2010 Winter Olympics: Record attendance in Vancouver

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82 countries with representation, a new record for the Winter Olympics, 2,762 competitors, 500,000 expected visitors, 10,000 journalists – these are just a few of the most important figures describing the Vancouver Olympics, Agerpres reports, quoting AFP. The number of national Olympic committees that sent sportsmen to Vancouver amounts to 82 – twice as many as in the 2006 Winter Olympics of Turin. The newcomers list includes the Bermudas, Ghana and Cayman islands, among others.


A total 86 gold medals will be won, for 15 Olympic disciplines, and – of course – the same number of silver and bronze medals.


Out of the 2,762 competitors, there will be 1,660 men and 1,102 women.


The best represented sport is ice hockey, with 567 athletes (362 men and 205 women), followed by alpine skiing (324, 190+134), and cross-country skiing (300, 166+134). At the bottom of this informal top is bobsled, with only 48 athletes (28 men and 20 women). A total 10,000 meals will be served each day to competitors in the Olympic village, which gives 350,000 meals during the whole length of the games. The athletes will consume 60 tons of poultry meat, 60 tons of beef, 70,000 liters of soup, 40,000 liters of milk and 11 tons of dairy products.


The Games will be covered by 10,000 accredited journalists, from all the types of media. Security during the Olympic Games will be kept by 15,000 specially trained people, including 4,500 Canadian troops who will support the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the municipal police of Vancouver.


A number of 25,000 omnipresent volunteers will exert the most diverse jobs – drivers, ticket checkers, IT specialists, photographer’s aides, receptionists, interpreters etc.


Last but not least, 500,000 visitors are expected to come and watch the Games (February 12-28), as estimated by the organizing committee. This the double of the figure registered during the last Winter Olympics that took place on North-American soil – at Salt Lake City (USA), in 2002.


Organizers inject water in the whistler track


The organizers of the Vancouver Winter Olympics decided to inject water in the Whistler course that will host the men downhill race, in an attempt to harden the surface and make it more weather resistant.


“The International Skiing Federation (FIS) asked us to inject the men’s course,” said Dick Vollet, a vice-president of organizing committee VANOC.


The procedure has water injected under pressure down to 30-60 centimeters under the snow, so that it freezes and hardens the surface of the snow. This allows the course to better withstand high temperatures, rain, and snow, but also the successive runs of skiers.


These days, Whistler saw positive temperatures that went as high as 3 degrees Celsius.