Olympic Plaza

Olympic Plaza

Built as a place where the world could gather to celebrate during the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, Whistler Olympic Plaza is where athletes received their medals during nightly victory ceremonies in front of cheering crowds.

Today, the much-visited venue sees outdoor concerts in summer, ice skating in winter, and a host of events year-round. Here, you can lunch on picnic tables, sit on hexagonal stools made from columnar jointed lava, throw a Frisbee on the grass, watch kids play on the wooden jungle gym, huddle around an outdoor fire, take in a film or a symphony orchestra, and pose for photos at the Olympic rings, Olympic bobsled or the Olympic Lightning Figure totem towering over the plaza that pays homage to the legend of Lightning Snakes who brought skills and tools to the Squamish and Lil’wat peoples.

GEOLOGIC CONTEXT:

Framed by Whistler’s defining mountain peaks and constellated with decorative columnar joints that channel the area’s volcanic past, this year-round community gathering area is a legacy of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

HOW TO SEE IT:

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Located in the north village. Easy walking access from several directions on the village stroll or from Marketplace; abundant nearby parking.

Services:

Parking and washrooms nearby

Protection and guardianship are at the heart of the Geopark philosophy. We ask that you treat the land with the same reverence as its original inhabitants, and not remove anything from a site but what you’ve brought to help preserve it for future generations.

Decimal Degrees (DD)

50.118730, -122.954297

Degrees Decimal Minutes (DDM)

50° 7.1238' N  122° 57.2578' W

Degrees Minutes Seconds (DMS)

50° 7' 7.428" N  122° 57' 15.4692" W

What Are Pillars?

The Fire & Ice Aspiring Geopark comprises four main geological pillars referenced in all interpretive material: (M)ountain Building, (G)laciation, (V)olcanism and (C)ollapse.

MOUNTAIN BUILDING

Mountain building can involve several processes that contribute to the formation of mountains, such as the collision of tectonic plates that result in folding, faulting, metamorphism and the creation of subduction zones associated with volcanic activity and igneous intrusion.

GLACIATION

Glaciation refers to landform phenomena associated with the formation, movement and recession of glaciers and ice sheets. In temperate latitudes such as British Columbia, montane glaciation at higher altitudes is the norm while continental glaciation occurred during Ice Ages like the recent Pleistocene.

VOLCANISM

Volcanism is the eruption of subterranean molten rock (magma) and gasses onto the surface of the planet and includes the production of volcanic landforms and the effects of eruptions and flowing lava on pre-existing surface formations.

COLLAPSE

Collapse is a term that refers broadly to both slow processes of destabilization and erosion by wind, water and ice, as well as rapid processes like rockfall and landslides.

Whether acting as primary or secondary forces, one or more of these processes figure in the creation of each geosite.