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Finding information on the Olympics & Paralympics

Use this guide to find to research material on the history, economic, political, social & environmental aspects of the Olympics, with special attention to material about the 2010 Olympics held in Vancouver & Whistler.

If you don't find what you need, Ask a Librarian.

Search term tips

  • Use synonyms or related terms for your searches, e.g., Olympic games, Olympics, Winter Olympics.
  • To capture records with either Olympics or Olympic, use Olympic* as your search term.
  • Using a phrase Olympic bid requires that the words be in this exact order in resulting records which can help focus results. If you want to broaden your search, try olympic and bid which will find both words in the record but not necessarily as a phrase.
  • To limit by specific bids, use geographic locations: Olympics and Vancouver (or Beijing, Sydney, Toronto, etc.)
  • To limit to records dealing with specific aspects of impacts (e.g. social, economic, environmental), add terms that describe potential impacts: e.g., Olympics and...[any of the following]  tourism, housing, funding, infrastructure, facilities, transportation, etc.
  • Other relevant keywords used to describe large sports events (e.g. the World Cup) are mega-events or mega events and hallmark events.
  • Search for "anti-olympics", "olympics and protest*", "olympics and activism or activist" and the like to find sites regarding opposition to the Olympics.


Use the library catalogue to find books.


A "refereed, scholarly journal incorporating socio-cultural research studies predominantly related to the historical, philosophical, and sociological dimensions of the Modern Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement."  Published by the International Centre for Olympic Studies.

Olympika is available in print at SFU from 1992-2013. Full text issues from 1992-2011 are available online through LA84 and some citations from 2007 onwards are listed in Sport Discus.



  • LA84 Foundation Digital Archive - Search
    • Digitized (and searchable) copies of many key Olympics/sports publications, many of which are usually only available in print.
    • Note that if you don't select any specific publications on the search page, your search will cover all documents available.
  • Academic Search Premier - Good for cross-disciplinary searching, mix of popular & scholarly articles, very current.
  • Humanities and Social Sciences Index - Cross-disciplinary, social aspects, housing, planning, environment, economic. etc.
  • Project Muse - Fulltext journal articles in humanities & social sciences.



Canadian Government sources

Each Olympic bid city seems to develop a web site, often with useful information on the qualities of the city as a host site, costs, economic benefits, etc. Try searching Google for "olympic bid" +[name of city], e.g. "olympic bid" +toronto.

  • Canadian Research Index  - Canadian federal government reports, as well as BC provincial government publications and some BC municipal government documents. Search for "olympic" to capture records specifically about the games but also those discussing impacts on communities. Warning:  This database also contains records for Canadian theses and dissertations which, unless they were completed at SFU, can be time consuming to find. If there's an m# in the record, or if it's a Statistics Canada report, we have it at SFU.
  • Spirit of 2010 Tourism Strategy - British Columbia Ministry of Economic Development's strategic reports on the 2010 Olympics
  • Olympic Social Sustainability Initiative Projects - Final report of the City of Vancouver Olympic Legacy Reserve Fund for projects to benefit from the funds and resources created for the 2010 Olympics.
  • City of Vancouver - Start with this quick search at their site: Olympics
  • Whistler's official website, including links to information about Whistler's role in the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • Resort Municipality of Whistler

Note: Several of the following resources link to archived versions via the Internet Archive because they have otherwise disappeared in the years since they were first published.

Bid process for Vancouver 2010 games

Olympic games sites and research centres

Activist sites


Beyond BC

Additional sources