International sports enthusiasts can visit the history of the Olympic Games in Canada,
and get a glimpse of the future.
Canada hosted its first Olympic Games in Montreal, Quebec in 1976.
The Olympic Stadium in Montreal features the world’s tallest inclined tower—it is 574
feet (175 m) high. The vision of the architect who planned the stadium was nearly
impossible to achieve, however. The stadium’s retractable roof was not completed until
1987, more than 10 years after the event for which it was designed.
The velodrome built for the 1976 Games was re-purposed for education in 1992 and is
now known as the Biodôme. Visitors to the museum will experience four typical
indigenous American environments: the polar region, a tropical forest, the St. Lawrence
marine, and the Laurentian forest.
In 1988, Calgary, Alberta hosted the 15th Winter Olympiad and profited mightily from it
(unlike Montreal, which is still paying for that stadium roof!). The Olympic Oval is a
fully equipped training facility used by skaters, runners, hockey players, and athletes of
all stripes. Nearby Canada Olympic Park is the home of North America’s largest
Olympic museum, the Olympic Hall of Fame. The Park is also home to Canada’s only
Olympic bobsled/luge track. Adventurous visitors willing to sign a waiver can even buy
a trip down the track in a sled driven by one of the park’s trained drivers.
Canada will again be hosting the Winter Olympics, this time in Vancouver, British
Columbia, in 2010. The city has already begun preparations for the big event. Omega,
Official Timekeeper of the 2010 Games, unveiled a three-year countdown clock in
downtown Vancouver on February 12, 2007. Construction of the Vancouver Olympic
Village will begin in the summer of 2007. The Games facilities will be made available to
athletes for training by Winter 2007/2008.