When Alexandre Bilodeau stepped on the podium to receive his medal in Freestyle Skiing Men’s Moguls on Feb. 14, it marked the first time a Canadian has won gold on home soil in the Winter Olympic Games.
Also of cultural significance, Bilodeau received his gold medal standing on a podium made from wood indigenous to British Columbia.
The 23 podiums used in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games were constructed from 18 wood types… “The podiums provide insight to British Columbia’s culture and geography, including the 10,000-year history of First Nations, forests managed by local communities and the importance of forestry to the Province’s economy.”
The wood podiums, along with 84 medal trays, were built by team at the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP). Led by wood manufacturing specialist Vincent Leung, the team included technical staff and current and past students of the UBC’s B.Sc. Wood Products Processing program. In constructing the unique podiums, the raw lumber was first sent to a Vancouver millwork company, where it was dried and fabricated into edge-glued panels. The panels were then sent to the manufacturing area at CAWP where, utilizing Mastercam CAD software and SCM CNC machining centers, the team cut more than 250 unique parts required for each of the podiums. The jigsaw puzzle-like parts were then provided to the RONA 2010 Fabrication Shop in East Vancouver for assembly. Read More