now available for use by grass roots and elite athletes. These venues will allow a number of winter sports to develop even further in this region of North America. There were also a number of initiatives set up during the preparations, such as the Four Nations Snowboard Team and the 2010 Legacies Now organisation, which will provide opportunities for people to get involved in sport in a number of different ways. These initiatives will undoubtedly provide numerous avenues for sport to be used as a vehicle for social change in the future.
The 2010 Olympic Games have also created a great legacy on the human front. They did not only bring a country and its people closer together, with Canadians from coast to coast to coast celebrating the Games together, but they also directly impacted on the lives and futures of people from the Games region. Disadvantaged young people, indigenous people, single mothers and new immigrants all received carpentry training and work experience at the Vancouver 2010 Fabrication Shop. People from at-risk populations received training, work experience and job placements through the company that was contracted to supply the 1,700 victory bouquets for the athletes. So, on both the micro and macro levels, these Games have positively impacted Canada’s human legacy.
Using the Games as a catalyst, Vancouver 2010 has been able to improve its already advanced infrastructure. Improvements to the famous Sea-to-Sky highway have made it not only safer, but also quicker to go from Vancouver to Whistler. The Canada line has allowed Vancouver’s International airport to be connected to the downtown areas, and has seen remarkable success since it opened, particularly during the Games. The Vancouver Olympic Village has seen the redevelopment of a previously downtrodden area, and the Whistler Village is providing much-needed housing to the mountain community, as well as a number of social housing units for communities around British Columbia. This is just a small part of the improvements that the Games have helped to turn into reality in this region of Western Canada.
Copyright Speakers Corner 2016