Richmond Olympic Experience

Richmond Olympic Experience

@Richmond Olympic Experience
  • Olympic City: Richmond
  • Country: Canada
  • Edition of the Games: 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games
Permanent since 2015
Locals & Visitors

Description of the Project

The Richmond Olympic Experience (ROX) is the first member of the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Museums Network to be located in North America.

The ROX was conceptualised to be part of the permanent infrastructure legacy of the City of Richmond’s participation in the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. The City desired to have a first world museum that showcases the Olympic artefacts, history, experiences and tells the story of Olympism. The City worked alongside the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Olympic Museum based in Lausanne, the Olympic Capital, to create a unique Olympic experience that is engaging and imaginative for people of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

Under the impulse from the City, the ROX has been built in a modernised and innovative way. The focus was to create an atmosphere where the visitors would live an extraordinary experience. The visitors are really immersed in a new world that promotes sports and the Olympic Values.

The ROX offers a wide range of activities through high-tech sport simulators that give the opportunity to the visitors to be introduced to new sports and to take part in challenges to test themselves. They can then compare their results with the best athletes worldwide.

The ROX was created as part of Richmond’s overall legacy plan for the Olympic Games. It is located at the Richmond’s Olympic Oval, which is a sport venue where people can practice a wide range of sports and part of the legacy plan of the Games. The whole area and the community benefits hugely from this programme and are incited to practice more and be more involved in sports.

Event organisers such as city authorities, local sports clubs and societies and even private interests can obtain access once their event has been approved. They can then use the tool to recruit volunteers, searching and filtering based on their relevant criteria, and then to communicate with these volunteers when performing their initial outreach. When it comes to delivering the event in question, the software allows the event organiser to manage the volunteers between the various event sites and activities, tracking their hours and monitoring their assignments to optimise the event delivery.

Volunteers can access the programme to create a profile for themselves and submit their own relevant information as they see fit. Preferences such as the type and duration of event, the sport in question and seasonal availability are all centrally recorded and stored on the iCanHelp platform. The software maximises the probability that the individual is matched to the most suitable role based on their personal data and preferences.

The programme was initially introduced to develop a regulated and streamlined volunteer system for the City of Richmond as part of its contribution to the organisation of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The system has remained in place as part of the legacy for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Over 9,000 volunteers are registered on the database and this has contributed to the successful staging of numerous sporting events in the years since the Vancouver Games.


Celebrate Olympism and its values

The objective of the City behind the creation of the Richmond Olympic Experience was to bring a cultural experience to the Richmond Oval as part of the overall legacy plan. It adds an element of joy and enthusiasm to the whole project and, at the same time, it is a physical remind to the citizens of how the City was involved in the Olympic Games. The City really wanted to create an interactive and dynamic experience to not only promote the Olympic Values but also allow visitors to experience what it is like to achieve the Olympic dream.

Promote the City by leveraging its affiliation with the Olympic Movement

The city of Richmond sees the creation of the ROX as a great opportunity to promote the City on the national as well as the international level. The Richmond Olympic Experience can become a significant tourism attraction. This will support the City’s tourism and economic development objectives, while adding fun to their cultural landscape for residents and visitors.




The museum opened its doors in November 2015 and evaluation is therefore still in its early stages.

However, the committee intends to evaluate the success of the museum based on both qualitative and quantitative levels, including analysis of attendance and the yearly budget but also through feedback from the visitors.


Key Challenges


Managing the consultants

The project turned out to be very successful and ended up being bigger than originally planned. More funding was allocated to the project and as a result, external consultants started to bring their own ideas and vision into the programme. At times, it was difficult for the City’s employees to manage everything and to find professional yet string ways of ensuring that the project stayed on track with what the City intended to do from the beginning.


Managing the scope

The Olympic spirit hit the city of Richmond and an unexpected increase of financial support was given by sponsors and donors. The project grew into being a much bigger project than what was initially conceptualised as it was realised that Richmond had the opportunity to build a one of a kind modernised museum in the City. The committee had to deal with an increased number of stakeholders coming up with new ideas and they, while being open to new and creatives ideas, had to manage the scope of the project so that it could be delivered at the expected time and would achieve the core objectives that were set out by the City in the conceptualisation stage.


Key Learnings & Recommendations


Plan the project thoroughly

The committee spent the first year on research, planning and designing the project. It proved very useful as it gave the employees a clear vision about what they wanted to achieve with this project. This clear vision turned out to be the key as the project grew to a much bigger product than what was initially planned. The committee managed to stay focused on the initial overall objectives and they have not been carried away from it.

Involve your own people

The thoughtful planning of the project allowed the City to choose the right people with the adequate competencies to be part of the project team. Having people from the City proved to be useful as they share the same vision and approach to the project. It is good for the City as the project team created strong relationships with important stakeholders that can be useful in the long term. It also ensures that the City’s core objectives are achieved and that the project is delivered on time.



More information


The full case is available in printable version on the members’ portal

In addition to the above description, the PDF version also gathers practical information including internal and external partners involved; finance and cost; use of the olympic brand; human resources and time; and contact details. 

The World Union of Olympic Cities’ team remains at your disposal for any further information and contact’s facilitation at 

Additional resources can be found through the following links: