The 2010 Winter Olympics are coming-up next month, and I thought I’d begin a “The Best…” list related to them. It will certainly be growing as the date grows closer.

You might also be interested in a previous list I compiled for the Bejing Olympics, which also has resources that might be useful now.

Here are my choices for The Best Sites To Learn About The Vancouver Winter Olympics (and are accessible to English Language Learners — remember this list will be growing):

This is a nice interactive from the International Olympic Committee — click on the name of the sport, and it will show you a lot of multimedia related to it.

Olympic Torch Relay heads to Vancouver is a series of photos from The Big Picture.

Path of the Athlete is a very engaging online game.

This interactive will show you the different locations in Vancouver of the competitions, as well as a history of medal winners from previous Winter Olympics.

Students can complete this short Internet Scavenger Hunt on the Vancouver Olympics.

Though the official website for the games is pretty “busy-looking,” it sure has a ton of useful multimedia.

Here’s another interactive on “medal counts” from different countries.

Enchanted Learning has an accessible history of the Olympic games.

Edgate has quite a few lesson plans related to the upcoming Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Deconstructing The Games is an extraordinary collection of sixteen infographics on each of the Winter Olympics events in Vancouver.

They’re created by the Vancouver Sun newspaper, and here is how they describe them:

“Each page will provide a graphic illustration, athletes to watch, trivia, information about the venue and the schedule.”

NBC and the National Science Foundation have created free, short videos explaining the science behind many of the winter Olympic events. The language is probably accessible to high-intermediate ELL’s, especially because they have transcripts that you can view at the same time.

Weekly Reader has a nice interactive on the Winter Olympics. It can also provide audio support for the text.

Here’s an interactive quiz on the history of the Winter Olympics. I certainly didn’t score well on it, but it provides a lot of useful and accessible information.

“Winter Olympics: Sport By Sport” is a feature from ESPN. It provides a short, accessible slideshow and description for each sport played at the Olympic games.

Figure Skaters Through The Ages is a slideshow from The Wall Street Journal.

The Origins of 10 Winter Olympic Sports is a pretty interesting post from Mental Floss.

A WEBQUEST ABOUT THE 2010 WINTER GAMES IN CANADA comes via Michelle Henry’s excellent website.

The Associated Press has an excellent site on the Olympics.

Winter Olympics For Kids is a nice site developed by teachers and students at Pocantico Hills School in New York.

‘Welcome to the Downtown Eastside’ is a slideshow from The New York Times that shows the “hidden” side of the Winter Olympics.

Tim Learns About The Olympics is a short story that provides audio support for the text.

Here’s an Interactive graphic showing the venues for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Here’s interactive showing the medals athletes will win.

Sean Banville has developed a listening exercise for English Language Learners.

See 39 Olympic Logos From 1924 to 2012.

Vancouver’s Olympic Venues is a neat interactive from The New York Times.

Passing the Torch: An Evolution of Form is an update of another great interactive from The New York Times.

The Torch’s Path
is a slideshow from the Times.

The Big Picture has a slideshow titled Olympic Torch Relay nearly complete.

Getting Physical: The Physics and Other Science Behind Winter Olympic Sports comes from The New York Times Learning Network.

A Brief History Of The Opening Ceremonies is a slideshow from TIME Magazine.

The Los Angeles Times has a great collection of graphics they’ve created for the Olympics.

2010 Winter Olympics Teaching and Learning Extravaganza is a great resource from The New York Times Learning Network.

Winter Olympics Sports
is a downloadable worksheet from Foreign Language House.

Opening the 2010 Games
is slideshow from The New York Times.

The Opening Ceremony is a 360 panoramic photo of the event from The Times.

The Big Picture has a series of images from the opening ceremonies.

I’ve discovered two intriguing sites where people can create user-generated content related to next month’s Winter Olympics. To tell you the truth, I’m not convinced that either one will really enhance one’s understanding of the Olympics much. But, for English Language Learners, they both certainly provide lots of good listening and speaking opportunities. So, for that reason, I’m adding them to this list:

Become A Virtual Sportscaster lets you, after registration, be a…sportscaster calling the action for several different video clips of Olympic events. You can then share the video with others.

The Best Of Us Challenge lets you see “challenges” (strange and fun competitions like balancing a stick on your foot) that Olympic athletes have created for ordinary people to beat them at. You can record your attempt at their challenge and post it at the site. In addition, you can create your own video challenges.

You might also be interested in The Best Sites To Learn About Canada.

Here’s the link to CNN’s constantly updated Winter Olympics page.

The New York Times has an interactive on the accident that led to a luge athlete’s death.

Here’s MSNBC’s special page on the Winter Olympics.

USA Today has a similar website, as does the New York Times.

The Vancouver Winter Olympics
is a slideshow from TIME Magazine.

A Map of Winter Olympic Medals
is a NY Times interactive

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics So Far… is a series of photos from The Denver Post. The Post also has Part Two.

The New York Times has created a video library of people performing snowboard tricks. They’re not to be missed.

Here’s an interesting slideshow from The Wall Street Journal on the Vancouver Olympics mascot, Inukshuk.

The Wall Street Journal also has a neat interactive showing the reactions of gold medal winners. Readers can vote on their favorites.

Check-out this TIME Magazine slideshow on the Top 10 Worst Figure-Skating Costumes.

Vancouver 2010, part 1 of 2 are great pictures from The Boston Globe’s Big Picture.

LIFE Magazine has a slideshow called Greatest Winter Olympic Stories.

Twisted: Ice Dancing Gone Wild is a neat slideshow from TIME.

Vectorial Elevation lets you design an enormous light show that actually appears in the sky over the Vancouver Olympics. On top of that, you get your own webpage that shows a picture of what it looked like.
You need the Google Earth plug-in, and it looks a little more complicated than the usual applications I write about, but it’s too cool to miss. You can read more about the project at the PBS News Hour. It ends on February 28th, so you better hurry-up. I’m sure students will love it, and it will create lots of writing and speaking opportunities.

The Olympics’ Fabulous Fans is a slideshow from TIME Magazine.

A Brief History Of Olympic Sore Losers is another TIME slideshow.

Fractions of a Second: An Olympic Musical is a fascinating interactive from The New York Times. It illustrates — musically — how little difference there is between the first and tenth-place finisher in various Olympic events.

You can also see all the rest of the Olympic-related NY Times interactives here.

Vancouver Brings Down Curtain on Winter Games is a slideshow from the NY Times.

Games come to a dramatic finish is a San Francisco Chronicle slideshow.

Vancouver 2010, part 2 of 2 comes from the Boston Globe’s Big Picture.

Feedback is always welcome.

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You might also want to explore the 400 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.