In 2010, Canada will host the Olympic Winter Games for the second time in history. The XXI Olympic Winter Games come to Vancouver 22 years after Calgary hosted the XV Olympic Winter Games in 1988. Vancouver will mark the third overall appearance of Canada as host (the Games of the XXI Olympiad were held in Montreal in 1976).
At the 2010 Vancouver Games, over 2,600 athletes from 82 nations will take part in what is the most ever for a Winter Olympics. The number of nations competing in the Winter Games has risen every time since 1980:
In 2010, Slovakia won its first ever Winter Olympic gold medal. Anastazia Kuzmina won the first biathlon event, the women's 7.5km sprint. Five nations are making their Winter Olympic debuts in Vancouver: Cayman Islands, Colombia, Ghana, Montenegro and Pakistan.
There are twelve nations that have competed in every Winter Olympics: Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden and the United States. Great Britain and Switzerland are the only two countries to have competed in every Winter and Summer Olympics.