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Guide to attending Vancouver 2010

Guide to attending Vancouver 2010


At all venues, both in the city and on the mountains, you may be outside, without cover, for extended periods of time.  You must layer your clothing.  Wear good socks, preferably wool or a good synthetic, something that won’t get cold if it gets wet.  Wear a light long sleeve shirt under a heavier warm shirt or sweater and be sure to wear a waterproof jacket.  Bring mittens or gloves, a scarf and a toque (beanie, head-warming hat, whatever you want to call it) as most of your heat is lost through your head (thank you Girl Guides).  If it is raining, wear waterproof pants and boots if possible.  If it is snowing, or you’re on a mountain where it is colder, toss on an extra layer under your waterproof jacket and consider snow pants. You will be walking so make sure that you have good, comfortable, preferably waterproof footwear.

If you get cold particularly easily you may also want to invest in some small pocket warmers.  They are little satchets that when shaken up give off heat.  I’ve always gotten mine from camping shops but I’m sure there will be other places to get them as well.  They’re great for warming hands and feet and it’s amazing how much warmer you’ll feel if those bits aren’t cold.


There are going to be two lineups for entry to most venues: 1) people with bags and 2) people without.  I highly recommend going without.  No one may bring food or drink into the venues anyway so other than your tickets, Visa card, cash, house keys, phone and a camera you shouldn’t need much.  The less you have the faster you will get through the lines and into where all the fun is.  If you do have to bring a bag aim to keep it under 15×15x30cm (6×6×12″) to keep you in the fast lane.  Can’t do without a bigger bag?  Please just be patient.  Chat with your fellow line-mates about the event you’re going to see or ask if they have been somewhere that they recommend you visit as well.

There is definitely a list of prohibited and restricted items but for the most part the items are common sense.  No weapons, no items that could disturb the view of those around you, no large umbrellas or long flag poles, and all signs and banners should be less than 2m x 1m in size.  Click the link in this paragraph for the whole list if you’re interested but generally just try to remember that everyone wants to have a good time.

Shopping, Food and Drinks:

There will be merchandise kiosks at all of the venues so that you too can drape yourself in Vancouver 2010 goodness (my closet is stuffed full already!) and there will be places to get food and drinks at the venues as well.  There isn’t a lot of description on what your choices will be but it should be alright.  The most important thing to remember: bring cash and/or that Visa card you used to pay for your tickets with.  There will not be any ATM’s that accept debit around, nor will the sites accept debit (except Visa debit).


Take transit.  Your event ticket gets you onto any Translink transit service free of charge.  Yes, all day.  So take transit.*

There is no where to park at the venues and VANOC has worked really hard to get the best transit solutions set up with Translink, the Olympic bus network and extra projects (like the Olympic Line) that they can.  If you are going to Cypress or Whistler for an event make sure you have your bus ticket ahead of time.  Check out the TravelSmart2010 and Translink websites to help you plan your journey.  Allow yourself some extra time, there are going to be a lot of excited people trying to get to a lot of exciting venues.  Enjoy the ride!

And be prepared to walk.  Spectators with disabilities will certainly be aided and accommodated.  For the rest of us this is a way to warm up a bit before sitting in a cold venue to watch athletes competing at a ridiculously high level.  As I said in “Clothing” wear good, comfortable shoes or boots, preferably waterproof.  This means no heels or flipflops.*  It’s the Winter Olympics folks!

* These are technically my opinions but I am confident that it they are the right choice and really believe that they are the best way to go.

Bits & Bobs:

There will be information booths, lost & found facilities, first aid facilities and the like.  Some of the city venues even have bike valet services (no bikes in the venues I’m afraid).  There are no ‘in & out’ privileges with your ticket.  Once you’re in, you’re in.  Double-check that you’re all set before you go in.

Still photography is allowed but no flash photography is permitted at all.  It could distract the athletes or performers at crucial moments.  To avoid accidently having your flash go test your camera before you leave home.  Find the ‘No Flash’ setting and then test it in a dark room to make sure it won’t automatically come on.  Then you should be set to take photos of yourself and your family at the Games!

Most importantly:

Have fun!  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity in so many ways.  We will not have another event like this in Vancouver for a very long time.  Nor will you have the chance to celebrate the world’s athletes in quite the same way.  Nor the arts.  Nor each other!  Remember that we all want to have a good time and respect for one another is how we’ll accomplish that and be left with memories to last a lifetime.  Smile and the world will be smiling back at you!

*     *     *     *     *

Hope that helps you get ready.  Let me know if there are further questions and I’ll do my best to answer and update my quick little guide here.  Most of my information came from the “Official Spectator Guide” that came with your tickets, though I threw in an opinion or two, but I’ve tried to make it apparent.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. vikram permalink
    February 6, 2010 9:14 pm

    how can i participate in para_games

    • 2010vanfan permalink
      February 8, 2010 12:09 am

      If you’re interested in volunteering or working you’ll have to go to and see if they have any positions open. Good luck! – Andrea

  2. February 8, 2010 3:07 pm

    Hi there, the BC Sports Hall of Fame is inside BC Place and is open daily during the games from 8:00am-3:00pm. I know you are really busy, but I would love to tour you around the Hall and point out some of the great Olympic stuff we have on display. If you are too busy I would like to send you our media release. Please feel free to pop me an e-mail with your address.



    • 2010vanfan permalink
      February 8, 2010 4:13 pm

      Thanks Allison, sounds like fun!
      Cheers, Andrea – 2010vanfan blogger

  3. David permalink
    February 9, 2010 11:12 pm

    Just a quick question if there is such a thing. I can’t seem to find informaiton about smoking in the venues. No it is not for me. Is there smoking in the venues – I would think not but just asking and if there are any restirctions in smoking at the games.


    • 2010vanfan permalink
      February 10, 2010 7:57 am

      Hmm… the VANOC website says:
      “All Vancouver 2010 venues are smoke- and tobacco-free. Smoking is permitted only in designated smoking areas.”

      Slightly contradictory. I know that the original goal was for a smoke-free Olympics so I’d say even if there are smoking areas, there won’t be many and it is probably best to plan on none.

      Thanks for commenting David.
      Happy Olympics!


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