The Vancouver Olympics by the Numbers

Infographic: Let the Games Begin!  More than 80 nations and 5,500 athletes and officials will participate in this year’s Winter Games.

The Vancouver Olympics by the Numbers
Typography by Julie Teninbaum Typography by Julie Teninbaum

More than 80 nations and 5,500 athletes and officials will participate in this year’s Winter Games.

NBC paid $820 million for the rights to broadcast Vancouver 2010, 34% more than it paid to air Torino 2006.

The Winter Games were first commercial televised in 1960 when CBS paid $50,000 {$365,000 adjusted for inflation.}

Nine companies, including Coca-Cola, Omega, and Visa, have pledged a total of approximately $900 million to the International Olympic Committee to be worldwide sponsors for the Vancouver 2010 and London 2012.

Vancouver’s three Olympic mascots are Miga, a sea bear; Sumi, an animal spirit; and Quatchi, a Sasquatch.

The Royal Canadian Mint used recycled gold, silver, and copper harvested from 6.8 tons of landfill-bound circuit boards to make the 615 Olympic and 299 paralympic medals.


Vancouver’s gold medals are 92.5% silver, plated with 6 grams of gold. The last truly gold Olympic medals were awarded at the 1912 Winter Games in Stockholm.

For Vancouver’s gold, silver, and bronze medals, the mining company Tech Resources provided 4.5 pounds of gold from Canada and the U.S.; 4,299 pounds of British Columbian silver; and 1,991 pounds of copper from Canada, Chile, and Peru.

Canada also hosted the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal and the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary.

Its gold-medal count from those games: 0 {The only other host that didn’t win gold was Yugoslavia, at Sarajevo in 1984.}

The Vancouver Olympic Committee’s official budget for the 2010 Games is $1.6 billion.

That doesn’t count nearly $1 billion in government-funded security costs, construction of new venues ($550 million) and the Olympic Village ($900 million), and $3.8 billion in related infrastructure, including expansion of mass transit and convention facilities.


The Most Expensive Olympics was Beijing 2008, which cost $40 billion. The rumored cost for the next Winter Games — in Sochi, Russia — is $33 billion.

The Most Profitable Olympics was the Los Angeles in 1984, which turned a profit of $223 million — which would be $464 million today.

The Youngest Winter Olympic gold medalist ever: Korean speed-skater Kim Yoon-mi, who was 13 years, 83 days old when her relay team won gold in 1994.

The Oldest Winter Olympic gold medalist ever: British curler Robin Welsh, who was 54 years, 29 days old when his team triumphed in 1924.