March 2, 2010 — There was one hot topic throughout the Vancouver games...weather! Here's a look back at the weather stories that had people talking throughout the competition.
The weather in British Columbia certainly had the world talking during the month of February.
As athletes and spectators from all over the globe descended on Vancouver for the Games, many were expecting cold, snowy conditions. Instead, they got a mix of heavy rain, fog, mild temperatures, bright sunshine and blizzard-like conditions. And in some cases, it came at the worst of times.
Just days before the alpine competitions were scheduled to begin, it was too mild to make snow. Organizers had no choice but to transport snow to the mountain using trucks and helicopters. They also placed tubes filled with dry ice in the moguls and the aerials course to keep snow from breaking down.
By the time the competitions were scheduled to begin, one low pressure system after another began rolling in off the Pacific. The soggy conditions forced several training events to be postponed. Thick fog also forced delays. Still, most events went ahead as scheduled.
Within days of the Games beginning, organizers had no choice but to refund about 28,000 tickets to spectators. Mild temperatures had melted the snow, leaving very little space for the spectators to stand at the Cypress Mountain location.
The IOC communications director Mark Adams quickly came out to defend Vancouver as the host city.
'This is an exceptional year for weather and as with all winter games we look into the weather statistics as part of the big process,' Adams told reporters. 'We were very very happy with those figures we had and that is why we were happy that Vancouver was chosen and that we would make the same decision again.'
Over the next few days, training runs at Whistler Mountain had been postponed because of blizzard-like conditions. And by the end of the first week, temperatures had soared into the double digits. One event on the Whistler Sliding Centre even had to be postponed because of melting ice and 'sunny conditions.'
The Weather Network's Shay Ostapowich was one of 35 forecasters at the Winter Games. She told us that the weather was unpredictable at times.
'We've had some really strong winds that we've had to deal with, which we normally don't get,' said Ostapowich. 'We've also had heavy snowfall, which for the bobsleds they can't get up the out-run. So they postponed once for that. And they have also postponed for fog.'
Still, the weather wasn't all bad. Hundreds of skiers and snowboarders were out at Whistler during the Games, and they weren't complaining about the conditions.
'It's like spring skiing in the winter. It's fantastic!' one skier told The Weather Network.
'Conditions have been great! A little hard to start off, but it's softening up and the sunshine just makes everything perfect. Can't complain!' said another.
The final week of the Games brought yet another mixed bag of weather. But with time running out to re-schedule events, many simply went ahead as planned, despite the conditions.
On the final day of competition, the skies were mainly clear and the sun was shining as Canada claimed a record amount of Gold medals -- including one in Men's Hockey.
Mother Nature may have thrown some curve balls during the winter games, but spectators and athletes throughout the country certainly did not let the weather dampen their spirits.
For the latest on what you can expect in Vancouver THIS week, tune into our National Forecast on TV. It comes up at the top and bottom of every hour.