With the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil quickly approaching, people across the world are starting to get Olympic fever. With preparations steaming towards completion in Rio, many countries are looking back at their Olympic histories. While Canada has not hosted a large amount of Olympic events, it does have a history worth exploring. Between Olympic events in Vancouver, Calgary, and Montreal, Canada’s Olympic heritage spreads nearly from coast to coast. In order to get the lowdown on these specific Olympiads and their remaining facilities we spoke with FlightHub, an online travel agency with deep ties to the city of Montreal. They gave us the rundown on what remains of Canada’s Olympic past.
1976 Summer Olympics – Montreal, Quebec
Canada’s first foray into hosting the Olympic Games, the 1976 Olympics represent Canada’s only experience hosting the Summer Games according to FlightHub’s review. While it is Canada’s oldest Olympic host city, many of the stadiums and facilities remain in use in Montreal’s East end. These include The Olympic Stadium, which played host to Major League Baseball’s Montreal Expos until their untimely departure in 2004. Other repurposed facilities include the Velodrome, which was converted into a ecology center called the Biodome. This indoor nature reserve includes replicas of four different ecosystems and allows for people to walk among the many different animals and climates on display. As for performance, Canada failed to win a single gold medal in Montreal.
1988 Winter Olympics – Calgary, Alberta
An Olympic games made famous for a series of odd stories like the debut of the infamous Jamaican Bobsled Team and the heroic failure of British skier Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, these Olympics were among the most costly at the onset of the Games and Canada’s first attempt at a Winter Olympics. It’s two main facilities, McMahon Stadium and the Olympic Saddledome, remain in-use today as facilities for the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders and the NHL’s Calgary Flames. As for those two stories mentioned above, both resulted in major film deals according to FlightHub, with Eddie The Eagle releasing in 2016. Just like in Montreal, a Canadian failed to win a gold medal in Calgary.
2010 Winter Olympics – Vancouver, British Columbia
A very successful Olympics athletics-wise with Canada winning a leading 14 gold medals, Canada finished off the Olympics in dramatic fashion, sweeping the Ice Hockey medals with dramatic wins by both Canada’s men’s and women’s teams. Many facilities in Vancouver were repurposed for the Olympics, including massive renovations to Vancouver’s football stadium. In terms of new construction, the Richmond Olympic Oval won many design awards as it served as the host of speed skating events. That venue continues to be used today for a variety of sporting events.