Olympic construction in downtown Vancouver

“Like many Olympic cities that are largely built-out, much of London’s Games will actually happen on the outskirts of the city – Vancouver was one of the few Games in the modern era where Games-related construction and events were scattered across an established city pattern, including Vancouver’s densely developed downtown.” – Brent Toderian in Spacing Vancouver


Truck Entrance, Olympic Village Site Looking North, Vancouver 2008

© Leslie Hossack


Road Construction, Olympic Village Site Looking North, Vancouver 2008

© Leslie Hossack

My own love affair with the Olympics started in January 2008. When I walked past the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Village construction site, I was a goner. Photographing the 1936 Berlin Olympic Stadium and Athletes’ Village in 2010 sealed the deal. My next stop was London 2012.

From that very first glance in 2008, I felt compelled to return to Southeast False Creek again and again to photograph the massive construction site of the Vancouver Athletes’ Village.

I knew from the beginning that I had to document the area over a four-year period: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011. It was a rare opportunity to witness the construction of a village, and the creation of a community, from the ground up.

Initially, the village on Vancouver’s Southeast False Creek would be one of the world’s most exclusive gated communities. It would be home to elite athletes from around the globe in the winter of 2010. The Olympic motto Citius, Altius, Fortius means: “Faster, Higher, Stronger.” I often thought that this motto applied not only to the athletes, but also to the construction of the village. It was a fascinating example of project management and coordination.

To see my photographs of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Stadium and Athletes’ Village, please visit my website: lesliehossack.com.

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