Sports And Recreation

The mild climate of the city and close proximity to ocean, mountains, rivers and lakes make the area a popular destination for outdoor recreation. Indeed, Vancouver has a low adult obesity rate of 12% compared to the Canadian average, 23%; however, while 51% of Vancouverites are considered overweight, it is the fourth thinnest city in Canada after Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax.

Vancouver has over 1,298 hectares (3,200 acres) of parks, with Stanley Park being the largest at 404 hectares (1,000 acres).The municipality also has several large beaches, many adjacent to one another, with the largest groups extending from the coast of Stanley Park before reaching False Creek, and on the other side of English Bay, starting in the Kitsilano neighbourhood all the way to the University Endowment Lands, which are separate from Vancouver. The 18 kilometres (11 miles) of beaches that surround Vancouver include English Bay (First Beach), Jericho, Kitsilano Beach, Locarno, Second Beach (Stanley Park), Spanish Bank East, Spanish Bank Extension, Spanish Bank West, Sunset, and Third Beach (Stanley Park). The coastline provides for many types of water sport, and the city is a popular destination for boating enthusiasts.

Within a 20-to-30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver are the North Shore Mountains, home to three ski areas: Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain, and Mount Seymour. Mountain bikers have created world-renowned trails across the North Shore. The Capilano River, Lynn Creek and Seymour River, also on the North Shore, provide opportunities to whitewater enthusiasts during periods of rain and spring melt.

Running races include the Vancouver Sun Run (a 10 km race) every April; the Vancouver Marathon is held every May and Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon held every June. The Grouse Grind is a gruelling 2.9 kilometre climb up Grouse Mountain open throughout the summer and fall months, including the annual Grouse Grind Mountain Run. Hiking trails include the Baden-Powell Trail, an arduous 42 kilometre long hike from West Vancouver's Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove in the District of North Vancouver.

Vancouver will be the host city for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games and the 2009 World Police and Fire Games. Swangard Stadium, in nearby Burnaby, hosted some games for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Vancouver is exploring a joint bid to co-host the 2028 Summer Olympics with Seattle. A multi-national bid would be a first for the Olympics, as an International Olympic Committee rule currently requires that the Olympics be awarded to a single city. Vancouver and Seattle both believe that the logistics can be overcome, and have cited that the travel time between the two cities is similar to the travel time between Whistler and Vancouver.

In 2011, Vancouver will be hosting the Grey Cup, the Canadian Football League (CFL) championship game which is awarded every year to a different city which has a CFL team.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Ultimate League, an Ultimate Frisbee league. In Summer 2008 Vancouver hosted the World Ultimate Championships. Vancouver is also home to the Vancouver Titans of the International Basketball League. The Vancouver Titans begin play in 2009, and will play all home games at the Langley Events Centre.

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