- Whistler sliding centre
From 12 to 28 February, the Olympic Winter Games 2010 take place in Vancouver, Canada. About 5,500 athletes from more than 80 countries are competing in various areas of winter sports, such as bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, skating and skiing. At the Paralympic Games, which take place from 12 to 21 March, about 1350 athletes from more than 40 countries are participating.
As the two official languages of the International Olympic Committee are English and French, Canada is a perfect country to host the Olympic Games - English and French are the two official languages in Canada and every big event is held in both languages. This is due to Canadian history: the majority of Europeans who first settled in Canada were from France and Great Britain.
The three mascots of the Olympic Winter Games 2010 are inspired by legends of the First Nations (this is what the indigenous peoples of Canada are called).
- Vancouver 2010 mascots
- Miga is a mixture of an orca and a Kermode bear, which is a rare creamy-white subspecies of the American black bear.
- Quatchi is a Bigfoot - an ape-like creature that is supposed to live in the forests of North America. Nobody knows if it really exists, but the Bigfoot is as famous as for example the Loch Ness monster in Scotland or the Yeti in the Himalaya.
- Sumi, the mascot of the Paralympic Games, is a guardian spirit. He has the legs of a bear and the wings of a Thunderbird.
The Olympic Games are always a big event, and an estimated 3 billion people will watch the Olympic Winter Games 2010 on TV.
Ideas for the classroom
- Watch the Olympic Winter Games. Choose a sport and tell your classmates about the results.
- Choose a winter sport and search the internet for information on the history and the rules of that sport. Tell your classmates about it.
- Search the internet for information about Canada's history, geography or tourist attractions. Tell your classmates about it.
Photos by www.vancouver2010.com