Experience Winter Olympic Sports at These Former Host Cities

With the XXXII Summer Olympic games quickly approaching, let’s get into the spirit of the games this winter and look at former North American host cities you can visit to get an incredible experience you won’t soon forget.

Vancouver, British Columbia (2010)

Canadian’s took great pride in hosting the games and can boast over the 14 gold medals won in various competitions. The country’s heritage was honored by including First Nations as partners in hosting on the games. Metis and Inuit individuals welcomed athletes into BC Place Stadium for the opening ceremonies, a memorable way to start the competition. The Olympic Village and location of the majority of the events are located 77 miles north of Vancouver in Whistler. Before hitting the slopes, you can visit Whistler Museum to view memorabilia from the games. Afterwards, let the fun begin at Whistler-Blackcomb Ski Resort. If you are feeling more adventurous, you can visit Whistler Sliding Center where you can try bobsled and skeleton! Whistler Olympic Park offers further activities, including cross-country tour, tobogganing, snowshoeing, skate skiing, ski jumping and biathlon.

Lake Placid, New York (1932 & 1980)

One of the most memorable moments of the 1980 Olympics took place at the Herb Brooks Arena. Hockey and non-hockey fans alike will remember the remarkable game of the underdog United States winning gold against the four-time defending gold medal Soviet team. The game would be known as the “Miracle on Ice.” Keep the excitement alive today by visiting the Olympic Sports Complex at Whiteface Mountain where you are able to toboggan, ice-skate, dog-sled, cross-country and downhill ski, bobsled, skeleton, luge and biathlon. There is no shortage of outdoor activities for the whole family here and don’t forgot to visit the Lake Placid Olympic Museum!

Salt Lake City, Utah (2002)

The 2002 Winter Olympics took place during a period of great national pride. Salt Lake City hosted the 19th Winter Games a little over a year after the 9/11 terror attacks. President George W. Bush became the first sitting U.S. President to open the games and a tattered flag recovered from the World Trade Center rubble was carried into the Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium. Today, there is an abundance of winter sports you can try scattered around the entire area. Visit Utah Olympic Park to try activities such as bobsled, skeleton and ice-skating or check out Park City Mountain for some world-class skiing and snowboarding. Salt Lake City is also once again a hopeful candidate for the 2030 or 2034 winter Olympics.



Calgary, Alberta (1988)

In 1988, Calgary was host to one of today’s most widely known and fond Olympic story. The incredible journey of the Jamaican Bobsled Team. The famed bobsledders were unfortunately unable to place in the event but nonetheless made history by becoming Jamaica’s first ever Winter Olympians. Visit Winsport where you can ski, snowboard, ice-skate, play hockey, or visit the tube park. The Tube Park, one of the fastest and largest of its kind in Western Canada, is a perfect activity for family and friends.

Squaw Valley , California (1960)

Squaw valley was home to only a couple families and an undeveloped ski-resort when they placed the bid to host the 1960 Winter Olympics. It has since become one of the largest ski resorts in the United States. The 8th Winter Games became the first to be televised live in the United States when the broadcast rights were sold to CBS. During a skiing event, judges sought out CBS tapes to determine if a skier had missed a gate. This would begin an idea that would later be known as instant replay. Start your trip by visiting the Olympic Museum. Next, enjoy non-stop activities at Squaw Valley including downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, snow-shoeing, dog sledding, snow tubing or driving mini snowmobiles.


Comment below on your favorite Winter Olympic memory or an Olympic sport you would like to try!

10 thoughts on “Experience Winter Olympic Sports at These Former Host Cities

  1. This is a great article and I really enjoyed reading it but got me to thinking about one of the saddest Winter Olympic locations.

    The XIV Winter Olympiad was held in Sarajevo centred on the Kosevo Stadium which had been renovated specifically for the event.  Sadly I saw this stadium in a less good light in the early 90s when it was used both as a detention centre and as a refugee centre. By then it had been badly damaged by continued artillery fire.

    On a happier note; the 1984 XIV Winter Olympiad was the first to be held in a socialist and Slavic speaking nation and one of the little known facts about it is that at the opening ceremony the Olympic flag was mistakenly run up the flagpole upside down!

    Thankfully the stadium was renovated for the third time in its life in 1998 and is now the home of Sarajevo football.

    Great article thanks.


    1. Wow, what a history of the Kosevo Stadium. Thank you for sharing your memories and the opening ceremony flag fact!

  2. I was at the winter games in Utah! I’ll never forget the chills and goosebumps i had when that flag came out! That’s just a memory i will never forget! With 9/11 still heavy on all our hearts Bush put our love for those lost on public and world display. I haven’t been back since to try the little events or the slopes, but i would sure love to!

    1. What an unforgettable experience you had at the games! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for sharing this. I’m glad to know that a lot of these former Winter Olympic host cities still offer a lot to those who decide to visit them. I sure would like to visit Salt Lake City as I want to see Utah Olympic Park and give bobsledding a try. I never knew that Lake Placid, New York was also a host of the Winter Olympics. Have you visited a majority of these former host cities?

    1. I unfortunately have not visited a majority of these host cities but I also would like to visit Utah Olympic Park and try bobsledding!

  4. Christine says:

    I heard so much about Whistler. People always tell me how beautiful it is. I hope I get to visit it one day. The Ilympic Games opening in Utah must have been very emotional when they brought in the tattered flag that was recovered from the World Trade Center. I wish I’d seen it.

    The story of Squaw Valley is also interesting. I have never been at a live Olympic game, but I would love to visit one of these places you mentioned here, maybe Squaw Valley. Every even has some history.

    1. Squaw Valley would be a great choice to visit! I have also heard many great things about Whistler and it is near the top of my list of places to visit next!

  5. This post was a nice review of former sites of the Olympics.  It’s really nice that these cities still keep the memories of former Olympics alive by offering places for people to visit to remember these events. 

    I have never been to an Olympics event, though of course have watched on television.  What a thrill it must be to be there amid the excitement and the astonishing athletics.  Have you had the opportunity to go to many of the Olympics?  Perhaps I’ll still have a chance to attend such an event.

    1. I agree, it must be amazing to witness top athletes from around the world in person. I have never attended any Olympic Games but I hope to if Salt Lake City is able to host again in 2030 or 2034!

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