The 2010 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXI Olympic Winter Games and commonly known as Vancouver 2010, informally the 21st Winter Olympics, was an international winter multi-sport event that was held from 12 to 28 February 2010 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with some events held in the surrounding suburbs of Richmond, West Vancouver and the University Endowment Lands, and in the nearby resort town of Whistler.
Approximately 2,600 athletes from 82 nations participated in 86 events in fifteen disciplines.
Both the Olympic and Paralympic Games were organized by the Vancouver Organizing Committee, headed by John Furlong. The 2010 Winter Olympics were the third Olympics hosted by Canada and the first by the province of British Columbia. Canada hosted the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta. Metro Vancouver is the largest metropolitan area to host the Winter Olympics, although Calgary is the largest city to host the Winter Olympics. They will both be surpassed by Beijing in 2022.
Following Olympic tradition, the incumbent mayor of Vancouver Sam Sullivan received the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. The flag was raised on February 28, 2006, in a special ceremony and was on display at Vancouver City Hall until the Olympic opening ceremony. The event was officially opened by Governor General Michaëlle Jean, who was accompanied by the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge.
For the first time, Canada won gold in an official sport at an Olympic Games hosted at home, having failed to do so at both the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary . Canada clinched their first gold medal on the second day of the competition and first topped the gold medal tally on the second to last day of competition and went on to become the first host nation since Norway in 1952 to lead the gold medal count. With 14, Canada broke the record for the most gold medals won at a single Winter Olympics, which was 13, set by the Soviet Union in 1976 and Norway in 2002. The United States won the most medals in total, their second time doing so at the Winter Olympics, and broke the record for the most medals won at a single Winter Olympics with 37, a record held up to then by Germany in 2002 with 36 medals. Athletes from Slovakia and Belarus won the first Winter Olympic gold medals for their nations.