Winter Olympics and Paralympics

Physiotherapists play a crucial role in the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics

Many PABC members were volunteers and took part in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games working on all athletes. 92 physiotherapists, including many of Canada’s top sport physiotherapists were in Vancouver, Richmond, Cypress Mountain, and Whistler to ensure the athletes were able to perform at their highest level. The Canadian physiotherapists working at the Olympic Games fell into two groups. The first group consisted of 19 physiotherapists responsible for providing care to the Canadian athletes as part of the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Olympic Health and Science Team. These therapists were guided by Chief Therapist, Sport Physiotherapy Canada (SPC) and PABC member Marc Rizzardo and worked directly with the athletes at sport venues and in the Olympic Village. The second group of Canadian physiotherapists, led by longtime SPC and PABC member Rick Celebrini, worked with athletes from all participating countries.

PABC's office team, at the time, created a website and invited all physiotherapists to contribute by posting their stories and experiences blog style, which, we would like to remind you, was quite emblematic of the times! PABC was only starting to use social media platforms which included Twitter and encouraged physiotherapists involved in the games to use #sportphysio2010 in their tweets to help feed into the blog site. You can read all about the launch of the Sportphysio2010 blog in the Spring issue of Directions, 2010.

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Were you involved in or volunteered at the Winter Olympic or Paralympic Games? Share your stories with us.

Over the years, we’ve seen rapid, unpredictable changes in the digital landscape we know as the internet. And as a result, the website that once housed cornerstone, historical content pertaining to the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, no longer exists. However, we know many physiotherapists involved have once-in-a lifetime experiences to pass onto future generations of physiotherapists and members alike. We encourage you to share these with PABC, no matter how big or small, so we can continue to build this iconic time in BC physiotherapy history. Email your stories to

Did you know?

PABC’s current CEO, Christine Bradstock was also involved in one of the many exciting aspects of the 2010 Winter Games.

As part of the bid phase, it was proposed that the legacy component should included a before, during, and after the games element. As this had not been done before it was very well received by the selection committee. After Vancouver and Whistler won the bid the Legacy piece separated off and became its own non-profit. And 2010 Legacies Now (2010LN) was born. Christine, Manager of Healthy Living Initiatives for 2010 Legacies Now, had led several groups of eager staff who travelled around the province attending events, creating events and reaching out to diverse communities to teach and share knowledge about healthy living choices. One of the largest of these tours was the ActNow BC Road to Health Community Tour. There was also the ActNow BC Road to Health: Aboriginal Community Tour and a Torch Tour.

Sport Physiotherapy Canada (SPC) Members at the Olympics 2010

Sport Physiotherapy Canada Logo

Sport Physiotherapy Canada was founded in 1972 as a division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and has continued to grow into a major component of the national sports medicine scene.

Take a look at this list of SPC members who participated in many areas at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver, 2010.

Winter Olympics and Paralympics in BC, 2010

Olympics and Paralympics logo 2010


Interesting Facts about these world events:

  • The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games events in Vancouver included curling, figure skating, ice hockey, sledge hockey, short-track speed skating and wheelchair curling.
  • Speed skating took place in Richmond, while the snowboard and freestyle skiing events were hosted in Whistler and at Cypress Mountain in the District of West Vancouver. The Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony, were staged indoors at BC Place in Vancouver city centre.
  • The Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games brought together 502 Para athletes (381 men and 121 women) from 44 countries.
  • With ticket sales reaching 230,000 the Vancouver Games set a new Winter Paralympic Games record as far as ticket sales go.

Did You Know?

The Disabled Skiers Association of BC (DSABC) was started in 1972 by two physiotherapists while working with amputees at Vancouver Generel Hospital.

Today they are known as BC Adaptive Snowsports 


"Since that first Paralympic Games in Sweden, Canada has sent strong teams to every Paralympic Games, and many have won medals, and much fun has been had by all. The crowning occasion for all of us was the winter Olympics at Whistler in 2010. The Paralympic Games contestants were skiing “three track” down the same Olympic downhill course that able bodied had used and at similar speeds. Skiing for the disabled has really joined the mainstream."

- Sue Hamilton, Disabled Skiers Association of BC, June 2015


Disabled Skiers Association of BC by Sue Hamilton (Hebard) - 2015

DSABC by Sue Hamilton (Hebard) 2015