Going for the Gold
Canada's Bid to Host the Winter Olympics 2010

A WebQuest for 8th Grade World Geography

Designed by

Denise Frederick

Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Teacher Page


Playing host to the Olympics is a role that many cities would love to play. Selection for a host city for the 2010 Winter Olympic games will begin shortly. Canada wants to be selected!  To guarantee making a strong proposal to the selection committee, Canada will conduct a preliminary competition among five cities to determine which Canadian city will vie for the right to host the 2010 Olympic games. You are a member of a team which will develop and present a  proposal for one these cities. Your team must create an effective, informative, creative and original oral presentation. You must also develop graphs, maps, diagrams, and other visual aids to supplement your presentation. Each team member will take on a special role and focus on a different aspect of the chosen city. Persuade the committee that your city is Canada’s best hope for hosting the Olympic games. Your classmates and parent visitors will be asked to select the city that makes the most convincing argument.

The Task

Each group will develop a 10 minute oral presentation designed to convince members of the Canadian selection committee that their city should be Canada’s entry for Olympic consideration. The presentation must involve all group members and include visual aides.Use plenty of persuasive and descriptive language! The information must be factual and presented in a dynamic and convincing manner. The categories of information reflect actual information which candidate cities must sumit. The details of the Olympic city selection process are available at this site . The five cities which will present proposals are Quebec, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver.

The Process

Each group will consist of 5 members. Group members will assume  one of the following roles: cultural attaché, city planner, weather consultant, road guide, and advertising entrepreneur. The specific assignments for each group member are described below. After reading the descriptions and assessing the talents of the group members determine who will assume each of the roles. If you have difficulty with this please consult me for help.

Before beginning individual assignments, each group should gather general information about their city as well as background information on the Olympic games and the host city selection process. Each group must complete a city worksheet   and an Olympic worksheet before moving to individual assignments. Print and electronic resources for completing these worksheet are referenced.

General Resources about Canada

Population Statistics by City

CIA World Factbook

An excellent source for printable maps is the NGS Xpedition site 

Visit UN Infonation for basic facts about the county

About Canada has a great deal of useful information

Canadian Information : an extensive collection of resources related to Canada compiled by the National Library of Canada

Teaching and Learning about Canada

Resources by City:

Quebec City:

MacLeish, Kenneth. "Quebec: French City in an Anglo-Saxon World". National Geographic Society Magazine , March, 1971.

White, Peter, T. "One Canada - or Two?".National Geographic Society Magazine, April 1977.


Boyer, David S. "Calgary: Canada's Not-So-Wild-West".National Geographic Society Magazine, March,1984.

Garrett, W.E. "Canada's Heartland, the Prairie Provinces"..National Geographic Society Magazine, October, 1970.


Billard, Jules B. "Montreal Greets the World (Expo 67)". National Geographic Society Magazine. May,1967.

Philips, Alan. "Canada, My Country"..National Geographic Society Magazine, Dec.,1961.


City of Vancouver

Edwards, Mike. "Dream On, Vancouver". National Geographic Society Magazine.October, 1978.

Billard, Jules, B. "Window on the Pacific: The British Columbia Coast".National Geographic Society Magazine. March, 1972.

Boyer, David, S. "British Columbia: Life Begins at 100". National Geographic Society Magazine. August, 1958.


Toronto city profile

Starbird, Ethel A. "Toronto:Canada's Dowager Learns to Swing". National Geographic Society Magazine. August, 1975.

Boyer, David S. "Ontario, Canada's Keystone".National Geographic Society Magazine. Dec., 1978.

Role descriptions / responsibilities

    Advertising entrepreneur:
    After doing research on the city’s distinctive characteristics develop a logo for the 2010 Winter Olympic games. The logo must include the official Olympic insignia (five city interlocking rings), the year, and an image which uniquely represents the city and the specific Olympic games. Be prepared to present and explain the symbolism of the logo. The advertising entrepreneur will also develop a poster promoting the city as an Olympic host city. 

    The Olympic Museum has logos from previous Olympic games as well as a host of additional background information on the Olympics.

    City Planner: 
    After doing research the city planner will develop and present a profile of the city's political, social, and economic characteristics. Emphasis should be placed on  those characteristics which are most appealing and present the city in the most positive light. Attention should be given to the system of government and issues around safety. Use photographs, charts and diagrams to enhance the presentation. 

    Weather consultant:
    Because many of the winter Olympic events require cold temperatures for snow and ice events, climate is an important consideration in selecting a host city.  As the weather consultant, you must gather weather statistics for your city and present them graphically for the selection committee. In addition to temperature and precipitation data, the altitude for Olympic venues should also be included. In the event that additional snow is required artificial snowmaking capabilities of the site should be included. 

    Canadian Weather
    World Climate  
    World Weather Almanac : enter a city name and get temperature averages by month as well as other weather data

    Road Guide:
    The Olympics bring hundreds of thousands of people to the host city. In the most recent Olympics there were 16,000 athletes. The host city must have a transportation infrastructure capable of handling the movement of athletes, coaches, media representatives, and spectators. It will be the responsibility of the road guide to research the various transportation networks (air,rail,road,subway,etc) of their city and report on it. The report should include a series of maps detailing the present transportation networks. After an analysis of existing transportation networks, the road guide will make recommedations on additions or modifications to the existing systems needed to handle anticipated Olympic visitors.

    This site has general information about travel in Canada . There are also links to travel information by province. Visit the Map Machine at National Geographic to created street maps of the area.

    Cultural attaché:
    An important part of the Olympic games are the ceremonies. There are four types of ceremonies that each host city must develop: the opening and closing ceremonies, the welcoming ceremony for the athletes at the Olympic village, torch relay, and the medal ceremonies. The cultural attache will be responsible for developing an overview of the opening ceremonies. The ceremonies must reflect the Olympic ideal, a balance of mind and body. In addition it must showcase the local culture of the host city through dance, song, art and drama. While highlighting local traditions the ceremony should reflect international themes and include artists from a variety of countries and cultures.

    Virtual Museum of Canada 


Each student will receive three grades for this project.Two will be individual grades and one will be a group grade. Each student will receive an individual grade for the product created for the assigned role. Each student will also receive an individual grade for his / her portion of the oral presentation. A third grade, a  group grade will be determined by how well the members worked as a team to produced a well-integrated product. 


As a result of this unit you will understand that hosting the Olympic games is a tremendous honor, a huge responsibility, a great deal of work and requires a significant financial committment. Once your city is selected, it is showcased to the world in and scrutinized in minute detail. It joins an elite group of cities which have earned this unique honor. Your city will forever be remembered by the events, good or bad, heroic or catastrophic, of the Olympiad that it hosted. 

Credits & References

Special thanks to the Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance for providing me with the opportunity to visit Vancouver, British Columbia. That visit was the inspiration for this WebQuest.

I am indebted to the WebQuest Page (http://edweb.sdsu.edu/ webquest/webquest.html)created by Bernie Dodge.This site provided an insight into this technique for effectively using the internet to create  engaging and challenging instructional activities.

Additional books and web sites are referenced throughout this project.

  Based on a template from The WebQuest Page