Photo by Don Fennell
Richmond Olympic Oval officially turns 10 today.
Celebrating its birthday last Sunday, Dec. 9 with an action-packed family fun day, the grand legacy from the 2010 Olympic Winter Games is a world-class centre for sport, health, wellness, entertainment and culture and a global benchmark for post-Games use.
During the Olympics, the oval hosted 12 medal events in long track speed skating which attracted more than 100,000 spectators from around the world.
Officially opened in 2008, pre-Games events included the 2008 and 2009 Canadian single Distance Speed Skating Championships and the 2009 World Single Distance Speed Skating Championships, among other national and international sports events.
Since 2010, the oval has hosted numerous elite events including the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships, 2014 TAFISA World Martial Arts Games, 2014 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships, 2015 Powerlifting Commonwealth Championships and 2015 Fencing World Cup Men’s Epee.
To date, the oval has earned 30 international, national and regional awards for its unique and innovative design.
Today, the oval plays host to a wide variety of activities from yoga to table tennis, short track speed skating to hockey, and figure skating to basketball. There’s even a four-storey climbing wall. It’s also home to two yoga studios and several national team training centres, including the Canadian women’s volleyball team and has such on-site support services as the Canadian Sport Institute laboratory and administration and LifeMark Sports Medicine.
Reflecting Richmond’s position as the “healthiest community in Canada,” the oval has welcomed more than seven million guests and registered over 35,000 people in its sports and fitness programs, 10,000 youth in sport camp programs, and currently serves over 6,000 members.
Proud to have been an Olympic host, Richmond pays homage with the Richmond Olympic Experience, the first official member of the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Museum Network in North America and one of the most interactive sports attractions in the world. Visitors are encouraged to not only check out the dozens of artefacts from past Games, but also try out the five state-of-the-art simulators for bobsleigh, sit-skiing, white water kayaking, F1 car racing and ski jumping.