Winter Olympic Games from 12 to 28 February 2010, the Canadian city of Vancouver hosted the world’ s best winter sportsmen and sportswomen – alpinists and biathlonists, hockey players and skaters, ski jumpers and speed skaters.
It is for the second time in history that Canada organizes winter Olympic games. In 1988 Calgary was the first Canadian city to represent the second largest state in the world as the organizer of this respectful competition. It will also be for the 6th time that Winter Olympic Games are held in North America. Apart from Calgary winter Olympic Games were hosted by US towns: Lake Placid in 1932, Squaw Valley in 1960, Lake Placid again in 1980 and Salt Lake City in 2002.
First Winter Olympic Games were held in Chamonix, France, and very often winter sportsmen and sportswomen have gathered in smaller, mostly European, winter resorts. However, recently, the International Olympic Committee has changed this tradition and in 2006 the Winter Olympic Games were held in Italian Turin (Torino) and its surroundings with a population of over a million; also Vancouver is a major world centre which grants even more splendour to such an event.
Summer Olympic Games have always been among competitions that have captured major attention as more spectacular, with more participants, publicity and more TV spectators. However, their winter counterpart is trying to reach the same level and the cities like Turin and Vancouver are doing their best to bring this great sports event closer to the eyes of billions of spectators. The Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, its spectacular opening and closing as well as the entire mix of events have set the bar high and everyone it trying to reach it.
As a rule, at the Winter Olympic Games the greatest attractions have always been competitions in alpine skiing and ice hockey. American-Canadian professional ice hockey league (NHL) is the reason why some of the recent Winter Olympic Games were incomplete – especially when we bear in mind all the megastars of this sport, and why the interest for the Winter Olympics has decreased accordingly. However, recently all best hockey players have recovered their sense for the Winter Olympics so that ice hockey will surely be the event number one in Vancouver. Canadian love for hockey is infinite, their team probably the world’s best and in February most headlights will be focused to these “giants on ice”. Alpine skiing is in some sense undergoing a metamorphosis. After brilliant individual achievements in Nagan, Salt Lake City and Turun there will be no Janica Kosteli?, Hermann Maier or Kjetil Andre Aamodt on the slopes in Vancouver.
Title: Winter Olympic Games – Croatia
Date of Issue: 12 February 2010
Denominations: 3,5 kn